We have so much big news to share with you, our loyal supporters. We are making some significant progress in our efforts to crush the stigma!
Let’s get seriously Neighborly!
We have been approved to receive emergency relief “donation match” grant funding that we will use to supply Neighborlies to homeless students in Denver Public Schools. Thanks to all of you who have helped us distribute our new emergency relief food bags called “Neighborlies” to our homeless neighbors around Denver. Now we are going to need your help to supply potentially thousands of them to the DPS Homeless Education Network!
It’s a helpless feeling, isn’t it. We’ve all been impacted by COVID. Many of us have had our income trimmed, but we know that so many are suffering so much worse than we are. It’s so hard to know of the suffering, to feel it in our bones, and to sit helpless doing nothing.
These are our emergency relief food bags. Here at Stigma, we call them “Neighborlies.” We give them to our homeless neighbors, because it seems like the neighborly thing to do. And now, we want to give some neighborlies to you. You’re not homeless. You’re not food insecure, but still, we want you to be the recipients of our Neighborlies, and for free. We are not asking for a donation. There are no strings attached. By taking some Neighborlies off our hands, you will be helping us in our mission to crush the stigma associated with addiction, homelessness and food insecurity. Please let me explain.
You’ve seen them in your social media feed – an endless supply of posts about day drinking and using wine as the cure for all that ails us during stay safe, stay home orders and recommendations. Pretty funny, huh.
You’ve also surely seen the news reports about the impact of excessive quarantine drinking. Alcohol sales were up 55% right from the start of the lockdown according to Nielsen.
Uncertainty and alcohol abuse combine to result in a dangerous cocktail of mental health crisis across our country. Kaiser Family Foundation published a study recently that reports 45% of adults report a deterioration in their mental health condition as a result of COVID-19.
The pandemic makes people drink more, and that’s funny. But excessive drinking is causing spikes in depression, anxiety, domestic abuse and addiction. And there is nothing funny about that.
What role does the stigma play in all of it? The stigma is what keeps most Americans from connecting the dots. The stigma makes my excessive drinking funny, while it makes their excessive drinking tragic. It’s a classic us versus them scenario. The stigma keeps me from identifying with them, so, therefore, it is their problem, and not mine.
Your support of our efforts to crush the stigma are more important now than ever. Do you want to help ease the pain of the pandemic, but you feel helpless and hopeless sitting at home removed from the front lines? Helping people in mental health crisis and struggling with addiction is what we do. Your support in one of these three ways will go directly to the front lines. Don’t just yell at the TV screen. Get involved and be a big part of the solution.
3 Ways to Fight the Stigma from Home
Learn and Join the Conversation
Once every week, we publish articles about the stigma associated with alcoholism. This is a disease that touches every single one of us, often through the struggles of family or friends. Because alcoholism is a disease of hushed whispers and silence, the vast majority of people know little about it. Many think addiction is about lack of will power and moral deficiency. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You can help fight the stigma by signing-up to receive our weekly articles in your inbox. Not only might you pick up some insight that could help you deal with your alcoholic loved ones, but you are welcome to comment and join the conversation. Your participation, by reading and commenting, helps this movement keep up our momentum. Please click the link to join the Sober and Unashamed email list.
Our Untoxicated Podcast is really taking off now that we have focused our attention on the recovery of our marriage post alcoholism. Our download rate is way up, and we need your help to keep the numbers climbing. Subscribe to listen to our weekly releases of new podcast episodes. Nothing about alcoholism is more complex than the recovery of a marriage. Getting familiar with this subject will prepare you to be an expert stigma fighter.
Your financial support is what makes the success of this mission possible. We sincerely appreciate your ongoing support. Your financial contribution is fully tax deductible as we are a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Do you want to contribute money, but you’re not sure where to give to have a direct impact to help during the pandemic? We receive new enrollments in our SHOUT Sobriety program and Echoes of Recovery program every week from people who need help surviving this disease. Now more than ever, with addiction, abuse, and suicide spiking, your money will go directly to great use.
We hope you’ll help. Increase your knowledge about this stigma associated with alcoholism, learn about recovering a relationship, or make a monetary donation. These are three great ways to help us keep moving forward as the fight gets both harder and more critical at the same time. Thanks for being part of the Stigma community. Please remember, we are all in this together!
When our bread baking days were through, we donated lots of our bakery equipment, thanks to your generous support, to Denver’s first nonprofit restaurant called SAME Cafe. I’m pictured here with Letisha Steele, Operations Officer and Chef from SAME Cafe.
SAME is an acronym for, “So All May Eat,” but it is also at the core of their mission to treat all people, regardless of economic situation, the SAME. They make it their business to love everyone.
Normally, SAME Cafe serves a healthy lunch to anyone who is hungry regardless of their ability to pay. They accept donations from people with the means, and encourage others to contribute time or produce in exchange for their meals. That’s what they normally do. But these are not normal times.
It’s official! We received our tax exempt letter from the IRS. Stigma has received our 501c3 status. That means all of your generous support, all of your donations in 2020 and into the future, are fully tax deductible as you help us fight the stigmas of addiction, homelessness and poverty.
Thanks to your generous support, Stigma is proud to announce our newest program called Echoes of Recovery. Everyone is touched by alcoholism in one way or another. For many of us, we need help recovering from the impact of the drinking of someone we love. That’s what Echoes of Recovery is all about!
As we all do the right things, social distance and stay home as much as possible, the needs of our homeless neighbors are greater than ever.
We called for your help, and our Stigma volunteers delivered! You donated peanut butter, jelly, bread, and a whole bunch of pairs of socks for us to distribute in Civic Center Park this past Thursday. One of our loving neighbors even rallied her block to make sandwiches for us to distribute. The kindness and generosity was overwhelming!
“Take off your sunglasses and look them in the eyes. These people are never seen. More than anything else, our purpose today is to see them.” Reverend Jerry Herships shared those instructions with me and a group of volunteers the first time I helped out in Civic Center Park, and I’ll never forget those words.
The people suffering through homelessness in our city and across the country all face a stigma that largely leaves them without dignity. When we address them, when we serve them, by looking them in the eyes and showing human empathy, we make strides to end that very stigma.
We had so much fun serving our neighbors who needed us last month, so let’s do it again in March. We are recruiting Stigma volunteers to help us make and serve PB&J sandwiches in Civic Center Park in the heart of downtown Denver on Thursday, March 26th. Can you help us?