The Stand Up Men were not afraid to stop traffic to hand out 300 carnations on Friday, Feb. 10. Each flower was adorned with cards giving info on the Stand Up Men, domestic violence and a reminder that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month.
“We will be handing them out at the high school on Valentine’s Day as well,” said Isaac Berg, coordinator of Stand Up Men, adding that they hope to reach out to and educate teens.
Stand Up Men is a group of men who choose not to have popular culture teach boys how to act or treat others. Members “stand up” to educate and empower men in the San Juan Islands to use their voice to reach other men and boys. They have been handing out flowers for Valentine’s Day outside the county courthouse in Friday Harbor for the last three years.
This year, the men did not just stand at the courthouse, but instead walked around town, and into several businesses giving carnations to everyone they saw.
Many women declined the flowers at first because they were concerned there was a catch.
“I have had many women be afraid to take one. Then I explain what they are for, and they say ‘That just makes my day!’” said John Stamey, one of the first Stand Up Men.
For information, visit www.safesj.org.