Update: Campaign

UPDATE:

As many of you know, Needs4 LIFE was supposed to start the 12th of January. However, the only people who showed up were the leaders– which was fine since we had a chance to talk about what we needed to do in order to get the attention we want and need to get this thing going. It’s already been over two months since then, and I’m starting to feel like this just isn’t meant for me anymore. I’m still trying to keep going anyway– the things meant for us are sometimes the hardest things to find, or in this case, achieve. I just need to know how much interest there is in Pierre; if there’s not any then I can’t help anyone. I can’t start something when nobody besides me is interested. I need help– I want your help. Let me know if your interested by voting on the poll and commenting your interest on our group’s facebook page: Needs4 LIFE. Thanks! Now read on to get more of a feel for what this is about!

Our original idea for Needs4 LIFE was to have a hang out group where teens could come and talk and have fun without the stress of school or life on their shoulders. We wanted to create an atmosphere that was healthy and encouraging for today’s teens. Then along the way we developed a new idea to have more of a counseling group where we would talk about our feelings and watch YouTube videos and learn how to deal with our illnesses– that was never what I had in mind. (If that’s something you’d be interested in, there is already a NAMI group in Pierre associated with one of the churches. Just email me and I’ll get you more info!)

I’m looking more to start a campaign than a group. I don’t want to sit around in a circle and discuss my feelings. I want to give the opportunity to myself and my peers to be creative and to show off their God-given talents in a way that inspires and informs our community and surrounding communities. I want to be that encouraging person, and to help others become that person, that is able to inspire others to do what they love to do. I know I’m not the only one. I see on social media all the time people who are ranting about something they want to change or are passionate about– Let’s get together and spread that passion!

There are so many talented teens in this area. There are beautiful photographers, amazing artists of every kind, and gymnasts, and people so kind that my heart just swells. I want to share that with the world. But I can’t do it alone, because I am not all those things. I am not even a fraction of those things. And even if I was– I wouldn’t want it to just be me. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. I want to spread awareness of things happening in teens lives and minds today. I want to spread hope for my generation. There’s so much negativity… I don’t know about you, but I need less of that and more of the happy stuff.

So here’s the deal–

If you are passionate about something, message me. It can literally be anything. It can be something you’re good at: singing, instrumentals, gymnastics, photography, filming, writing, acting; or something that deeply affects you: depression, anxiety, teen-life, bullying, inspiring others, motivation, ANYTHING. Or any combination there- of. Don’t ignore this. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

My Mission

I’ve tried to sit down and write these past couple of days, but I haven’t been able to put anything together, so I decided just to tell you about something I’m super excited and passionate about– the one thing that keeps me going when I don’t want to anymore.

I’ve been working on creating something positive and releasing for people who struggle like I do. In fact, the first Board meeting is tomorrow evening! However, it will probably take until at least spring to put everything together. Creating an organization is a lot of work; a lot of work that I am so eager to complete.

The name of this organization is going to be Needs4 L.I.F.E.. “L.I.F.E.” stands for Love, Information, Fellowship, and Encouragement; the four basic essentials needed in order to survive and thrive. I plan to create a space for teens that is fun and supportive, and that is based around all of the above conditions, but most importantly– a space that is confidential.

Speaking from experience, it’s hard to trust people with the deep, dark things that surround a “mentally ill” person. There’s such a stigma around it that if someone talks about not wanting to live anymore, the whole world turns upside down while institutionalizing the already struggling person, in the end, making everything worse. Depression isn’t what everyone has made it out to be. I don’t think of depression as something that needs to be kept hushed or restrained, but instead, I think its similar to a lonely, homeless child sitting under a street light as cold rain seeps into his clothes; the child needs dry clothes and a warm home– he does not need pitying glances or disgusted looks as if to say that it’s his fault that he doesn’t have a home or any parents. This is why confidentiality is important. I expect people to hear me out and see where I’m coming from before they decide that I’m suicidal. If I come to you and tell you that I don’t want to live anymore, then I expect you to sit down with me, and encourage me, and tell me just how important I am. Sometimes it’s better just not to say anything at all, but whatever you do, do not leave my side or go running to get me help because then I’ll get the idea that you don’t care, even if you earlier expressed how much you really do, or that I’m even more alone in this fight than I had previously thought. Confidentiality is mostly important to me because otherwise there would be no way to convince someone that they can say whatever is in their mind without everyone around them knowing or judging. Its hard to have dark thoughts and then feel like you can’t share them. It is actually a suffocating feeling. I want to let people feel the release they need without going to extremes– like self harm. I want to end this stigma. I also want to help people find themselves again.

I plan to have meetings one or two times a week. Some meetings might just be discussions, other meetings might involve a video or a lesson, and other ones might involve a game. I just want to create something that people are comfortable and excited to go to. There’s going to be one meeting for teens and other sufferers, and then another meeting for the sufferers friends and family. It’s important that everybody understand what’s going on. However, at the meeting for the friends and family, there is still a 100% confidentiality policy. There’s no sharing things that a child had said– not even to the parents, unless they are for sure in danger.

Before I can make any of this happen of course, I have to officialize or incorporate my organization and start putting things together. On top of that, I need to come up with fundraising ideas. I have a few already, one being a GoFundMe profile (Which I got a donation of $150 from my brother <3), and the other one is a movie night. The money that is fundraised will go to Jeff Yalden so that he can come to our area as a kickoff event for my organization. Jeff Yalden is a life coach/motivational speaker who specializes in mental health. I've talked to him and researched him, and I truly believe that he would be the perfect starter for Needs4 L.I.F.E. He's definitely inspirational, and I believe that he'll change a lot of our lives for the better!

Before reading on, please, check out this video…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpfVjoYAgik&t=226s

And then read more about him here…
http://www.jeffyalden.com/

I am so excited to get this going! I can’t wait to see what it becomes, and I can’t wait to see where God takes me next.

The first meeting, as mentioned above, is at 7 pm tomorrow in Pierre at the New Life church. If you’re interested in helping or have any ideas to present, you’re more than welcome! It’s not going to be a major meeting, we’re just trying to get things a little more organized in order to get this off the ground, but your help is always appreciated.

If you’d like to help out with our fundraising, you can donate to our GoFundMe page located on my About page or right here:

https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard