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Thursday, June 24, 2010

TWLOHA...To Write Love on Her Arms


Today, I want to share something that has been on my heart...

For the past several years, I have been involved with young people. Many are from good, strong homes; many are not. Many have healthy views of themselves; many do not. Many feel secure in their world; many do not. Every one...EVERY SINGLE ONE... of them has been touched by abuse, be it alcohol, drugs, physical, mental...and by depression...you know the list. Even the strongest of these young people have moments of doubt that they do not fit in anywhere...they are scared, lonely, depressed, ripped apart. They cry out for help. But we don't always hear...

*According to the National Institute for Mental Health, more than 18 million people in the US suffer from depression.


*Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance abuse, with 30 percent of teens with depression also developing a substance abuse problem. (NIMH)

*Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. (NIMH)

*2 out of 3 people suffering from depression do not seek help!


The above statements are found on the website of To Write Love On Her Arms, "a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depressions, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery." (their mission statement)

This "LOVE" movement is circling the globe. Letters, emails, and financial support show its hope is resonating with young people all over the world. (There are some incredible notes on the website.) TWLOHA has a presence at rock concerts and other events throughout the US and beyond. (See the Calendar on their website. ) It's definitely a charity...a support system... with which we should be familiar.

Truthfully, I had never heard of TWLOHA until my son, Music Guy, came home with a shirt sporting these letters. Of course, I asked what they meant...and the story unfolded. In fact, the story was written on the shirt for all to see (read). Today, he works with this organization, handling a lot of their IT work...and he keeps me informed of their happenings. In my email this morning, MG sent me a link to an event TWLOHA sponsored with Hurley (surf company) in Virginia. The link for this event is below, as is the story, written by Jamie (the founder). It is moving...bringing tears to my eyes. I highly recommend reading it... a mother's love.

http://www.hurley.com/index.cfm/aid/40607/ZEKE-S-LIL-RAT-SURFCUS

(This story is also on the TWLOHA website...Flowers to the Sea.)

Please take a few minutes to check out the TWLOHA website...to read their vision and the story that started it all...

http://www.twloha.com

There are many ways you can support this mission...of course, there is a financial help. But right now, on Facebook, there is a contest sponsored by Chase Bank charities. They are donating $250,000 to the winning charity. You can go to their site (the link below) and cast your vote for The Kristin Brooks Hope Center (founder of 1-800-suicide). All proceeds go to IMAlive online crisis support network, of which TWLOHA is a partner.

http://bit.ly/vote_hope

"Hope is real. Help is real. Your story is important."

With hope,
Jane








11 comments:

Our Porch in Hillsborough said...

Thanks for spreading the word about this important problem - and possible solution. I'll definitely check out the TWLOHA site.

becky at abbeystyle said...

OK, girl, I'll check it out. Thanks for helping us to pay attention...we know it's there but don't know exactly how to help with it...this could be the answer for some of us.

becky at abbeystyle said...

P. S.
I cast my vote!

Ms. Bake-it said...

Thank you so much for letting me know about this. I did not know about it. It is a great cause and one I will definitely support. I voted, facebooked and tweeted. I am also going to post a link to your post.

~ Tracy

Shellbelle said...

Oh Jane, a most worthy charity that will get my vote for sure! The story was heartbreaking and his mother so dedicated to his memory. Thank you for sharing Zeke's story with us and shining a light on suicide prevention.

simpledaisy said...

Wow...what an amazing charity. I worked with troubled teens and children before I got into the schools as a special education teacher...it really is just so sad that young people have to go through such sad and terrible things. Thanks for sharing this with us:)

Barbara Jacksier said...

Will cast my vote. This was a very touching post.

jmac said...

Wow.....thanks for this. I too worked as a high school teacher and spent every hour of the day with troubled kids...at school and away in after school programs. Have definitely bookmarked this site to keep tabs on and have already cast my vote.
And girl??????? Happy Anniversary!! It's gettin' just a wee bit weird all the things you and I have in common! Almost like we're one in the same! We have got to meet up...
(almost the same amt of yrs and yr!!!)

Bama Belle said...

I adore your sweet heart! Thanks for keeping up with me through my hectic life right now! Big hugs!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Very special post and one I can relate to in my extended family....thanks for getting the word out

Beach Vintage said...

This is such a huge issue in todays world. Thanks for bringing it to our attention Jane.