Thank you everyone who entered our contest! It was a huge success, we raised around 4 grand (I'll post exact amount when I recieve it)…and congrats to @Bitch_NextDoor1!
Personally, I want to thank each & every one of you who donated, or tweeted the link, or just gave words of support. And please come join us at this event November 12th (it's free! Details below)…I can promise only one thing: It's going to be one hell of a night.
Our true hope is to someday be able to bring this program of recovery education & support to ANY SCHOOL in the U.S. that needs it…And sadly, the demand is MASSIVE. We've already been inundated with calls from other schools in different states, begging us to help.
Addiction is the most massive health disaster this nation faces.
The death toll is enormous, especially with teens.
This program has the potential to prevent years of heartbreak & pain, lower crime rates, lessen prison populations, and most importantly…save countless lives.
Below is more information on this groundbreaking program. (And for more details, to donate, etc…you can always go to our website, slamnyc.org)
I really believe in SLAM's motto that while it may take a village to raise a child, it takes a nation to raise a sober one.
I wanted to share a letter our board president Thom Krauss wrote to you all a few days ago. It contains a few more details about the program, where we are now, & where we hope to be in the future
I just wanted to reach out and give you all a SLAM update. We've been working extensively behind the scenes since last spring, coordinating with Ken Byalin, the principal of Lavelle Prep in Staten Island (as well as the rest of the educators & employees) to bring a dynamic and life-saving recovery program to their curriculum.
In late August, Michelle Lipinski (SLAM's hero & the principal of Northshore Recovery High School in Mass) and I kicked off a 2-day staff training seminar to formally launch SLAM recovery training to the entire staff of 120 people at Lavelle Prep (www.lavelleprep.org)
We had follow up meetings with the 21 group leaders and they could not have been more excited to bring a recovery focused program to their school. Michelle did an extraordinary job in pulling together the presentation and materials for these teachers and staff, who are craving even more changes. I've been blown away at how passionately both Lavelle and the entire community of Staten Island have embraced us. They're tired of their kids dying.
Speaking of the community, I know it's not what I was expecting and I think we can all agree that when we embarked on this journey to create a recovery high school here in NYC, we didn't envision our efforts crystalizing this particular way, in Staten Island. That said, under the bold leadership of James Oddo, the Staten Island Borough President, this community has really stepped up and is addressing the issue of addiction head on. He is very focused on engaging with us and helping SLAM become an integral part of his schools so that we can establish a successful template to take to other schools.
Given the devastation that addiction has caused his community, Oddo and his office are offering their resources to help us. He is the first political leader we've met with who has the fortitude to truly address the recovery issue in a meaningful way.
We're so grateful for his support. He's the driving force behind our event on November 12th to raise awareness for what we're doing. The event is focused on garnering awareness and support, both financial and otherwise.
Staten Island is taking the lead for NYC!
As always, ALL the money we raise is going to SLAM programs. We are spending money to train teachers and bring concrete aspects of recovery into a NYC public school. Success is our only option with these first programs. These kids are our future.
As always, thank you for your support. It’s finally happening and we are doing groundbreaking work.
And this is just the beginning.
We can do this. I honestly believe we can make a huge difference.
I couldn't think of anything more worthy to beg on behalf of.
A word about donations….
Almost eight years ago, I co-founded SLAM (Sobriety, Learning And Motivation) with a group of other passionate and diverse New Yorkers who were sick of watching children suffer & die due to addiction.So many have worked tirelessly for years to make this happen. Not just the board itself, but 100's of generous souls who've volunteered their time, money or both. Addiction specialists, psychiatrists, recovery advocates, educators, politicians, entertainers, CEOs, lawyers, journalists, parents, kids, people in recovery, people who wish to be, their loved ones, fans of GUTS, friends, those who know me from social media, the list goes on & on & on & on.
Brick by brick, year by year, we've each slowly, painstakingly built this program. Finally SLAM became a reality, and our program of education and support has been up and running since August. We're very proud & happy to report that it's already positively impacting many young lives at Lavelle Prep, a public high school on Staten Island.Let's be honest here… For better or worse, when it comes to SLAM, I get most of the attention because I'm in the public eye. I know nothing I ever do in my life will ever matter more than this, and I'm so goddamn proud to be a part of it.
But it's the people you DONT see, the ones who work 60 hours a week at their day jobs, raise their families and STILL manage to spend every free second they have working to make SLAM a success... Those are the people no one hears about. People like the lovely lady who created our website simply because she was moved by what we were trying to do… Or my neighbor, who happens to do press for charities & last week shared that he finally has time and would love to donate his considerable efforts to help us out… all the people from City Hall. My artist friend who created SLAM's logo. The extraordinary people from the teachers union. Parents who've lost their children to addiction. So so many.
THEY are the heart & soul of SLAM.
YOU are the heart & soul of SLAM. There are far too many to list. But I wanted to make sure people understand that while people associate me with SLAM, I'm only one small cog in an ever-growing wheel.
Of course, as with anything, fame has great rewards, & as many drawbacks. I accept that if any mistakes happen, it falls on me. Same with any successes… I get the credit, whether I had anything to do with it or not. Honestly, both kind of suck if you ask me. But it is part of the deal. I understood this going into it, and I take it very, very seriously.
Most of you know I'm very reticent to ask for money from people. This is why I chose not to fundraise in earnest for SLAM (other than the occasional T-shirt campaign) until there was a real program in place, and very specific, detailed monetary needs. Speaking for myself, I'm not comfortable giving $$ to air. (Believe me, a lesson I learned the hard way.) Donating to a "Someday we hope this will happen! Can you give us some moolah?" charity? Nope. They may be perfectly legit, who knows? My reply is always the same: "As soon as it's no longer air, let me know"
If I donate my hard-earned money, I have to trust the organization, I want to know EXACTLY what my money is being used for, and I want to SEE the fruits of my donation.That, plus the fact that most people think actresses are all ridiculously wealthy brats who think nothing of dropping $24k on a Birkin Bag before they've even had their mocha chai latte sugarfree Venti bullshit breakfast. And some are like that, I'm sure.Regardless, this reputation has added to my reluctance to ask for donations ("I'm a STAH! Be an absolute lamb, would you, and send me your waitressing tips for the month?") Finally, let's not forget the proliferation of scam artists out there.Therefore, IF I ask people for a donation it is essential to me that they trust me and our organization, and believe fully in our integrity. It's essential to me, and everyone at SLAM, that people trust that every possible cent of their donation goes directly toward ensuring that SLAM is so successful that'll eventually be provided to high schools all across the United States.
So many lives saved. So many years of pain & suffering avoided.
I couldn't think of anything more worthy to beg on behalf of.