Today is May 9th. Today is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Today is a day to make some noise about children - and their mental wellness goals.
In 1994, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created the public awareness effort, "Caring for Every Child's Mental Health" with a mission: to increase awareness about the importance of children's mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth.
With that said, raising awareness for any cause is as simple as making the commitment to support a local organization's event in your area. So for the 2nd year in a row, Daniele and I joined forces with Long Island Families Together (LIFT) to help them provide a safe, nurturing, educational and fun environment for children, youth and their families to come together and spend a day with people who believe in them wholeheartedly.
As an Event Sponsor, each year Daniele and I help out by making raffle baskets for the children, youth and their families. As parenting bloggers, we always like our baskets to inspire kids to be creative and use their imaginations.
Last year, LIFT hosted a carnival right before school ended, so we made sure our baskets were chock full of summertime fun: crayons, coloring books, Frisbees, beach balls, super soakers, sunscreen and sidewalk chalk. The baskets screamed, "Let's go play outside!"
This year, when we found out that SAMSHA's theme was focusing on transition-aged youth, we reached out to some of our online friends to see if they wanted to help us fill our baskets with some more age-appropriate goodies.
We also wanted our baskets to compliment LIFT's “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies” theme, so we were thrilled when two local Long Island companies, FireIsland Soap Company and Hester & Pearl, donated items to our baskets.
We were also blessed to receive a generous donation from a sorority sister of mine, Mrs. Banker, who provided Target gift cards for each of the 6 baskets. When we asked Mrs. Banker why she decided to help out, she said:"This year, I am making a concerted effort to donate more...and I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to participate! Not only did it meet my goal of donating more, but it was for a local charity. I personally enjoy donating to local charities more...because you feel like your money is being efficiently used...and I know that the full amount that I donated went directly to help 6 families."
We agree; there's something to be said about seeing your donations go directly to the intended recipients. And in case you're curious, this year's baskets successfully paid homage to LIFT's “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies” theme and were lovingly stuffed with journals, paints, paint brushes, soaps, gift cards, beachy jewelry, and more.
But, we couldn't have done it without the generosity of our friends, so please take a moment to visit their stores, and if you like, pick up some goodies for yourself, or a loved one. You'll be happy you did.
Upcoming Craft Shows:
5/11/13: Wantagh Memorial Congregational Church, 1845 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, NY, 10-5pm
6/01/13: Smithtown High School West, DECA Fair, 100 Central Rd, Smithtown, NY, 10-4pm
Make some noise,
Denine & Daniele