Enumclaw rallying around Rachel's Challenge


by MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MimiJungKING5


Posted on September 15, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 15 at 9:15 PM

ENUMCLAW, Wash. -- In a sleepy, rural town--population 11,000--a place where everybody seems to know everybody there's an excitement building.  A momentum that you might notice when you step foot in downtown Enumclaw.

"My neighbor helped me with my daughter's wedding reception this weekend," said one Enumclaw resident.

It starts with a paper chain.  Each one representing an act of kindness from people who live and work here.  You'll find it at Skynet Broadband, one of the businesses taking on Rachel's challenge.
Continuing the legacy of a teenage girl killed at Columbine High 10 years ago who inspired others with her compassion.
"Those small things that people do can have a lasting impression and I think recognition really makes all the difference in the world," said Chuck Bender, Owner of Skynet Broadband.  "It definitely gives me chills.  Definitely surprises me quickly it has caught on."
It all started with Enumclaw Superintendent Mike Nelson who heard the powerful story of Rachel Scott.
"I'm a superintendent of 4,200 students, and I have the ability to influence and when that word was shared in the presentation, I thought, if I won't do it, who would?" said Nelson.
So, starting at Sunrise Elementary every student in Enumclaw, from kindergartners to seniors, will hear Rachel's Challenge.
"She said that if one person can go out of their way, it will start a chain reaction of the same," said a school leader.
"What I'm trying to do is create a moment that is so impactful, it causes a paradigm shift within each individual.  That they look and see and hear and feel things differently," said Nelson.
Now, the entire community of Enumclaw is embracing the idea too.
Starting with businesses who believe a little act of kindness goes a long way.
"There's no harm that's done by being kind," said Nelson.
Making this town an even better place to live.