For this blog post, I just want to spend some time discussing where Please Live is, the work we have accomplished within the past year, and our goals for the remainder of the year.
2013 was a great year for us in many aspects. We added several amazing volunteers that are highly committed, organized, and passionate. Their individual expertise has helped to grow Please Live leaps and bounds within the past year. We rolled out our new website and are continuously updating it with the best information we can find on a variety of different mental health issues.
In January we submitted our 501(c)3 paperwork to the state, and then followed up with the IRS in June. The government shut down did delay our approval process, so we are still playing the waiting game to officially have our nonprofit status. However, we can still accept tax-deductible donations since our status will be retroactive by 18 months.
Speaking of donations, we had a great year in fundraising. June – August we flocked our community with flamingos for awareness and funding. Through the flocking season we were able to raise $325 towards our mission. In October we began our holiday sales: Yankee Candles and Pink Papaya Beauty Products. Through Yankee we were able to raise a total of $177.20, and our Pink Papapya sales are still in effect until Dec 10th. For more information, head over to our donations page if you would like to participate.
The money raised during this year is already being used to impact lives. We are working with two organizations – one church and one school – in planning Please Live events to raise education and awareness about mental health. We are vigorously working towards the day we receive our official nonprofit letter so that we can begin knocking down barriers between students and the help they need. In the meantime, we are reaching hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people per day on social media. Connect with us on facebook, twitter, tumblr, and pinterest.
In our community we connected with some great agencies that are here to help you. The Mental Wellness Awareness Association, Someone To Tell It To, The Central PA Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Counseling on Demand, The LGBT Center of Central PA, and Diakon Lutheran were all added to our supporters within the 2013 year. We learned about the invaluable Mental Health First Aid training and began planning to sponsor training for the general public for whenever we can get the grants for it.
So all in all, I’d say we’ve had a good year. The rest of December we are just going to relax, spend some time with our families, see how our Pink Papaya fundraiser pans out, and wait anxiously for our 501(c)3 approval. 2014 we are hoping to get into more venues to speak with students, send more people to MHFA training, and generally make our community a better place for mental health.
I just want to thank all of you for continuously supporting Please Live. We would be nothing if it weren’t for your support and faith in us and our mission.
Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!