Running for BRAVE

Running For Brave mental illness fundraiser Crowdrise I am continuously amazed by the power of what we're doing here. Sharing stories changes lives. We've seen it happen before our eyes and Running for Brave is just another example of the power of vulnerability.

Annie Powell attended our high school pilot program this fall and she was moved. Moved to reach out and share her story in a very public way to help other people. And now moved to do something she's never attempted to do before:

run a half marathon.

Annie approached us soon after the high school show to tell us how much she believes in what we're doing and how she wanted to do something to help us. She specifically wanted to help us raise money for our high school program.

When she signed up for her first half marathon, she knew exactly what she could do.

Annie is putting herself out there and she needs our support. Each and every mile of that 13.1 miles is going to be difficult. Wouldn't it be amazing if she could know that she has her friends and family cheering her on, even if they can't be there in person the day of the race?

You can be there. Sponsor Annie for a quarter-mile ($25), a half-mile ($50) or a full mile ($100) and she'll write your name on her arm. She'll be able to look during the race and physically see your support as she pushes through. Or, make a contribution of any amount and she'll add your name to the back of the shirt she wears on race day.

Maybe you're training for the Loudoun Half, too? Or another race somewhere else in the world? The great thing about Crowdrise is that others can sign up on Annie's team and also raise money for This Is My Brave. Check it out and consider joining in - the more the merrier!

All funds raised will be invested into the creation of a high school program we're calling "Being BRAVE about Mental Illness" which is currently in production.  This program would be initially offered to Loudoun County VA middle and high schools as a packaged program including an introduction of the creation of the This Is My Brave organization by the Co-Founders, video clips of This Is My Brave performances, mental health resources and discussion with professionals. The goal of the presentation to teens is to make students more comfortable with the signs and symptoms of mental illness as well as getting help for themselves or others.

Our goal is to have this program ready for use during the 2015-2016 school year. In order to do this, we need funding which is what Annie's fundraiser can provide. All funds donated to Annie's Running for BRAVE half marathon fundraiser will go directly to This Is My Brave, Inc. for the creation of our high school program. It's our vision to make this program available to high schools across the United States in the future.

So check out the short video we shot to introduce Annie's fundraiser and donate if you can! Every Friday - beginning this Friday - Annie will be guest blogging here to share a glimpse into her training diary. It's our hope that she'll inspire you to get active as you hear how exercise has helped her recovery from mental illness.

Let's Go, Annie!!!