It takes a great deal of passion and dedication to reduce and hopefully remove the stigma of mental illness. It also takes a ton of persistence, perseverance, patience and letting go. Usually I leave the Worthy Wednesday shout out to highlighting others who are courageously being the change they wish to see in the world. This week, I am going to focus on Going Blue 4 U, and everything that goes on in the background that many may not be aware of.
Going Blue 4 U, began in 2011 from a tweet. It was also inspired by the amazing work of the Blue Bloggers formed by Cristi Comes of Mother Unadorned. The tweet with Lauren Hounslow was the catalyst of putting a stake in the ground and moving forward. No one could have envisioned the speed in which it took off, the thousands of people’s lives positively affected and the many who now knew about 24 hour crisis lines available across Canada, including Distress Centre in Calgary.
What Goes on in The Background with GB4U?
A ton of work goes on in the background to create an awareness campaign, that is armed with the mission of building awareness for mental illness. It’s not just a pretty logo, a facebook page, or a fundraising page. The current fundraising campaign we have is to raise much needed funds to move forward as a registered non-profit foundation.
To date, $5,913 has been graciously donated with generosity and support from 65 people. These funds have already been allocated:
Trademark and Business Licensing: $ 955
Non-Profit Foundation Application: $1,355
Promotional Video: $1,500
Logo and Brand Design: $ 500
We still need assistance to begin ordering our BLUEkits – kits that will include t-shirt, bracelets and other promotional items to share with everyone. These items will also be available separately. The large task of creating a software program for the back end of the www.GoingBlue4U.ca will not be ready in time for the September 30th. What we do need is to update the website, as well as convert it to a wordpress site, which allows us to easily post blogs and shares stories of courageous people Going Blue 4 U.
A founding Advisory Committee has been formed, and in the beginning stages of implementation. We are proud and honoured to have two Honorary Advisory Committee members on board.
Sterling Eddy, Executive Director/CEO, Distress Centre
Bill Wilkerson, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Mental Health
Numerous articles, appearances on local TV stations, appearances on local radio and the sharing and caring of many caring, supportive and passionate individuals and small businesses has been a source of FREE and tireless campaigning. There is no price tag that can be put to such selfless support, time and energy. For me personally, GB4U is the philanthropic arm of SimpLee Serene, along with my supportive husband Neil, this is our commitment to giving back to the community, it is something we are very passionate about. I do not in any way benefit financially from this endeavour, actually it has cost our family dearly – with personal funds and time.
Although we are $19,000 short of our campaign target with only 8 days to go, I am working hard at ensuring the 2012 Awareness Campaign will go ahead on September 30, 2012 in conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week.
What are the Challenges we Face?
The challenges we face are great. Yet in the face of challenge is always the opportunity to rise above. Lessons to be learned – trying new things, and never giving up. Quite honestly, there have been many times I have fallen to the floor in tears of frustration and overwhelm. And then, someone shows up, to lift me up, and say “don’t give up Lee, we believe in you and GB4U.”
Challenges show up in so many facets:
- Messages of “enough already, I’m sick of hearing about GB4U”
- People not donating as they feel it’s not worthy to donate to administrative costs
- People unable to share – not because they don’t want to – because they fear being judged themselves if anyone puts two and two together that they have a mental illness.
- Being turned down for sponsorship, large donations and grants because we don’t have our non-profit status yet.
- It’s summer, many people are away enjoying vacation and off line.
- The largest challenge – the very stigma we are working hard to reduce
How Can You Help?
We have 8 days to raise $19,000 to launch our 2nd campaign.
1. Visit the www.katipult.com/gb4u watch the video and learn more about what we’re doing.
2. If you feel inspired, click the DONATE link. (we have filed for non-profit foundation status – unfortunately at this time we are unable to provide a tax receipt.)
3. Copy you’re REFERRAL code and share away. There are incentives for top referrers.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/goingblue4u like, comment and share this quickly growing community page.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/goingblue_4_u use hashtag #GB4U
Please help us put a colorful spin on the blues, and let’s stand up for the quiet voices of mental illness.
If you are doing something to support GB4U ie. dye your hair, paint your nails, wearing blue, please share your story and any pictures by contacting me HERE
Worthy Wednesday is about celebrating that you are worthy, we are all worthy, and that you are enough.
Every Wednesday Lee gives a SimpLee Serene Shout Out to an individual or organization being the change they wish to see in the world.