Remember Karen Klein, the bus monitor who moved our hearts earlier this year when she was caught on camera crying as a bunch of nasty middle schoolers bullied her? She's baaaaack. And Klein has some big news for America: she's not going to take it anymore (and you shouldn't either).
Klein is now retired thanks to an online fundraiser that raked in half a million dollars from thousands of people who were outraged at the way she was being treated. But instead of resting on her laurels -- which would be completely deserved for this 68-year-old grandmother -- the viral video "star" has decided to put a chunk of change into a new foundation that proves just how right we were to invest in her in the first place.
The goal? Eradicating the world of bullies, natch.
Klein has put $75,000 into the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, a means to educate kids and teens on how devastating what they do can be to other people. You know, people like an older woman on their school bus who is moved to tears because a bunch of punks start blaming her for her son's suicide (hint, hint).
There's a promo video the folks at GiveBack.org helped Karen make that moved me to tears this morning. I too was a victim of bullies as a kid. I think many of us connected to Karen because of past injustices. But I'd wager there's more to the story of this bus monitor that has drawn us in, and this foundation is a perfect example.
Karen Klein has never lashed out.
In this world where simple political discussions quickly become riddled with name-calling and seething hate, that's rare. In this world where vigilante justice is hailed as heroism, that's unheard of.
Karen Klein could have turned herself into a lightning rod, spreading hate for all who wronged her. Or she could have simply disappeared with the cash, taking her whole family on a luxurious cruise and then hiding out in her upstate New York home, holding a grudge forever. I don't think anyone would blame her. In fact, the current American attitude would likely celebrate her for looking out for number one -- herself.
But Karen Klein has risen above. She's decided to be proactive instead of reactive. She's decided to be a calm voice of sanity and reason. In short? She's not acting like a selfish a-hole.
If only there were more voices like hers. We might be able to really make a change around here. Check out her intentions for the foundation:
What do you think of how Karen Klein is using her money? Would you have blamed her if she kept it all?
Image via Vimeo