Why the White Hats Program?
Too many people feel they are pushing a gigantic boulder uphill - alone! This can be demoralizing. If seven people were standing in line at the supermarket today, none would suspect the others of being concerned citizens, working hard and making sacrifices in order to improve their communities. If the White Hats concept takes off, three people in that line might be wearing the identifying symbol which would spark recognition and rejuvenate the resolve of each one. They might feel solidarity as individual members of an unstoppable spirited team with a common mission.
The Inspiration for publicizing good deeds came from the teens who participated in our programs almost fifteen years ago. Young people were, and still are, demoralized by a continual barrage of bad news.
"I found throughout the course of my writing that it was very easy to depict examples of irresponsibility, yet it was very hard to find examples of someone making a difference in this society."
Ryan L. Moore, Carbondale High School, Carbondale, Illinois
"We cannot see a headline without noticing an irresponsible or immoral act."
Jenni Williams, Freeman High School, Rockford, Washington
"There are many other people in the world that are doing good things, but it seems that the bad things in life seem to be more publicized and emphasized."
Jeremy J. McCord, David Crockett High School, Austin, Texas
"Examples of irresponsibility can easily be found in government the media, business, medicine and everyday life. If you dig a little deeper, however, you can also find many good examples of responsibility in all of these areas."
Mara Bergeron, Deer River High School, Deer River, Minnesota
"Believe it or not, America is not all bad. Positive things are happening. People are making an effort to build America up."
Julie Irion, Eureka High School, Eureka, Illinois
"It was much harder to find examples of good thing happening than it was of bad things happening. That is a little bit sad. It shows how dysfunctional our system of government is when there [are] so many examples of situations where people get away with things that common sense tells us [are] definitely not right."
Kenny Curtis, Kiona-Benton High School, Benton City, Washington
"I believe if the young people today could see positive things around them they may start to have positive attitudes towards life."
Roxane Wentzel, Marion High School, Marion, South Dakota
"If more people were recognized for being responsible then society might have more people acting responsibly. All types of media should give examples of responsible behavior for others to model, instead of always telling people about the irresponsible behavior of others."
Brian Toon, Lexington High School, Lexington, Illinois
These comments show where the idea for White Hats originated:
Let's start ... a rewards program where people (regardless of age) are rewarded for helping other people."
Rebecca Reim, DeForest High School, DeForest, Wisconsin
"Many people in the community are more than willing to help people that need it, but simply don't know how. I believe that the only way that we will be able to take care of the poor is to let the comfortable people know how they can help. Some organizations already use newspapers as well as TV and radio to promote their programs. If the opportunities to serve are made readily available to the general public, I believe that the response would be overwhelming. If we work together with obtainable goals in mind, nothing can stop us."
Robert A. Braxton, Armwood High School, Seffner, Florida
"The solutions to all of America's problems cannot be solved with acts of goodwill. Or can they? Getting I nvolved with good-will projects is at the heart of saving America. This is not hard to do. Have you noticed how good it feels to know another cares about you? Have you noticed how nice it is when someone is helpful and courteous to you, instead of rude and uncaring? Have you noticed how goodwill spreads? If I stop and help a woman pick up her spilled groceries, hopefully she'll stop for the next person who needs a hand. It is a kind of repayment. It happens all the time on America's roadways. Joe stops to help Sue change a spare tire. So, when Sue's husband sees a person stuck in a parking lot with a dead battery, he is the first to offer his jumper cables and truck for a jump. All the program needs is a little bit of faith, and a lot of concern for the future of America...My solution may not be very original or complicated, but it's the easiest, and only God knows how far the network will reach."
Jennifer Artemis Carr, Aubrey High School, Aubrey, Texas
"We have to believe that we can change if we want to achieve. If we could get volunteers to start in another state and keep extending this program, we could have a nationwide organization of everyone working together. This cooperation and building of trust and talking about problems could eliminate some of the irresponsibility of our nation."
Ramona Lazanis, Freeman High School, Rockford, Washington
"Americans need to understand that each one of us has been put on this earth to not only strive to achieve our own personal goals, but to also contribute something to our society in return for the opportunities it has given us."
Karl Werner, Broken Arrow High School, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
"What we do in our community may not make a huge dent in the statistics fed to Washington, but if every small community was responsible for controlling pollution and protecting their environment, we would see change on a national scale. And though I've said it's the community's responsibility to protect its environment, each community is made up of a number of individuals like you and me. Therefore, in the end it is up to you, and to me, as individuals, to begin the process. We must clean up after ourselves, and when necessary, others. We, together, must do our parts to create a society and environment we can be proud of."
T.J. McNish, Seaman High School, Topeka, Kansas
"If we work together, we can achieve anything."
Amy Simpkins, David Crockett High School, Austin, Texas