Westside student raises awareness on social distancing using buttons

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OMAHA, Ne (WOWT) - During a trip to the store, a Westside student, saw people standing too close together and knew he needed to raise awareness.

Westside Sophomore Luke Steiner is busy at work, packaging up his latest order of social distancing buttons.

"This is the Nebraska one I started with, and here are the two flag ones," he said.

About 3 weeks ago, Luke started designing buttons for people to wear with a reminder to practice social distancing.

"I'm not so much worried about myself getting sick, but I certainly don't want to be responsible for getting anyone else sick, and I'm sure like many, I don't want to see people around me getting sick and being hurt by the virus," he said.

Also, like most people, Luke wants to practice social distancing now, so we can get back to normal quicker. The virus impacting his Sophomore year, but has ended his sister's senior year.

"We're both in Journalism together, and I was definitely upset to hear that we weren't going back to school together," said Steiner.

In his first three weeks, Luke has sold nearly 500 buttons across 12 states.

"I've had smaller orders from Illinois, Minnesota, and California," he explained.

But one of his larger orders has been from New Jersey.

"She works at a hospital in New Jersey. So she actually handed them out to her staff," he said.

While he's selling them at $2 apiece, Luke isn't keeping any of the money.

"We're only charging production costs and shipping, but if there is any money left over, we're donating it to The First Responders Foundation," he said.

He doesn't know what the final amount of the donation will be, but he's already close to $500.

While Luke is trying to raise awareness on social distancing. He says he also wants this project to demonstrate a sense of community and American unity.

If you would like to buy a button, you can visit the Distance Project website.