We are writing today to tell you about an upcoming event that we are participating in that is both very important and very exciting to us. It is NAMIWalks for the Mind of America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) signature walkathon event that is being held in Appleton, WI at Appleton Memorial Park on October 3, 2009.
Kara lives with bipolar disorder, and both Kara and Josh have loved ones who live with clinical unipolar depression, bipolar disorder and other mental (biochemical) illnesses (also referred to as brain disorders.)
Kara volunteers with NAMI Fox Valley, our community’s NAMI affiliate. She received training and now is a facilitator for Five O'Clock Friday, a support and discussion group for young adults who are living with mental illness. She also has attended courses at NAMI that educate consumers about living well with mental illness, and benefits from peer support groups that she attends. This is the fourth NAMI Walk in the Fox Valley, and the fourth walk for the Patterson family. It has become a fall family tradition.
NAMI Fox Valley continues to advocate for individuals and families in our community, fighting the stigma that unfortunately still exists.
On walk day, we're going to do more walking in one morning than we usually do in a week. :)
If you'd like to visit our personal walker Web page, go to http://tinyurl.com/nc54f4. You can donate directly to us online, if you choose. Donating online is fast and secure, and we'll get immediate notification via e-mail of your donation.
If you would prefer, you can give or send any of us (well, not so much Mihret, it’ll just go into her mouth) a check, made out to NAMI Fox Valley, and we will make sure that it gets to NAMI.
(Also, a quick note - if we have already walked, and you think you missed the deadline... you haven't! You can donate to NAMI Fox Valley - or ask about being a volunteer there, if you're in the area - at any time.)
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the largest education, support and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all those whose lives are touched by these illnesses. This includes people with mental illness, their families, friends, employers, the law enforcement community and policy makers.
The goals of the NAMIWalks program are: to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness, to build awareness of the fact that the mental health system in this country needs to be improved, and to raise funds for NAMI so that it can continue its mission.
NAMI is a 501(c)3 charity and any donation you make to support our participation in this event is tax deductible. NAMI has been rated by Worth magazine as among the top 100 charities "most likely to save the world" and has been given an "A" rating by The American Institute of Philanthropy for efficient and effective use of charitable dollars. Thank you in advance for your support.
Kara, Josh and Mihret Patterson
And all the rest of Team Serenity