KASSON — If you've driven into Kasson or Mantorville lately, you've likely seen orange ribbons fluttering from trees, bridges and utility poles.
It's not for Halloween.
The ribbons herald Kindness Week, which will be Sept. 29 through Oct. 5. It's a project launched by four Girl Scouts to help them earn the Silver Award, an honor given Cadette Scouts for community improvement.
Audreya Fish, Dani Lannin, Riley Strain and Taya Lindquist decided the issue they care most about is the fight against bullying, and they're hope to kill it with Kindness Week.
Their project quickly gained community-wide support.
All Kasson and Mantorville Girl Scout troops are now involved in the project. The girls are selling orange T-shirts printed with "Kindness Changes the World" on the front and "K-M Girl Scout KoMet Kindness Pass it On" on the back.
Orange is the anti-bullying color, the scouts said.
In Sunday's Marigold Days parade, the girls rode on the front of a fire truck with a banner proclaiming the fire department's support for KoMet Kindness Week. The firefighters wore orange shirts in support of the project.
"Bullying needs to end," Taya said. "We care how community members treat each other."
"If we recognize bullying, it might make it easier for someone to speak up," Riley said.
The Austin-based Community Against Bullying Organization has helped the scouts with the project.
One handout from the scouts states, "Instead of focusing on the negative aspect of bullying, we as Girl Scouts would like to focus on spreading kindness throughout our community in the hopes of putting an end to bullying."
After Kindness Week, the girls will take down the ribbons. Roni Strain, who co-leads the troop with Chris Lannin, hopes the troop will carry on Kindness Week in years to come. This is the last year in scouting for the four girls who launched the project, she said.
During the parade, Scouts handed out orange magnets with suggested acts of kindness including:
• Donate your time, talents, blood, money and unused things to someone in need.
• Give a compliment.
• Let someone ahead of you in line.
• Cook a healthy meal for someone.
• Mentor a child.
• Hold the door for someone.
• Help a neighbor with yard work.
• Be a friend.
• Say "Hi" to someone new.