September 12 - National Day of Encouragement

Posted on September 12, 2019

Way back in the mid-"aughts" (the 2000s), a group of high school students were attending a leadership forum at Harding University. They were asked to come up with solutions to some of the problems young people faced at that time.

One problem these students identified was a lack of encouragement. The solution they came up with was a day to focus on encouraging one another.

The date they selected was September 12. The horrific events of September 11, 2001 (just a few years before this leadership forum) made that day one of hurt and confusion - so the next day was the perfect day to remember that coming together, encouraging one another, and hope are important.

By 2007, the mayor of a city in Arkansas had adopted this idea and declared 9/12/07 to be a Day of Encouragement. The Governor of Arkansas liked the idea and dubbed September 12 the State Day of Encouragement in Arkansas that same year. In 2011, the Senate passed a resolution declaring the special day to be nationwide, and George W. Bush signed the resolution in time for 9/12/11.

The Day of Encouragement website states that the theme in 2017 was words of encouragement:
"In a time when words are so often used to tear people down and beat them up, let’s choose to use words to encourage, to uplift and to love. 

"When words encourage, rather than discourage, we take a step in the right direction. When words encourage, people smile. When words encourage, the future is that much brighter."

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