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Zemba family starts nonprofit Unify Against Bullying

EAST LONGMEADOW – When Edward and Robert Zemba, owners of Robert Charles Photography, began looking for a Western Massachusetts anti-bullying charity, they were surprised to learn that one did not exist. There were multiple small efforts, but no one charity dedicated to helping the kids of Western Massachusetts deal with bullying.
The Zembas found this hard to understand, considering the fact that Western Massachusetts had lost some of its children to suicide over the pain caused by bullying. It was at this point that they turned to fellow parents, business leaders and students to explore the possibility of forming a new charity. A few months later, Unify Against Bullying was born.
Edward Zemba, Unify Against Bullying founder and President of Robert Charles Photography, says that the mission of Unify is simple, “to bring an end to bullying through the celebration of true diversity.” Zemba is quick to point out that it’s the kids who deserve the credit for coming up with the name and for helping define a direction for the organization. UNIFY stands for Unique iNdividuals Inspiring Future Youth.
The organization’s signature event takes form as a game-changing fashion show on April 8, 2016 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The show features students of all shapes, sizes, styles, ethnicities, sexual orientation and physical ability from over 15 local high schools. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit: www.rcpUNIFY.com.
Zemba adds that the Unify fashion show is all about coming together as a community to stand up to bullying. “The message of embracing diversity and speaking out against bullying resonates with everyone. We’ve all dealt with it one way or another; personally, as a parent, a friend, classmate, or even as a bystander. It’s part of life. Our hope is to let the children who are being bullied know that they aren’t alone. On the contrary, we stand with them. In Unify Against Bullying, we like to say that when we stand together, we stand as one.”
Unify Against Bullying issues grants to children, teachers, administrators and organizations dedicated to bringing an end to bullying. Applications are being accepted now at, www.rcpUNIFY.com. The deadline for the first round of grants is March 3, 2016.