NAMI DuPage has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on November 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.
#GivingTuesday represents the official kickoff to NAMI DuPage’s most important fundraising effort of the year. The funds we raise during our Annual Year-end Appeal help support our vital mental health programs for which we receive NO federal or state funding NOR any funding from NAMI (National). We rely entirely on contributions from the community to help the one in five individuals and families affected by the devastating affects of mental illness. We need your help to sustain these important programs. Read on to see the impact of what we are doing.
Nancy’s Story of Hope and Recovery
My name is Nancy. I am married and have a 34-year-old son, Steve, who struggles with a dual diagnosis of bi-polar disorder and alcoholism and who lives with me and my husband. For the last 10 years, Steve continually reached for drink and self-medicated his mood disorder while compromising his health and deepening the brokenness of his life and relationships.
A friend suggested that we look into NAMI DuPage for help. Over time, I convinced Steve to meet with a NAMI Peer Specialist. After that initial meeting, my son began attending weekly supports groups at NAMI and I began attending a support group for family members. I have also taken a Mental Health First Aid Class as well as the 12-week Family to Family class, both sponsored by NAMI DuPage. My son began to volunteer in the RISE & Shine Café, owned and operated by NAMI, and participated in job readiness training. After 18 months of unemployment, Steve found a job which he continues to hold today. In addition to the support and education programs, we have taken advantage of NAMI’s social/recreation program where my son has been a regular attendee. I have even participated in the women’s jewelry making class and as a family, we have participated in mini-golf and bowling events.
Steve continues to work on his personal journey of recovery and our previously fractured relationship has improved since we first walked through the doors of NAMI. We both feel healthier and more hopeful. NAMI helped us both learn better communication skills. I feel I am no longer enabling my son’s unhealthy behaviors while supporting his recovery with boundaries, love, and encouragement. NAMI’s programs have changed our lives for the better.
YOUR contributions have helped families like Nancy’s lift the black cloud and rebuild their lives. But, our work is not done and we need your help.
YOU can be part of a movement to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season and to inspire action for more mental health support and education.
Please help more people like Nancy and give with your heart.