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Stand For What You Believe In

January 20, 2014

I LOVE this tweet today from Bethenny:

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 4.53.53 PM
As you guys know, I’ve been dealing with some pretty vicious bullying on social media recently by someone I did business with.  Taking a step back, I decided to simplify things, take a break from my bling shop, close it and go back to my 1st love: Midwest Crochet.

Then, two days ago, I got caught up in a twitter drama that had nothing to do with me. But that did not stop the people harassing me from seizing the opportunity to slander my name and tweet more lies.

Because of this, I’ve really struggled the last few days.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned recently, it’s that Social Media can be a scary, cruel, unfair place.

But it’s also incredible-a place filled with honesty, humor, generosity, and yes, some people struggling. It’s because of you wonderful people that I’ve decided to post this and be brave enough to do what I believe in.

Judge me all you want. At this point, I no longer really care. I care about what I believe in. I believe in me and I believe in SLAM. 

But first, let me tell you how it began…

One night, I  stumbled onto actress Kristen Johnston (known as KJo on social media) when she was on Watch What Happens Live and I fell in love with her. I immediately read her memoir GUTS, which opened up something deep within me and began healing wounds I didn’t even know I still had.  Because of it, I’m now a much happier version of myself.

But I’ve been most inspired by the incredible devotion and commitment she has for the non-profit organization she created 6 years ago, SLAM (Sobriety, Learning And Motivation.) SLAM’s goal is simple: to see that NYC creates it’s first, desperately needed sober high school.

SLAM

 

There are over 25 sober high schools across the US, four in the Boston area ALONE. Yet none in NYC or NY state.

 

I can’t put into words the confusion & anger I feel that NYC’s board of education continues to brush off the urgency of this school.  It breaks my heart to know how many kids are in desperate need for this school, and how many young lives will be lost to the hell of addiction.

I know what I’m talking about from personal experience. By the Grace of God, despite my unfortunate youth, I have managed to not only survive but thrive and have a wonderful life.  But it wasn’t easy. If you know anyone like me, or someone who has a child who struggles with addiction or social challenges then you get it.

Which brings me back to Kristen & SLAM. As soon as I heard about it, I  immediately knew how important it is. And this thought keeps me up at night: “What would my life be like if I’d had a place like SLAM to go to?”

Just the thought makes my eyes well up. I have thought about these “what ifs” many times. Many, many, many times.

SLAM is needed. SLAM is a MUST. SLAM could have saved me from years of destruction to my own life and others who I ran over on my way to trying to kill myself with drugs.  I know many kids who weren’t as lucky as me.

I watched many die.

kjophoto

As Kristen herself says “So many of NYC’s teens are in a silent crisis no one will discuss. Like you, Michele, they just need guidance, understanding and hope. Yet we are doing nothing for them. Sometimes I feel like I’m shouting into a wind-tunnel, and no one will hear me.”

I hear you, Kristen.

That is why I’m opening myself, even if afraid of facing ridicule, to you and sharing my tale. I no longer want to sit idly by as good kids are lost forever.  I am doing what I can to help and you can help SLAM in a few ways too:

 

1. Buy a GUTS shirt. ALL proceeds go to making SLAM a reality. Kristen and I do not make a penny.

2. Go to slamnyc.org and make a donation. No amount too small.

3. Let’s all go old school and taking pen to paper to let the NYC School Board know we mean business. It can be a few words, or paragraphs. Just let NYC know we care about this issue.  Please join Kristen’s letter writing campaign:

Mail your letter to:

SLAM, 332 Bleecker street, NY, NY, 10014
**
att: “SLAM letter campaign” on envelope***

Address the letters To:
Ms. Carmen Fariña (the brand new Chancellor) and/or  to NYC’s Board Of Education. Or simply “To whom it may concern”
LETTERS ARE DUE MARCH 1

2 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on makeuprshutup and commented:
    I love both these ladies, Michelle and Kristen. Please read, and think about it.

  2. I have already bought a shirt a few months ago and donated and I love her book! Kristen is awesome and it sounds like Michelle is too 🙂 I will write a letter tomorrow

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