Buddy Ambassadors has been hard at work to bring its mission to spread kindness and offer mental health support to children to a virtual platform amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization’s founder, Loverly Sheridan, introduced the “COVID-19 Kindness Social Media Campaign,” which encourages children to create unique posters with kind messages to share online and spread cheer to others.
In addition to the new social media campaign, Sheridan is hosting live Zoom Mindfulness, Etiquette 101, storytelling, financial literacy, and public speaking workshops to help keep children engaged and provide coping tools during the pandemic.
“These are very uncertain and challenging times for children, and although children are resilient, it’s important that we make their mental health a priority, just as we do their physical health, and provide them with the tools that they need to cope,” said Sheridan.
In 2018, Sheridan partnered with Mental Health America of Palm Beach County to support mental health in children. She launched the Buddy Ambassadors Program, an initiative that creates safe spaces via “Buddy Benches” and encourages children support each other, in schools across Palm Beach County. The program also recognizes student leaders, or “Buddy Ambassadors,” who exemplify what it means to be a buddy. Thirty schools in Palm Beach County have employed “Buddy Benches” and more than 100 Buddy Ambassadors have been recognized.
Because of social distancing requirements and virtual learning, Buddy Benches have been out of commission during the pandemic, but Sheridan is looking to the day when students take their places back on them.
“Now more than ever, we feel that it’s very important to encourage kids to be a buddy, and be kind to their peers, because they’ve all been through a lot. This will be a great way to welcome them back.” said Sheridan.