As people in Fort Dodge and Webster County drive down the streets, they may see something out of the ordinary; a cement mixer with the phrase "Don't be the bully, be the friend" written across the mixer portion of the truck.
The truck, which is owned by American Concrete, is being used as a way to deter bullying in the Fort Dodge area.
American Concrete Driver Randy Buenting came up with the idea when his truck was getting worked on.
Founder of the It Gets Better FD program Jennifer Johnson, at left, poses with American Concrete driver Randy Buenting and the cement truck decorated with the anti-bullying group’s logo. It was on display during the public tour of the Fort Dodge Middle School Saturday.
"We have stickered trucks already in the fleet, and I was wondering what they were going to put on mine," he said. "So I asked if we could have an anti-bullying truck because of all the bullying that's been going on."
After drawing up a number of preliminary sketches, Buenting presented the idea to the corporate offices. He said they liked the idea and gave Buenting permission to have the design put on his truck.
As Buenting began planning the design, he realized there was something missing.
"I wanted to try and get a hotline or some kind of information to put on there for people to call if they do have a problem," he said.
He was put in touch with It Gets Better FD, a local organization dedicated to the anti-bullying efforts.
Jennifer Johnson, the founder and director of It Gets Better FD, said her organization and Buenting decided to partner up and work together to stop bullying in Fort Dodge. Their logo, along with the address of their Facebook page, was added to the design on Buenting's truck.
"We're very humbled and proud to be partners in awareness and advocacy through action," Johnson said. "It takes a courageous company to do what's right and for that we're very, very thankful to American Concrete."
"The only way you're going to make a difference is by raising awareness and stepping up," she added.
Buenting said the truck has "turned a lot of heads."
"The response has been pretty positive," he said. "I've had people wave at me and tell me that it looks very nice."
His ultimate goal is to raise awareness of bullying and how big of a problem it is.
"Bullying is everywhere," he said. "It happens every day, and as long as we get the word out and help one person, that's a big deal."
He added "that's going to make a chain reaction of more and more people. The more it gets out there, the more it's going to get recognized."