Check Out My Updated ‘Featured’ Charity

I change the charity featured in my Social Vibe from time to time and now I’m back to an old favorite – the Trevor Project. LGBTQ rights is a subject close to my heart as several important people in my life are gay. Please read the following to learn a little more about the Trevor Project. Then, if you are able, please click on the link to the right and donate to this worthy cause.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

Mission

The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including our nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.

Vision

A future where the possibilities, opportunities and dreams are the same for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Organizational Values

Acceptance

Inclusiveness is one of our mantras. We are rooted in the belief that everyone should be treated like a human being regardless of their sexual identity, gender, or race. We as an organization will not turn any one away who asks for help. We will show them compassion. And, in recruiting staff and volunteers we will reflect the diversity of our community.

Commitment

We promise to deliver the best 24 hour 7 day a week telephone counseling for youth in crisis. We promise to create a safe space, through our lifeline and online, for LGBTQ youth. We promise to deliver our message of suicide prevention in schools throughout the country. We promise to hire a highly qualified and professional staff and providing them with incentives. We promise to operate our board, our committees, our lifeline, our offices and our events with the utmost integrity.

Innovation

We have been and will continue to be pioneers in reaching out to youth in crisis; whether it’s in schools, on the lifeline or online. We will be stewards in nonprofit fundraising (events, Circle of Hope, direct mail campaigns). We will be innovative in our recruiting and retention of staff, volunteers, and board members.

History of The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project was founded by writer James Lecesne, director/producer Peggy Rajski and producer Randy Stone, creators of the 1994 Academy Award®-winning short film, Trevor, a comedy/drama about a gay 13-year-old boy who, when rejected by friends because of his sexuality, makes an attempt to take his life.

When Trevor was scheduled to air on HBO® in 1998, the filmmakers realized that some of the program’s young viewers might be facing the same kind of crisis as Trevor, and began to search for an appropriate support line to broadcast during the airing. They discovered that no such lifeline existed, and decided to dedicate themselves to forming what was, in their view, a much-needed resource: an organization to promote acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, and to aid in crisis and suicide prevention among that group. Thus, The Trevor Project was born, and with seed funding provided by The Colin Higgins Foundation, The Trevor Lifeline was established and became the first and only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

Today, in addition to operating the crisis and suicide prevention lifeline, The Trevor Project provides online support to young people through the organization’s Web site, as well as lifesaving guidance and vital resources for educators and parents.

Daniel Radcliffe was honored by The Trevor Project with the Trevor Hero Award during “Trevor LIVE”, an annual show benefiting the life-saving work of The Trevor Project. Radcliffe has been involved with The Trevor Project since 2009, appearing in public service announcements and making public statements in support of LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Hero Award recognizes an individual who serves as an inspiration to sexual minority youth and increases visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community. Also honored at the show were Ernst & Young LLP with the Trevor 2020 Award. The event’s presenting sponsor was ING.

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New SocialVibe Charity

New year, time for a new charity to promote. The chosen one..?

To Write Love On Her Arms

Mission Statement

To Write Love on Her Arms is 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.

Vision

The vision is that we actually believe these things…

You were created to love and be loved.  You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story.  You need to know that your life matters.

We live in a difficult world, a broken world.

[…]

We all wake to the human condition.  We wake to mystery and beauty but also to tragedy and loss.  Millions of people live with problems of pain.  Millions of homes are filled with questions – moments and seasons and cycles that come as thieves and aim to stay.  We know that pain is very real.  It is our privilege to suggest that hope is real, and that help is real.

You need to know that rescue is possible […]

Beyond treatment, we believe that community is essential, that people need other people, that we were never meant to do life alone.

The vision is that community and hope and help would replace secrets and silence.

The vision is people putting down guns and blades and bottles.

The vision is that we can reduce the suicide rate in America and around the world.

The vision is that we would learn what it means to love our friends, and that we would love ourselves enough to get the help we need.

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.

As someone who has struggled with deep depression over the years personally, and also who has had many people around me suffering and coping as well, this charity seemed like a good choice for me to promote.

If you are able, please take a moment to click on the SocialVibe widget to the right to make a contribution. Thanks 🙂

Quick Numbers

121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. (World Health Organization)

18 million of these cases are happening in the United States. (The National Institute of Mental Health)

Between 20% and 50% of children and teens struggling with depression have a family history of this struggle and the offspring of depressed parents are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression. (U.S. Surgeon General’s Survey, 1999)

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

2/3 of those suffering from depression never seek treatment.

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

About Depression

According to the World Health Organization, depression is one of the leading causes of disability, with approximately 121 million people suffering with depression worldwide. The National Institute of Mental Health states that approximately 18 million people suffer from depression in America alone. Depression does not discriminate across age, race, gender, or class. Among teenagers it is estimated that 20 percent will suffer from depression at some point by the time they reach adulthood. There are also as many as 8.3 percent of teens suffering from depression for at least a year at a time, compared to 5.3 percent of the general population.

Santa for Seniors

Last year I became aware of a program in the HRM; Be a Santa to a Senior. Nursing home residents or members of the community who have no family to buy for them over the holidays are asked what special gift they would like for Christmas. The names and gift requests are sent to local stores (WalMart in the HRM) and displayed on a Christmas tree. The public is invited to select a senior to buy for; unwrapped gifts and the corresponding tags are dropped off at Customer Service. The gifts are small items, usually costing no more than $20-30.

Having lost my grandma last year, and having seen the unfortunate and lonely seniors who shared the nursing home with her, I was inspired to take part. I purchased for 3 seniors.

As I stopped by WalMart today, the tree was once again on display. Once again I chose to take part. Ethan wants a scarf and gloves. Adele would like a picture frame. I am looking forward to making the holidays a little brighter for them both. It makes me feel good, and I miss my grandma a little less.

Christmas is about traditions and family and sharing joy; it’s not about the presents. But if buying a small gift for a person lets them feel loved and less lonely during the holidays, and if it brings a smile to their face and provides something they need and, in some cases, cannot provide for themselves, then that means more than the item itself. Many charities focus on children and/or families at this time of year. Seniors are often overlooked.

If you are in the HRM, I encourage you to visit a WalMart and select a senior (or several!) to buy for. If you are outside the HRM, find out if there is a Santa for Seniors program in your area (the site at the bottom is a good place to start). If not, you may even be inspired to get in touch with your local nursing homes to explore the option of starting a program for next year.

$20 for a smile on someone’s face, a smile on your face and the warm feeling that comes from helping someone less fortunate – sounds like a good deal to me!

Be a Santa to a Senior (site also contains a list of participating Be a Santa to a Senior stores)