A tiny home and big hope for my mom
Thank you SO MUCH to all the amazing people who have contributed to this campaign. I'll be shifting the priorities a bit, focusing on founding my non-profit and working toward a huge goal of creating a new website/platform to help people connect directly to each other. Money raised here will also be used to help my mother in critical moments of need and to offset unexpected expenses that are a part of her daily life. I still have every hope in my heart to accomplish my BIG goal - get her a new home and move her closer to me while also establishing this advocacy work as my life's work. But I don't want to wait to help others, even while we need help, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the love and support. I'm fighting for us - our family, and yours, too. Please follow my blog and FB page, too. My latest blog post is here: https://youareinthisworld.com/2016/10/16/the-lie-i-told/
This is a fundraising campaign for two things.
First, to build a safe, clean, small apartment or addition to my home for my mom, who has schizophrenia.
Second, to begin a non-profit, called “You Are In This World,” whose goal will be to raise awareness and break stigma of mental illnesses, by sharing stories and paying tribute to the value of people who suffer from these illnesses.
All money raised in the first part of the campaign will be used toward creating a new home for my mother. Any funds remaining will be seed money to begin our non-profit. By helping my mom with housing, I’ll be able to know she is in the best possible situation and give her the fullest opportunities to help others - something I know she’s dreamed of doing for all her life.
My brother has been treading water, barely making it financially, trying hard to care for her for nearly a decade now. I would love to give him an opportunity to finally breathe, and grow, and enjoy his family in a way he has not been able to yet. Caregiving should be a shared responsiblity when possible, and I want to take "my turn," now.
All progress made toward this goal will be documented with full transparency, on my blog and facebook page . I intend to make this fundraising campaign part of our story. In order to alleviate the stress or anxiety it might cause my mom, I will not tell her about this campaign until it is completed. I intend to “reveal” this gift to her once it is met and allow her the dignity and choice to take the opportunity as it is given to her, with no strings attached.
It’s my deepest desire to build a new world for our family, where we can be strong and use our voices to help so many others. But it needs to begin simply, with a new roof over her head and her living right next to me.
I began this project only intending to tell a story about love and my hopelessness in trying to make things better for my mom and our family. To show how schizophrenia has shaped our lives.
Inadvertently, I created a community.
There are so many of us out there, dealing with the stigma and sorrow that come along with severe mental illnesses. There is not enough help. There is not enough understanding. There are not enough hugs. There is not enough acceptance. There are not enough buckets to catch all the tears.
I’ve read nearly a thousand individual stories, sent directly to me, in only a couple weeks:
"I wanted to thank you for showing that my daughter can still have a long and happy life with schizophrenia."
"The story of your mom touched my heart deeply because of what I struggle with daily. Thank you for showing her to the world. She seems like such a sweet lady.
Thank you for putting light on mental illness. People need to see we are just humans. And we need love and acceptance. The stigma against mentally ill people needs to stop. "
There are thousands of "thank you" notes from people with illnesses and the ones who love them, too. Some have told me they will use my project to help educate others. Some have told me they will have more patience for their loved ones. Some have told me they simply have a better understanding of mental illness now, that they did not before.
This project has been viewed millions of times on Upworthy and The Huffington Post and Now This and shared close to 100,000 times. The Facebook page has grown from only 1500 followers to 17,000 in only a couple weeks.
It’s a song - all the voices and stories. It’s so beautiful and heartfelt and I want to broadcast it so much further than just my own computer or email in-box.
Forgive me for hoping so big, but I do want to change the world.
And I want my mom by my side, so she can help me help others.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
What is a daemon?
Why would you want to change the world.Do you not think this planet is being managed quite adequately, by the powers in control of it.Hitler wanted to change the world also and look where he ended up.But I accept that your changes are well meaning. This world is full of schizophrenics walking around with voices in their heads tormenting them.But they are managing to cope and lead a near normal life.Others cannot handle it and are locked in institutions.Still others,as we seen lately,one day snap and kill all around them.The whole world is troubled and that is how it has to be.You or I will not change it,so we have to bite the bullet and learn to live with our daemons.Knowing what I know today,I no longer want to change this world.
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