I would like to begin by telling you a bit of a personal story. When I was in high school a very close friend of mine dealt with bouts of depression, cutting, and attempts at taking their own life. Until the end of our friendship (for reasons completely unrelated) I was right by my friend's side, trying to help them as best as I possibly could. In 2006, during my first semester in college, my friend who had gone through so much, introduced me to To Write Love On Her Arms. I perfectly remember being in their bathroom one afternoon, watching this video that introduced myself to the organization and Renee's story. This video was the start of something great for my friend and I, and was exactly the spark of hope they and I needed and had been searching for. Tears of hope streamed from our eyes that day. To know that there were others, so many others, out there dealing with similar situations mades us not feel so alone. To say that Renee's story has been an inspiration in my life would be an understatement.
Sunnies: Ray Bans; TWLOHA t-shirt: c/o TWLOHA; Skirt: Banana Republic; Black microfiber tights: c/o We Love Colors; Boots: Steve Madden
Today I would like to not only tell you about my outfit, but also about TWLOHA as an organization, and what they are doing to make this world a better place.
TWLOHA's mission statement is: "
Since 2006 TWLOHA has answered well over 150,000 messages worldwide, and has also donated over $850,000 to treatment and recovery, and has hopes of breaking $1 million in 2011. TWLOHA is able to do this in part by donations and contest winnings, but mostly by the sale of their merchandise, which can be found in their online store, and also regularly in Hot Topic, Zumies, small boutiques, etc.
The orginial TWLOHA t-shirt was printed to fund Renee Yohe's recovery. Jamie Tworkowski, found of TWLOHA, met Renee when she was taken in by close friends after a treatment center was unable to support her during her detox. Renee eventually returned to an inpatient facility, and Jamie got to know her and learned more about the topics she was struggling with. In order to pay for her treatment, Jamie and other close friends sold t-shirts. Soon after Renee entered treatment, and Jamie wrote her story and gave it a home on Myspace. From here people sent messages and left comments that showed that they too understood her struggle. Months later TWLOHA was formed.
Today TWLOHA works as a non-profit as travels the world with their dedicated employees and volunteers to events, tours, concerts, conferences, and special invitations. TWLOHA is well known for having a strong connection to the music world, and will be participating in their fifth consecutive Warped Tour this summer.
Personal story: When I was in high school and early college I used to come to the Women's Club of Mesa for local shows (Dear and the Headlights, Awake & Alert, etc.). It's a historical building that was built in 1931 as a place for the women involved in the General Federation of Women's Clubs of Arizona to come together and work as one to better the lives of their families and others. The mission of the Women's Club reminds me a lot of TWLOHA, and their little building is a place that I now cherish for many reasons.
TWLOHA not also travels around the world promoting treatment and recovery, but also works closely with licensed mental health counselors who train the TWLOHA staff and interns in the area in which they all work in, "
Kaitlyn Suveg, Director of MOVE Community Conferences/Copy editor, who I worked with closely to present this special post to you, said "
For more information on TWLOHA please check out their FAQ page, and also all their online presence: