Choosing Our Goal for To Write Love on Her Arms
We both sat silently for a moment and decided that $1000 seemed like a good idea.
By good idea, I mean that we wanted to raise $1000 for TWLOHA, but hooboy, it felt like a big, scary number. $1000 meant we needed to work super hard, hustle, and basically be on top of our game for an entire week.
To boot, Denise went on a much-needed vacation three days after we launched the fundraiser. I didn’t begrudge her that, because the reason she needed a vacation largely rested on the reason we chose TWLOHA as our fundraiser. The emotional and physical support she offered our daughter during the month of January and into the beginning of February took its toll, and she needed to recharge. So I gladly took on the daily tasks of running a fundraiser with LuLaRoe. (Please do not currently look at the state of my LuLaRoom and office.)
When Your Community Comes Together
I’m pleased, and not just with the total dollar amount we raised. I’m pleased for so many reasons.
To Write Love on Her Arms tweeted about our fundraiser, not just once…
— TWLOHA (@TWLOHA) February 19, 2017
Seeing my face on their Twitter account felt like a thousand and one fireworks in the sky. Not in the star struck way, but in the, “Oh wow. We’re doing something that makes a difference” way. Hundreds of new people joined our VIP Group just to shop with us on behalf of TWLOHA.
I’m mostly proud of our initial check-in post which garnered hundreds of comments about mental health, mental illness, surviving, depression, anxiety, ADHD, loss to suicide, attempts, self-harm, recovery, and everything in between. It wasn’t just the act of bravery in sharing those moments, though; it was how the community which we have created over the past year came together in a beautiful way and commented back and forth with other members about these topics. They didn’t all know each other. But they shared their truths, their stories, their “you can do this,” their “I’ve been theres,” their “me toos,” and so much more. I couldn’t go to bed that night as I just wanted to keep reading, commenting, and supporting others.
When we chose TWLOHA, we did so knowing how we wanted to do something tangible in the face of what our daughter just experienced. Denise and I also live with our own anxiety (GAD), and I just got the brand new diagnosis of Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). Having worked in the mental health non-profit field prior to taking on LuLaRoe full-time, I figured we weren’t alone in our experiences. Anxiety disorders affect 18.1% of adults ages 18-54 (40 million people), with the average age of anxiety onset falling at 11 years old. (From National Institute of Mental Health.) And that’s just anxiety disorders; not eating disorders, mood disorders like Major Depression, ADHD, or the myriad of other classifications. Just anxiety.
We thought maybe this particular non-profit would be one that many of our customers, who we really now refer to as our community, would relate to in one way or another for any number of reasons. Turns out we were right.
We raised $992 of our $1000 goal.
We are so very proud, not of the work we did behind the scenes, but in the way our community stepped up, purchased items, shared the fundraiser with their friends and family, and generally contributed in their own personal way to say, “Yes. We care about improving treatment for mental illness,” and, “Yes. You matter.”
Denise and I humbly thank each and every one of you who took time to involve yourself with this fundraiser. Your generosity of money, time, and space in your online world let us know that our daughter is not alone, we are not alone as parents of a teen with anxiety and as adults living with mental health issues, and that not ONE of us is alone as we fight these battles.
We are honored. We are humbled. And we are filled with hope for the future.
PS: We received word that a number of people made additional, direct contributions to To Write Love on Her Arms in our honor. As such, we’ve technically raised over $1000. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.