“Rexburg is the friendliest town in Idaho!” said Mayor Merrill.
Story by: Natalie Tanner
Energy ran high at Madison High School’s gym this morning. Today was the official kick-off for Start with Hello. It is a new campaign at Madison promoting social awareness that has replaced “100% Original”. One of the main differences between the campaigns was the whole community has become involved with this program. The gym was packed with not just students and faculty, but police officers, county commissioners, city council members, the mayor, and the school superintendent.
“There are a lot of loners and people who are depressed and need a hello… I hope it makes a difference,” said Officer Maybee from the Rexburg Police Department.
Start with Hello has overwhelming support from all the leaders in the community. Today all the city, community, and county leaders signed a proclamation declaring this week Start with Hello Week.
“The proposal passed city, county, and school district with a unanimous ‘yes’”, said Dr. Thomas, Superintendent of MSD321 .
The simplicity of Start with Hello is what makes the campaign so effective.
“It’s very simple, but huge to other people who are struggling,” said Sheriff Klingler.
The reason for getting the whole community involved and not just the school district is because this campaign isn’t supposed to be just “a really friendly week”.
“This will get people to actually start talking,” said County Commissioner Smith.
“We want this to be a culture change. We want people to see someone sitting alone, and go talk to them,” said Jess Goudy from Madison Cares.
Goudy is also the champion of Start with Hello. She started with the school district, and then reached out to the businesses and community.
“I was so proud to see the sign at McDonald’s say ‘Hello, Rexburg!’” said Goudy. The campaign is focused on people making new relationships and reconnecting.
“Kindness helps social isolation. It’s a just a matter of recognizing it,” said Mr. Snelgrove.