Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's The End of The Month As We Know It

It’s the last day of HAWMC! Congratulations, you completed 30 days of writing! Take this last post to reflect on your health advocacy journey and set a goal for the next year. Perhaps you want to try a new platform for your activism, attend a patient summit, or start a podcast. Remember, “Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there.”

Guys, I did it! I completed HAWMC! I did skip 3 days, but those were intentional, as they felt like things I'd just recently written about, or that didn't particularly apply to me at the moment. Or, in the case of yesterday's, I've just not had a ton of chance to read others' post enough to pick one (sorry, that makes me a bad HA I know). But considering that this month held more work hours than normal, the Thanksgiving holiday, and stomach-virus-ageddon, I'm pretty proud of myself. 

My goals for next year? Well, I do want to attend a patient summit and/or conference for HAs. That's pretty high on my list. I also want to make sure to raise the necessary funds and complete my fourth Overnight Walk next June.  

My biggest goal, however, is a project that I've just recently begun promoting called the Spread Hope Project (link to initial Instagram post here). The project idea bloomed from a shirt I own that says the word "Hope" across the front, which I bought at an  event but have seen nowhere else on the organization's website or elsewhere. I loved the message of hope and thought, "How great would it be to get a picture with a shirt that says 'HOPE' in as many different locations and with as many different people as possible." Literally, spreading Hope to as many places and people as I can. I broadcasted this on social media, and people started volunteering themselves or their locations/cities/etc for pictures. A friend then suggested making my own "hope" type shirts (not the same, but with the same message) and donating the money to mental health and suicide prevention charities. This idea merged with a similar one that had already been brewing in my head, and the Spread Hope Project was born. I have more ideas, longer range goals down the road, but for now, I'm focusing on getting out there and getting pictures with people and places, and eventually developing Spread Hope shirts (not the same as the original, but with my own logo) so that others can Spread Hope as well.  (CYA: I know there are trademark/etc processes involved in creating my own design here and I'm on it). 

And so, my call to action is this: If you are interested in being in a Spread Hope picture, or think that your location would make a great backdrop, let me know! Additionally, if you are a business or organization, especially in the Philly/South Jersey area, and would like a picture in your location and a tag on social media, reach out! As the rest of the plan becomes more concrete, I'll undoubtedly be posting more on this. But for now, you can follow along on my personal Instagram and twitter, as well as with the hashtags #spreadhope #spreadhopeproject #spreadhopestopstigma and #spreadhopesavelives. Let's get those pictures rolling!

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