Volume 2, July 2019
This is our first Newsletter for our friends and supporters. We appreciate your interest and your support and hope you enjoy The Spark. We have MUCH to report in the areas of our mission and will have even more in future issues.
How far we have come
In this issue of The Spark, we outline the amazing response to our efforts by you – our friends and followers – financially and otherwise, as well as just some of what we are doing to move the mission of 33 Forever forward. The future holds many opportunities for 33 Forever to truly make and continue to make a difference.
Where we are headed
Because of your support and response to our mission, our efforts are already well underway in the areas of Educational Programming, Community Involvement, Resource development and Advocacy. We are actively working to establish partnerships with schools, NAMI, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University and are also working with policymakers and influencers on both state and federal levels.
33 Forever, Inc. is a non- profit organization created to honor Danielle Leedy’s life and her longtime passion to raise awareness, empower and comfort those struggling with the disease of depression, anxiety and finding self- worth, especially (but not exclusively) young women and girls.
Specifically, 33 Forever’s mission is to positively impact the lives of all those affected by depression, anxiety and their related disorders, including suicidal thoughts, by promoting awareness, engaging in advocacy, providing educational programming and resources for all those struggling and their loved ones, supporting research efforts and establishing and encouraging community support.
In just 23 weeks, we have had a tremendous outpouring of support – financially and otherwise.
Our organizational goals include transparency as we receive donated dollars.
As of August 1, 2019 Receipts:
|Logo Design Services||$367.00|
IRS – non-profit filing fee
33 Forever’s Board of Directors is dedicated to use its funds to directly support its stated missions’ programming and partnerships – including Educational Programming, Community Involvement activities and, eventually, Research.
MEET OUR BOARD
Jeffrey Heck, Attorney
Education Committee Chair & Board Member
Sara Bennett, M.Ed.
Volunteer Committee Chair & Board Member
Mandy Brickner, M.Ed.
Finance Committee Chair & Board Member
Alex Leedy, L.S.W.
Nominating Committee Chair & Board Member
Sean Brickner, P.E.
Audit Committee Chair & Board Member Dennette Santamaria, L.S.W.
Development Committee Chair & Board Member
VOLUNTEER AND FINANCIAL UPDATE
As of this writing, we have had remarkable success in our initial fundraising efforts. We have heard from so many who have been impacted by Dani’s story and the issues we have touched upon. The outpouring of support – heartfelt messages, inspiring stories, remarkable volunteers (both professional and lay) and, of course, donations – has been nothing short of amazing.
Our volunteers already include experts in medicine, including psychiatry, psychology and mental health counseling, law, accounting, finance, non-profit development and programming, technology, including website development, hosting and optimization, media, marketing and governmental affairs, among others. They also include lay people who have simply volunteered to help us with our mission. We cannot thank those people enough. We are just now developing our Volunteer Program to make the best use of all of this support. If you have already volunteered, we WILL call upon you at some point! Those efforts are ongoing right now. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please let us know.
Financially, the response has been simply stunning. Our first 23 weeks, we have raised over $104,000.00 in cash contributions. Most of the donations are relatively modest – $10, $33 or, perhaps, $50. We have also been blessed with some larger financial supporters but, truly, this is a true “grass roots” effort and every single donation – no matter the amount – makes a difference.
In that regard, 33 Forever is an all-volunteer effort and we pledge to be careful stewards of your contributions. Thus, if you are one of our donors, please know that your donations are seeds that are sewn in the good soil. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously.
If you have donated already THANK YOU! We would also ask that you consider making a monthly tax deductible contribution and become a “Sustaining Member” of 33 Forever. You can do so by visiting the “Donate” section of our website at www.33forever.life and fill out the form as indicated to make a scheduled donation as you feel led.
If you have not yet made a tax deductible contribution, please consider doing so at the link above or by mailing a check to:
33 Forever, Inc.
1 Marion Avenue Suite 215
Mansfield, OH 44903
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING UPDATE
We have many exciting developments in this area of our focus. 33 Forever is presently creating partnerships to provide and support educational programming to middle school and high school students, parents and school staff with various local organizations, initially in Ohio and North Carolina, including NAMI – Richland County, NAMI Ohio (in Central Ohio) and NAMI of Charlotte (NC), among others. Nationally, NAMI has developed a program for middle school and high school students called “Ending The Silence.” The goal of this program is to increase awareness and provide practical advice and help to students dealing with depression, anxiety, self-worth issues, suicidal thoughts and other mental health struggles, whether themselves or their peers. 33 Forever expects to support these programs with volunteer trained presenters, assisting with accessing school districts to whom to present in these geographic areas and, of course, a funding partnership.
We are also engaged in the process of developing additional partnerships in addition to NAMI with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, among others, to provide and support programming to also help parents, community members and school staff to understand, recognize and know what to do when they see or become aware of mental health issues for their kids and students. “Ending The Silence” is also designed to provide programs and assurance in these areas and 33 Forever is working to coordinate resources, speakers and other assistance for that purpose as well.
Our fast-moving, technology-driven, too-often-anonymous society presents new and different challenges to the youth of today and increasingly resulting complicated and problematic mental health challenges for our young people. 33 Forever is committed to doing its part to make a difference in these critical areas – just as our inspiration, Dani, always saw herself doing.
As these programs and our involvement in them continue to develop, we will share that progress in future issues of The Spark
MEET THE FACES BEHIND 33 FOREVER
In each issue of The Spark, we will be featuring different Board Members of 33 Forever, Inc. In this issue, meet Donna and Jeff Heck.
Donna is 33 Forever’s President and Treasurer and Jeff acts as its Board Chair. Donna and Jeff are Dani’s mom and stepdad. They have been together 20 years and married 17+. Dani is Donna’s first daughter and, as such, a child she had always dreamed of having. Jeff got to know Dani when she was 8 when she and (now step-sister) Sara swam together and car-pooled home from practices with him. In fact, Dani and Sara always took credit for their parents “finding each other” years later.
Donna is the CFO of Jeff’s law practice, The Heck Law Offices in Mansfield, Ohio, but she has also worked extensively in sales and office and financial administration previously. Jeff is a civil trial lawyer and a longtime volunteer on numerous local charitable boards.
For them, 33 Forever is a labor of love, albeit a painful and sometimes difficult one. It was, however, something they both knew they needed to do in the days immediately following Dani’s passing. In the last several years, Dani talked extensively about her desire to share her stories and experiences with others to help them see a way out of darkness and to help them find their best lives personally and professionally. She loved helping and watching people she worked with grow and succeed and she wanted to help however she could in that effort for even more people. As she used to tell Donna and Jeff, “I have trouble talking about my struggles with my family and friends but I can see myself talking about them to an audience of 1,000 strangers.”
Dani genuinely wanted to make a difference and to help others, especially young women and girls, in their journeys and struggles and as they worked toward their own individual successes. She had been discussing plans extensively over the last year to form her own consulting company to work with new businesses (her definite passion and skillset), to coach young women and to speak to various groups to help with individual issues in and out of the workplace and with the struggles and hard times life can bring. Simply put, she had plans to make a difference.
With her passing, the concept and goals of 33 Forever were quickly defined consistent with Dani’s goals in life – to shine light on the darkness of depression, anxiety and self-worth issues, including suicidal thoughts, and to help people with those issues find self-worth, acceptance, hope and reasons to not just live but to find joy in life. That is now Donna and Jeff’s goal and mission through 33 Forever.