Over the last few weeks, we've shared just a couple of our favorite stories from the this past year. Both Pavlo's and Keera's stories highlight the tremendous impact our programs have on the community, but today I wanted to share the personal "Why" that keeps me showing up to do this work.
As I approach the twentieth anniversary of my injury next February, I sometimes find it difficult to wrap my head around just how far I've come over the last two decades. It's easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day grind with all the minutia that comes with growing a nonprofit while raising a three-year-old and being a somewhat helpful husband around the house. Thankfully, I get little reminders every time I drop off one of our care baskets with someone who was recently paralyzed or that has been out there on their own and isolated for far too long.
Whether it's a delivery to one of our hospital partners, an adult family home, long-term care facility, or a private residence, it's a trip down memory lane to those early years I spent disconnected and alone, when toxic levels of depression and a litany of medical complications kept me from seeing that there was a path forward toward a rich and meaningful post-injury life.
Each basket is filled to the brim with useful swag including warm blankets to combat disrupted temperature regulation, adaptive water bottles to provide hands-free hydration, care journals to log the recovery progress, and a resource packet containing tons life-changing resources. But the true measure of these baskets' worth goes far beyond the tangible goods wrapped in wicker and cellophane, they are often one of the first glimmers of hope for those in some of their darkest days.
Pictured counterclockwise from top left above: Ernest, Evan, Paula, and Kris are just a handful of the dozens of care baskets we have given out thus far in 2023. We've delivered more of them this year than ever, but we are still only reaching a fraction of the roughly 400 people who become paralyzed each year in the Pacific Northwest, and the thousands of others still living in isolation that are scattered all over.
Connecting others living with paralysis has been a passion project of mine for more than a decade now, but this work will never be finished. That's why the H&NP Board has identified the expansion of our outreach and engagement efforts as the top priority of our strategic planning for 2024 and beyond, and we deeply appreciate everyone who has helped us get to this point!
TODAY is Giving Tuesday
Today, people all around the world are coming together to tap into the power of human connection and strengthen communities and change our world. Will you be one of them?
The Here and Now Project is participating in GivingTuesday and we need your help!
By joining the GivingTuesday movement, you’re helping us to multiply our capacity to serve the needs of people living with paralyzing conditions in the Pacific Northwest.
Here is how you can participate:
Give. Go to hereandnowproject.org/donate and make a onetime or donation or setup a recurring monthly one!
Let’s rally together to connect and empower others so they can Do Life!