While out shopping for necessities over the last few weeks, Luke Steiner made an observation. He noticed that many people were not following the new social guidelines to stay 6 feet apart. Even in stores that were attempting to make it easy, it was obvious to Luke it was not getting done. Luke was shopping at Trader Joes where only 35 people are allowed in the store at a time. “I was doing my best to stay away from people, but others were not following the guidelines to stay 6 feet apart like you think everyone would,” Luke said.
Luke decided he wanted to do something to do his part promoting social distancing. He wanted to do it in a positive way. At this time of crisis in our community and country with the pandemic at play, he wanted to promote unity and not division. He was looking for something inexpensive that all people could afford that would be useful in reminding people of the mandate.
Luke created a button to remind people to stay apart
Luke decided to create a button that people could wear every day. Unlike a t-shirt that people would only wear occasionally, a button could be worn with anything; everyday clothes, work clothes and uniforms. Luke, who has experience with Adobe Illustrator and other computer programs due in part because of his association with his schools’ newspaper staff at Westside High School, got to work creating the button.
Luke decided to go with the tag line, Stand Apart, To Stand Together. This is to remind people of the importance of keeping their distance but also remembering we are all in this together. By working together our collective efforts help us as individuals and as a whole. Luke decided on a name for this venture; The Distance Project.
The next thing Luke had to do was find a supplier for the buttons. He did some searching and found a company out of state that makes inexpensive quality buttons. Luke ordered his first batch and he was almost in business.
To spread the word and for a place to sell the buttons, Luke set out to create a website, which is something he had never done before. He decided on the platform Squarespace. “It ended up being pretty easy to build,” said Luke.
Luke is also using Facebook and Instagram for button promotion.
When you purchase a button you also support the First Responders Foundation
Gary said, “This has been a great project for Luke, especially since he has some extra time with doing online school now. I wasn’t surprised that he decided to donate the profits to the Foundation, and I was all for it.”
Luke says that being out of school has been surreal. He knows so many people are struggling and he feels bad for them. He does not have anything to complain about but he does miss the activities of the school and spending time with his friends. Luke is on the tennis team and he spends a lot of time on his favorite subject, journalism. Luke also feels bad for his sister who is a senior at Westside. “She and her friends are really not happy about being out of school,” Luke said.
Orders for the buttons have been coming in from Nebraska, as well as Iowa, Illinois, New Jersey, Montana, Georgia, and New Mexico. Luke sold out of his initial batch and had to order more. The buttons are back in stock and he is looking forward to more buttons being sold across the US.
The Foundations thanks Luke for this project, for the community as a whole, and especially for the financial support that his efforts are bringing to the FRF. We wish Luke all the best in the future. Luke will be the Editor In Chief of the Westside Newspaper The Westside Lance next year.
Luke Steiner in the News!
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts congratulates and thanks Luke Steiner for the Distance Project. Watch video here.
Luke has been interviewed by KETV, WOWT & KMTV in Omaha. Watch the videos and read the stories here:
To purchase buttons visit the website The Distance Project
Follow The Distance Project on Instagram