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Second Annual National Day of Encouragement Calls for Americans to 'Pay It Forward'
Date:9/10/2008

Nationwide Movement Thanks Military Troops, Responders and Victims of the

Hurricanes and People in Our Daily Lives

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- One visionary group of teenagers in Arkansas identified a common problem facing youth and society today -- the lack of encouragement. These students felt the best way to combat many of the negative problems facing society was to confront the discouragement that was at the root of these problems. They created a national day of encouragement for Americans of all ages and races to unite by empowering one another through words and acts of kindness, inspiration and support.

Endorsed by President George W. Bush, supported by celebrities such as stand-up comedian, actor and host of hit show "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?", Jeff Foxworthy, and embraced by communities around the nation, this truly unique idea is gaining considerable momentum.

President George Herbert Walker Bush said of the Day, "Acts of kindness and encouragement can go a long way toward helping an individual achieve success."

This "Day of Encouragement" was conceptualized in June, 2007 by a group of high school students attending a leadership camp at Harding University in Searcy, Ark. The students were challenged to determine what they believe to be the biggest problems facing high school students today and to devise a solution. While alcohol, drugs and violence were identified as serious problems, one group determined the basic problem facing youth in schools, and society in general, was a "lack of encouragement." They proposed a solution -- a day of encouragement.

"The date of September 12 was selected in hopes of balancing the discouraging feelings of 9/11," said Andrew Baker, organizer of the National Day of Encouragement and executive director of the Encouragement Foundation, a group that raises the awareness about the benefits of encouraging others. "Our goal is to challenge people not
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SOURCE The Encouragement Foundation
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