WUFT News

Gainesville Group Collects Box Tops in Effort to Fight Bullying

By on November 7th, 2013

A father’s quest to help his disabled son take a stand against bullying has resulted in a non-profit organization in Gainesville: Box Tops for Makenley.

Makenley, a fifth grader living in Indiana, has been bullied for his speech impediment as a result of Cerebral palsy. After Makenley’s school administration failed to get involved, his father and family friend from Gainesville, Scott Mullen, decided to start a fundraising campaign using General Mills box tops.

Mullen felt Gainesville would be an ideal place to start the organization, Box Tops for Makenley.

“This community has such an amazing culture for philanthropy, it was a perfect fit,” Mullen said.

Mullen and supporters of the organization are collecting box tops from General Mills products to take a stand against bullying.

“The whole common bond kids all have is that they want to be accepted,” Mullen said. “A lot of times when kids have disabilities or special needs, they kind of feel like an outcast, and so what we want to do is raise a culture of protection for these kids so they don’t have to withstand this abuse.”

According to Mullen, Box Tops for Makenley has only been in action for about ten weeks. So far, the non-profit has collected approximately 2,730 box tops, more than 800 of which were donated from Gainesville residents. Collection sites have been set up around the city as well as the University of Florida campus.

However, the founders and supporters have not limited themselves to just Gainesville.

So far, eight different states have made box top donations to Makenely.

A five-year old girl, whose parents are friends of Mullen from Tennessee, said even she understands what bullying is. The little girl is participating in the organization by telling people she’s “helping the boy in Indiana”. According to Mullen, she has sent Makenley more than 100 Box Tops so far.

Box Tops for Makenley and supporters have bigger dreams for the future of this organization.

“A story of a dad wanting to help his kid that was getting picked on and bullied, and wanted to make him feel better; now our ultimate goal is to be able to do this and touch children’s lives nationwide,” Mullen said.

Mullen said the nonprofit hopes to also help other children who have fallen victim to bullying.

The organization is collecting the box tops printed on General Mills items such as cereal boxes, vegetable packages and office supplies. Participants can donate them to various drop-sites in Gainesville or directly mail them to Makenley, he said.

For more information on how to get involved, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Box-Tops-Against-Bullying/362091330589907?ref=stream.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

One of the two community bedrooms in the new indoor dorm at Grace Marketplace.

Grace Marketplace To Open Indoor Shelter

Grace Marketplace will open an indoor dorm on Wednesday after submitting a Safety and Security policy to the city commission. The shelter will provide beds for 20 guests who are trying to transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. In order to stay [...]


Lester Poole, 94, is one of more than 170 residents at Ocala Health and Rehabilitation Center. The center as been steadily losing volunteers over the past year.

Lack of Volunteers Leave Elderly Looking for Conversation

Lester Poole has stories he may never get to tell. The 94-year-old served in the United States Coast Guard from 1939 to 1947, during which he traveled the globe and went wherever the tide took him. “South Africa. Brazil,” he [...]


Participants partake in a “color throw” following the race -  everyone in the audience tossed their color packets into the air at once. The result was a cloud of color that rose above the crowd, growing larger after the next color throw was conducted.

Kaleidoscope Tour’s Color Run Comes To Gainesville

The Kaleidoscope Tour visited Gainesville on Saturday for the 2014 edition of the Color Run. Nicknamed “The Happiest 5K On The Planet,” the run drew hundreds of participants.


Marion County Loses Bid For Veterans Nursing Home

Florida’s seventh nursing home for military veterans will be built in western Port St. Lucie. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve $17 million in funding for the 120-bed facility, which will cost an [...]


Twins Jada and Jaelyn Weems spend their birthday holding signs during the vigil. They live close to Ocala Place Apartments, where some of the shootings have occurred.

Ocala Community Members Unite at Prayer Vigil

Ocala religious leaders and the Ocala Police Department organized a community prayer vigil to promote an end to the recent violence in the community. Four drive-by-shootings have left three injured since early September.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments