UPDATE JULY 5, 2018: Thanks to everyone who placed an order for this fundraiser! I’ve tallied all the orders and am sending a total of $789 ($263.00 each) to the three organizations working to prevent suicide. I so appreciate you joining me in this effort, and hope that we’ve made a difference!
And there’s more! I’ve added an app to my website called Pledgeling, which automatically deducts 1% from every sale and donates it to these three organizations on a monthly basis. So, every sale will include an automatic donation, and you can see the running tally of how much has been donated so far on every product page.
You’ve probably heard the news this week, that both Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade took their own lives. Suicide is just so damn heartbreaking; I cannot imagine losing someone this way. And yet it happens, every hour of every day, over and over and over.
I’ve spent this week, and this morning even more, thinking about this devastating issue. I absolutely adored Anthony Bourdain – his humor, his humanity, his irreverence, his honesty, his ability to connect with people all over the world, his respect for other cultures and traditions, the joy he seemed to experience in what he did, and in bringing his stories to the rest of us. Part of how I’ve spent today is thinking about what I can possibly do to help prevent more tragedies.
I’ve sat here all morning in such a dark, sad place, grappling with the loss of Anthony Bourdain – how ever will his his daughter, his girlfriend, his friends and family come to terms with the choice he felt he had to make. The aftermath of his loss this way must be just beyond overwhelming, and completely devastating.
And it’s like this for every person who’s lost someone to suicide. The suicides of these two celebrities obviously garner more attention and press than “regular” people who commit suicide every hour of every day, but once again, celebrity suicide brings this horrible issue front and center for all of us.
I’ve spent the morning reading countless articles and statistics about suicide here in the US, and it’s staggering:
A 2016 study showed that 20 US Veterans commit suicide every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Veterans make up 9% of the US population and account for 18% of suicides – from 2001 to 2014, as the civilian suicide rate rose about 23.3%, the rate of suicide among veterans jumped more than 32%. Female Veterans saw their suicide rates rise more than 85 % over that time, compared to about 40% for civilian women.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people aged 10 – 24.
1 out of 6 students in the US seriously considered suicide last year.
Overall, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.
Suicide rates in the US have risen nearly 30% since 1999.
All of these rates and statistics explode for our LGBT populations, especially LGBT youth.
I’m one of the “lucky” ones, because suicide has not touched me personally, in a direct way. But I have friends who have lost loved ones from suicide. My daughter lost a friend, a camp counselor at her beloved nature camp, to suicide. I have dear friends and family who have dealt with depression and anxiety. I’ve personally dealt with depression. It’s debilitating and tough, and my own experience with depression wasn’t all THAT serious. But it really does just suck the life out of you.
So, what I can I do? I feel like I have to do something. I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. The best thing I can think of is to support organizations working to help people in crisis. Yeah, I can do it on my own and send them a donation. But it’s more meaningful if we do it together (and we can give more if we do it together). This is where you come in. Because if we work together, we can help together by donating even more to preventing suicide. I hope you’ll join me.
I’m donating 50% of every order placed today through June 15, 2018, equally split between the following organizations:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator (which measures how much funding goes towards programs versus overhead and administration costs) with an overall score of 89.06 out of 100. AFSP is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
The Trevor Project, which has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator (scoring 90.34 out of 100 overall) was founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR. It is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
National Veterans Foundation, has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator (scoring 87.02 out of 100). The NVF Lifeline for Vets helps veterans of all eras, their family members and active duty service members, some while serving overseas in combat deployments. NVF also assists veterans with medical treatment, PTSD counseling, VA benefits advocacy, food, shelter, employment, training, legal aid, suicide intervention and more.
If you feel as I do, and want to help, please consider making a purchase from my shop (the only purchases excluded are those already discounted, which are basically items on the Club Members Only page).
I hope you’ll consider making a purchase. I’ve carefully considered my expenses to provide the highest percentage donation to these organization that I can; I’m not out to make a profit on this. I’d like to donate 100% of sales, but I’m just not in a position to do that ~ I need to cover my expenses so I can continue doing business. But together we can make a donation to help people in crisis, and perhaps help save a life.