DERRY TWP., Pa. - Hershey and Lower Dauphin high schools were opponents on the football field Friday night, but off the field they're showing a unified front to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
Fans and spirit teams on both sides of Hersheypark Stadium wore purple shirts during the game to send a message that they won't tolerate the bullying that can lead to young people taking their own lives.
"It's just affected both of our schools Hershey and Lower Dauphin so much in these past couple years," said Tori Moss, a junior at Hershey High School who helped organize the effort. "It's just it's been awful but we're just trying to spread the word and bring the happiness to everybody."
The high schools partnered with the we matter coalition to let people know that help is out there for those who need it.
"You want them to be able to talk about suicide, not just have the stigma of someone is in crisis and they just keep it all to themselves," said Staci Wisnewski of the We Matter Coalition.
The shirts have a simple message: be kind. Many of these people believe in the power of the message, and what it can do to potentially help save lives.
"There are stories that we are hearing round and round and round how the shirt is tangibly changing behavior and that's the hope is that we turn around and make this world a better place," said Christine Drexler, the founder of the We Matter Coalition.
"Even though it's only two words, I really think if you really read into it means a little more than just the two words on that shirt," Moss said. "Being kind, honestly it can help so much in so many situations. It's about spreading the love in a simple way."
The We Matter Coalition says it is hoping to bring this effort to other schools here in the area as well.