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Stickers can bring hope, brighten a day, even save a life. Here’s how three different sticker campaigns are working to change the world.

Crisis Text Line (CTL)

Crisis Text Line
CTL is a non-profit in the US, offering free crisis intervention on a 24/7 basis. The Sticker Project is a partnership between CTL and Speck, maker of cases for phones, as well as laptops, tablets, etc. The goal of the Sticker Project is to distribute stickers with info on how to connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor. Schools, libraries, and other organizations can request packages of these stickers. They recommend placing the stickers in school bathrooms, malls, recreation centers, local gyms, movie theaters, etc.

Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting 741741 in the US or 686868 in Canada. Texts made on Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T are free and will not appear on billing records. Although it started out for teens, as an offshoot of DoSomething.org, they take texts from anyone who needs help, including veterans and older adults. Many of the volunteers at CTL are active-duty or veterans.

As of July 12, 2018, CTL has processed 74 million text messages. They have spread to Canada, teaming up with Kids Help Phone, and are working with Mental Health Innovations to bring the same idea to the U.K. later this year. Now that there are enough messages that they may easily be anonymized, CTL is also sharing what they have learned with mental health professionals and others, though private partnerships and their “Crisis Trends” database.

In the News

New Yorker: R U There?
Military Times: CTL Provides New Lifeline
Mashable: The Word People Text When Suicide Risk is High

Freedom Stickers

Freedom Sticker
Freedom stickers, made available by the organization In Our Backyard, help fight against human trafficking. The stickers are generally placed in public restrooms at rest stops, gas stations, convenience stores, or at major events like the Super Bowl or Indianapolis 500. More than 150,000 stickers have been placed in all 50 states.

Oregon sends out a sticker with every liquor license renewal, in the hopes that these will be placed in restroom stalls where trafficking victims may have the time to send a quick and quiet text for help to 233733 (BeFree). Many of the stickers also contain the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, but texts are more covert and easier to hide than phone calls. Businesses or individuals can request stickers via the web.

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) also uses the stickers in their campaign. Clear window decals with white text are available for truckers who take part in the training, with the same phone and text numbers as above.

In the News

KTVZ News: Training to Spot HumanTrafficking
NPR: Truckers Take the Wheel to Stop Human Trafficking

You Are Beautiful

You are beautiful
A more light-hearted sticker, the You Are Beautiful campaign (#YABsticker) involves no number or hotline, but is just a reminder, in case you’ve forgotten. If you’ve ever run across one of these stickers, it may have made you smile, touched your heart, made a bleak day more bearable. The sticker campaign grew out of Matthew Hoffman’s experience of moving from a small town to Chicago. In the noise and confusion, it was easy to feel lost and alone. He came up with the idea of making a sticker to share a simple, positive thought.

As their website says, “A tiny sticker, shared over 3 million times, creating smiles on every continent of the world (including Antarctica).” It started with a pack of 100 stickers in 2002 and has gone around the world since then. Scrolling through their Facebook or Twitter feed is a wonderful, heartwarming experience. Personally, I love the “You are beautiful” stickers I saw there on the backs of phones, so whether you’re taking pictures of your friends or strangers, they see that message.

You Are Beautiful is not a non-profit, but a collective of artists and designers, working to spread positivity worldwide. (The stickers are available in 100 different languages!) You can get 5 stickers free if you are willing to wait till they can get to your request through the mountain of mail they receive. They also donate a number of their stickers every year to good causes.

In the News

Chicago Tribune: The Artist Behind the YAB Stickers
Huffington Post: You Are Beautiful

Do you have ideas for using a label, sticker or decal to make the world a better place? We’d be happy to work with you on your project.

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