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Even though fall officially begins in September, it doesn’t start to really feel like autumn until mid-November– at least not down here in Florida. There is something so therapeutic about the seasonal weather change, too, since fall truly is the season of new beginnings. A new beginning is a clean slate and prime opportunity to improve your life, as well as the lives of others. Whenever I feel like I’ve been blessed with a fresh start, I’m always reminded of my true passion, which is promoting the importance of a safe and healthy body image for young girls through eating disorder awareness.
I’ve made it my personal mission to not tip toe around the importance of mental health, and although at times it makes me feel extremely vulnerable, I speak openly about my struggles with both Anorexia and Bulimia. As soon as I saw this quote, these words resonated with me: “When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we,’ even illness becomes wellness.” As one united, informed society, we can change the way we think about mental illness by speaking openly about its prevalence and wearing green, ie the official color of Mental Health Awareness Month, to send a message to those suffering in silence that their mental health matters. My hope is to create synergy— a chain of betters, if you will– that will generate enough awareness to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness and ultimately improve its quality of treatment and funding across the country.
And I don’t intend to do it alone. I’ve started working with a handful of truly wonderful organizations, Project Heal and Proud2BMe to name a few, to help make this vision become a reality. In my experience, when I’m surrounded by others who devote so much of their time to making a difference and changing lives for the better, it makes me feel compelled to help all-the-more. Whether your donation is a monetary, a few hours on a Saturday at a rehabilitation center, or time spent lobbying in Washington DC, the power of any selfless deed goes far beyond surface level.
In case you or anyone you know may need them, click here for additional (and completley free) resources for those affected by mental illness.
When I heard about Western Union’s Chain of Betters project, I couldn’t think of a better analogy for the positive potential impact of just one person’s kindness. Western Union believes that when money moves, better things happen, ie. a business expands, a family connects, an opportunity opens, a community heals. Moving money “for the better” means moving money for a better world–- creating value for individuals, businesses, and for society. This is what lies at the heart of the new Chain of Betters project. It’s an idea that empowers people with the opportunity to better the lives of others. As money moves around the world, creating a chain of good deeds, together we can start to change lives in ways we wouldn’t have imagined was possible.
To learn more about what the mission of the Chain of Betters project, watch this short video. I watched in three times, and each time, I teared up– in a good way. It’s truly beautiful to see people, oftentimes strangers, helping their fellow community members to build a better tomorrow.
So how will you help make a difference during this season of giving? If you’re fresh out of ideas, I wrote a post last year about 26 creative ways to give back during the holiday season. Together, let’s join Western Union’s mission and help kickstart a chain of betters which permeates the entire globe.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.