OPINION — The Envision Opelika Foundation has employed the Opelika Character Council since 2007 to emphasize, recognize, and reward good character in every aspect of the community. Businesses, organizations, City government, and City Schools are doing remarkable work to achieve this goal. Last year was the inaugural year for the “Opelika Character Week.” This week is dedicated to acknowledging and recognizing the good character of all citizens. A city of character is comprised of citizens who are genuinely concerned for each other.
Every school year, beginning in August, twelve-character words are chosen to share with the community. A new character word is introduced each month. These words are displayed on specially designed signs at the Board of Education Central Office, in the schools, Sportsplex, Opelika Police Department, the Boys and Girls Club, Head Start, Southside Center for the Arts, and Tiger Town Chick-fil-A Restaurant. Additionally, the character words are exhibited on the marquee at Opelika High School and on the City Council and Opelika Chamber of Commerce agendas.
The Opelika City Council is very supportive of the Envision Opelika Foundation and its efforts to assist nonprofits in achieving its goals. The Character Council has a partnership with the Opelika City Council to recognize a citizen monthly, who exhibits outstanding character. Each member of the City Council has been extremely supportive of this effort.
The City Schools are doing a great job of utilizing these words as a part of their character education program. The Character Council grants a Character Scholarship annually to an Opelika High School senior who will attend Southern Union State Community College. The Character Council Committee Members believe the future quality of life in the community is based on the character of today’s students. However, the ultimate training center for good character begins in home and family life.
In 2018, the Character Council published the Opelika Character Creed, a statement endorsed by the Opelika City Council, the Opelika Board of Education, and the Opelika Chamber of Commerce Board. The Creed emphasizes the importance of developing good character.
The Opelika Character Council is proud of Opelika and encourages all citizens to possess good character in their lives.


  • Start with showing love to your family, recognizing their strengths, and forgiving their weaknesses.
  • Recognize everyone for their kindness by saying “thank you” for what they did {Be specific}.
  • Email or text a different friend each morning with a positive statement.
  • When you pull up to a fast-food drive-through, pay for the food order for the person behind you.
  • Pick up someone’s litter on public property. Pick up trash (even if it’s not yours).
  • Help a playing partner look for his lost golf ball.
  • Genuinely compliment someone who is doing a service for you.
  • Focus on others. Kindness puts others at the center. It’s not about you.
  • Stay connected with others, especially old friends.
  • SMILE at others. Smile and the world smiles with you.
  • Safely wave at others while driving, even if you don’t know them.
  • Volunteer to visit shut-ins at their home or hospital.
  • Pull a neighbor’s trash can from the street to their house.
  • Give someone your seat at any crowded event.
  • Allow someone else the parking space, and don’t try to out race them.
  • Let someone cut in front of you in the line.
  • When driving, let someone in when trying to switch into your lane.
  • Defend a friend if untrue words are spoken about them. The friend may never know this kindness.
  • Hold the door open for someone else.
  • Pay it forward if you have been encouraged by someone else’s good deed to you.
  • Practice an “Attitude of Gratitude” daily that leads to Kindness.
  • Be attentive with people in conversation, putting away the phone. Focus on them.
  • Be there to listen to someone who could use a friend.
  • Kindness is a two-way street. The more YOU practice kindness the more you receive kindness.
  • Be polite.
  • Use a warm tone in conversation.
  • Show patience and gratitude to a stranger.
  • Write a card telling someone how much you appreciate them.

The Opelika Character Creed
We believe it is important to build good character in individuals and for society.
We believe good character is above race, religion, age, gender, education and personality.
We believe a person of good character exhibits attributes and virtues that promote good behavior and habits.
We believe the basic building blocks for good character are integrity, honesty, loyalty, self-sacrifice, accountability, and self-control.
We believe character marks who we are as individuals.
We believe character highly influences the choices that we make in our lives.
We believe character traits determine how a person responds and reacts to certain situations in life.
We believe good character manifests itself in front of people but also – more importantly – when no one else is watching.
We believe good character creates a foundation for happy, healthy and trusting relationships.
We believe good character helps to improve our self-esteem, self-respect and confidence.
We believe building good character is a life-long endeavor that involves commitment, practice, struggles through failures, and continued motivation.
We believe building good character in individuals is essential to building a caring and respectful community.

March, 2018
Envision Opelika Foundation, Inc.