By Rachel Chadima, Special for USDR
Bullies, gossip, rumors, cliques…sound all too familiar? As back-to-school quickly approaches, so does kids’ fears of lonely lunchrooms and scary new hallways, which leaves parents wondering how they’ll deliver the encouragement to help their kids overcome the treacherous terrain of the growing up years. Luckily, there’s hope for giving your kids the courage to take the road less traveled with confidence and ultimately thrive despite the bullies thanks to Rachel Chadima, a local entrepreneur and author, who shares her journey of overcoming the bullies one lunchbox note from her mom at a time in her new book Lessons from My Lunchbox: Overcoming the Bullies One Note at a Time.
“When I graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2011, the long-ignored bullying epidemic had finally been exposed gaining attention from the media, schools, and parents across the globe, and it was especially hitting close to home—in me,” Chadima said. “I knew I had to do something to help.” Filled with the original notes from Chadima’s mother as well as cut-out notes Rachel and her mother wrote together to make packing encouragement between kids’ sandwiches and juice boxes a little easier for Mom and Dad, Chadima’s book—now sold in 30 Mainstream Boutiques across the country and select Barnes and Noble’s inMinneapolis/Saint Paul—is already making a difference. “My 9-year-old daughter read it cover to cover yesterday,” writes a reader. “She has been bullied at school because of health issues, and taped the notes from the back of the book around her room and was so excited to show me. Please know you have made an impact on my little girl.” Chadima says, “It makes my heart happy knowing my Mom’s notes and the cut-out notes from the back of the book that we wrote together are lighting up kids’ lunchboxes and instilling hope and confidence in them all across the United States, just as they did in me.”
That’s not the only way Chadima is making an impact. On April 12th, in addition to publishing her book, she opened Mainstream Boutique—a women’s clothing store whose mission is to empower and celebrate the women in the community through fashion—inHudson, WI. “I feel like everything I went through has prepared me for this moment,” Chadima says. “I learned from the best!” she says of her mom and dad. “My Mom’s notes created a foundation for my life, taught me important lessons along the way, and empowered me to stand strong in who I was and what I believed in no matter who was bullying me from the sidelines. Now, it’s my turn to do that for someone else.” She says. “From customers who cry because they feel so great in the outfit we styled them in, to customers who cry at the sight of the title of my book because it hits that close to home, I’m on a mission to empower and encourage young women and women alike to bloom through life’s bully-storms, and cheer them on along the way.”
SOURCE Rachel Chadima