Remember Karen Klein, the bullied bus monitor from Greece, New York, who made international headlines earlier this year after a video showing middle school children harassing her went viral (read her story here)? After a modest Internet campaign that was launched in her support churned in a whopping $702,684 (the goal was $5,000), the former public school district employee has big plans for a portion of her new-found fortune.
While she could very easily hold onto every penny of the money that was raised in her favor, the bus monitor has decided to pour $100,000 into anti-bullying initiatives. To facilitate this goal, she has created the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation.
In the wake of the intense media coverage surrounding the abuse waged against her, the 68-year-old has officially retired and she's now pouring her energy into mechanisms that will help prevent the very abuse she was so publicly subjected to.
The foundation will officially kick-off in October at which time Klein will join others for a weekly, anti-bullying tour. Her daughter, Amanda, explained that this initiative is something that Klein has always wanted to do and that the foundation will provide funding to organizations and charities that fight against bullying.
According to CNN, Amanda also said that Miss Teen USA Logan West and Miss Universe Leila Lopes will both be involved in the foundation's efforts. On the group's GiveBack.org web site, Klein also announced that she's organizing a "No Bully Tour 2012" awareness campaign -- a music tour aimed at urging children to treat one another well.
"The goal of the anti-bullying campaign is to help teach kids and teens about being kind, friendly and playing nicely with others," Klein explains in a special video on the foundation's web site.
Watch a trailer that explains the foundation, below:
On her foundation's web site, Klein outlines her foundation's four main goals:
- Provide Funds for anti-bullying counseling in schools across the country and around the world
- Create educational curriculum that will teach about Bullying and what each of us can do to stop it
- Support great organizations that are bringing awareness to the anti-bullying movement
- Develop new media assets that will serve the cause of anti-bullying
"As a mother and a grandmother, there are several saying that I have tried to live by and things that I have tried to teach my children and grandchildren," Klein writes on the web site. "These are words I think we can all learn to embrace as a way of life that will help stop bullying across America -- Dream, Hope, Live with Integrity, Live, Love, Laugh, Love Like You Mean It, Embrace Change, Expect miracles, Love Others Well."
Learn more about the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation here.