From “stuffing turkey” to “stuff getting”, our national day of Thanksgiving is immediately followed by two days of a rampant frenzy of consumer hand-to-hand combat known as Black Friday, which has spilled over to Cyber Monday. The splurge and binge of those days created the perfect conditions for a change of pace. We needed a dedicated day of giving, this time not just our heartfelt thanks but also something more tangible. #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, arrived at the moment many of us were feeling overly stuffed, fatigued and searching for something more than turkeyed-out shoppers teed up for the latest conspicuously consumptive items…and this is how #GIVINGTUESDAY began.
“I Still Matter has helped me heal by teaching me that we all have an artist inside us and by giving me the freedom to be that artist” ~Rachel
Givers are happier than non-givers. And happy people can help spread good giving news.
• People who give money to charity are 43 percent more likely than non givers to say they are “very happy” about their lives. Volunteers are 42 percent more likely to be very happy than non-volunteers. (Source: Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey)
• People who give money are 34 percent less likely than non-givers to say they feel “so sad that nothing could cheer them up.” They are also 68 percent less likely to feel “hopeless” and 24 percent less likely to say “everything is an effort.” (Source: University of Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics)
• The happiness difference between givers and non-givers is not due to differences in personal characteristics, income or religion. Imagine two people identical in terms of income, faith, age, education, politics, gender and family circumstances, but one is a donor and volunteers and the other doesn’t. The giver will be, on average, 11 percentage points more likely to be very happy than the non-giver. (Source: University of Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics)
Some Ways You Can GIVE to I Still Matter
- Gift of Money. Let’s face it, we don’t run without donations. This year we’ve experienced tremendous growth, including reaching over 150 individuals with art groups, activities and speaking engagements. We continue to display Inside Out, Jacksonville’s largest multi-media art exhibit throughout our city that focuses on reducing stigma surrounding mental illness. We collaborated with 52 stateside and international artists to create a beautiful coloring book titled I Still Color. Now we are looking forward to offering more community groups, art programming, mental health education and continued collaboration with the community through events at our new studio space! You can make a difference in the lives of women throughout our city by donating here. Believe us when we say EVERY BIT COUNTS and because we are a 501(c)3, every donation is tax exempt.
Working with I Still Matter has been healing. I’ve learned more about myself and my illness and how to use art to cope. Art groups are calming and give me a safe place to express myself and my emotions. ~ Meri, 17
2. Gift of Time. The other thing I Still Matter needs in order to thrive is volunteers! Our volunteer opportunities consist of several things and our volunteers are truly the heartbeat of what we do. Some donate their time by helping at events, collecting donations, helping with projects and telling others about what we do! Volunteering for ISM could even mean spending the day clipping our magazine pictures and donating them to our SoulCollage bins! Some of our volunteers are gifted artists and help us with ideas for projects and they also lead community art groups. Other volunteers like to help us organize our art supplies and some like to volunteer by writing blogs to create awareness surrounding mental health. There truly is something for everyone! We are currently in need of someone with experience writing grants! If you are interested in volunteering email us at [email protected]
3. Gift of Materials. Our mission is to foster mental and emotional healing through art and creative expression and we cannot do that without art supplies! We’ve been blessed to receive several donations over the past year from individuals and organizations but we could always use supplies!
Things we use the most: Mod Podge, Canvases of all sizes, Watercolor paper, Watercolors, Markers & Color Pencils, Beads & Findings, Scissors, Old magazines and newspapers, old books, and generally anything you can think of that someone could turn into art. If you have any art materials to donate, please send us an email at [email protected]
4. Gift of Encouragement. We could all us some encouragement every once and while! In this case, a gift of encouragement could be sharing a post (this one, for starters), attending an I Still Matter event and spreading the word about I Still Matter. Speaking of events, we have our annual fundraiser/art walk coming up this week! Please consider attending and read more here.
Thanks to each of you,
I Still Matter