Thursday, January 7, 2010

30 Days of Justice: To Write Love on Her Arms

3:48 AM
You've probably seen some hipster in their skinny jeans sporting a tee shirt with the phrase “To Write Love on Her Arms” and wondered what in the world it was talking about. Well, it's not just a shirt, but a movement. To Write Love on Her Arms [TWLOHA] is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Founded in 2006 by Jamie Tworkowski, TWLOHA began as just a way to help a friend who was hurting. He had one friend who was suffering silently. They started selling t-shirts as a way to pay for our friend’s treatment, and made a MySpace page to give the whole thing a home. Thus TWLOHA was born. It exists be a bridge, a connection, from those in pain to those who can help. With one of the most organic marketing plans ever conceived [or just happened], bands and artists began wearing the TWLOHA shirts and raising awareness for this organization. Word spread like wildfire. In the days that followed, they learned quickly that the story they were telling represented people everywhere. They began to hear from people in need of help, and others asking what they could do to help their friends. They heard from people who had lost loved ones to suicide. Many said that these were questions they had never asked and parts of their story that they had never shared. Others were honest in a different way, confessing these were issues they knew little or nothing about. It seemed they had stumbled upon a bigger story, and a conversation that needed to be had.

Over the last two and a half years, TWLOHA has responded to 80,000 messages from people in 40 different countries. They've had the opportunity to bring this conversation, and a message of hope and help, to concerts, universities, festivals and churches. They've learned that these are not American issues, not white issues or “emo” issues. These are issues of humanity, problems of pain that affect millions of people around the world.

I've people whose lives have been touched by suicide and self-injury. It's a dark place to be. But there is a way back. And TWLOHA is helping people find that way.

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!


Rachel said...

Well done article on this movement!

Jeff Goins said...

Yup, well done, Joy. Love these different causes. Thanks for compiling the list.