If you’re just now tuning in, I’m doing a “Spend Less, Give More” series. I’ve spotlighted several awesome organizations so far: Charity:Water, Heifer International, and TOMs. In the spirit of giving this holiday season, I’m encouraging you guys to not waste money on junk, but instead contribute to something with a purpose, somewhere that will improve someone’s life! So far, these organizations have centered around assisting basic physical needs in life (that obviously have chain reaction effects to everything else – education, opportunity…) but today I would like to share with you guys To Write Love On Her Arms. This is a different one because it’s about the inside – suicide prevention, mental health help, recognizing emotional issues.
(Image via TWLOHA Facebook.)
To Write Love On Her Arms mission is simple: “a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.”
The TWLOHA story started back in the spring of 2006, (founded by Jamie Tworkowski) when a group of friends joined together to help Renee, a 19 year old girl suffering from depression, a drug addiction, she was a cutter…a treatment center refused her, so a group rallied around her and provided her with a support system for days. Just loving her, praying with her, taking her to events, coffee runs, cigarette breaks, just being there for her before she entered a rehab program. The group started selling t-shirts to fund-raise for Renee’s treatment, and with those t-shirts a movement was sparked. The team soon realized that there were literally thousands of people all over the world, who had questions, who needed someone to talk to, who could benefit from the message of hope and encouragement – people need to know they are not alone.
Did you know that more than “350 million people around the world, suffer from depression?” (Find out the FACTS.) It’s sad because depression is almost like a taboo topic in our society. It’s deemed normal to talk about our feelings in the face of tragedy, but what about the rest of the time? There seems to be a stigma surrounding depression. It’s a shame because not talking about it, is part of what makes people think they’re alone in what they feel. We all have questions. We each have a story. Your story matters. You are important. You are loved. You are worthy. God has a purpose for your life, and you are not meant to walk alone. That it gets better, that there is possibility, that things can change…
“The vision is better endings. The vision is the restoration of broken families and broken relationships. The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, finding love. The vision is graduation, a Super Bowl, a wedding, a child, a sunrise. The vision is people becoming incredible parents, people breaking cycles, making change.
The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.
The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.
The vision is hope, and hope is real.
You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.” – TWLOHA, vision
To Write Love On Her Arms is meant to serve as a “bridge to help.” You’re encouraged, if you or a friend needs to talk to someone – call a helpline or seek treatment.
If you’re not familiar with To Write Love On Her Arms, I encourage you to go check out their website, read the blog. If a TWLOHA event is coming through your area – go. The Heavy and Light tour kicks off in January! There are a lot of ways you can contribute to the TWLOHA movement. You can make a donation here. There’s a huge assortment of merchandise in the TWLOHA store, everything from the original t-shirts, to hoodies, stickers, even iPhone cases. Like other items featured in the previous posts, something as simple as a t-shirt can be a great conversation starter, and a wonderful way to spread the word. Is TWLOHA an important cause to you? you could even Join the street team!
If this is you, don’t be ashamed to seek help, don’t give up, and please don’t feel like you’re alone in your struggle, don’t be afraid to reach out. If you think you have a friend going through some of these problems, support them, love them, encourage them, make sure they know how much they matter to you, help them find help. Life is a heck of a lot better when we support each other.