As the addiction get-well cards campaign grows, I wanted to share some of the amazing experiences and stories I have had and been told as people deliver and create the cards. They are truly beautiful and I am so happy that such a simple activity can have a ripple effect of kindness – because let’s face it, what we definitely need more of in the world these days, is kindness.
I went to a grade six class yesterday to help make some cards along with the Barrie Police VIP Special Constable, Devon. The topic of Constable Devon’s VIP class was, ‘mental health’, so the cards fit in perfectly! She chatted with the students about different types of mental illness and how important it was to talk about so that people didn’t feel afraid to get the help they may need. Some of the students shared their own experiences with bullying, depression and anxiety. They were SO wise! It was easy to see that mental illness had affected most of them in one way or another (directly or indirectly).
While one student was making his card, he told me that his mom, “used to be addicted”, but that she was better now. My heart melted. I was so happy that he felt comfortable enough to share this with me! I told him that I used to be addicted too, and he looked at me with wide eyes. I said that I was better now as well and that I was so happy that his mom was too. I hope that our little conversation helped him to see that his mom is not alone – and neither is he.
Another boy came over to me several times to tell me how happy he was that we were taking about mental health and making cards because he had been depressed a few years ago when he was bullied in school. Tears welled up in his eyes, so I listened and made sure that he was doing well now. He assured me that he was, but that when he thinks back it can still be painful. I told him how proud I was of him that he was talking about his feelings and that if he ever needed more help to always ask his teacher. He said he knew and he would. He was very proud of his card. And I gave him several high-fives!
Several of the students told me that they were very happy that their cards were going to people who may not have gotten a card otherwise while they were sick.
I also received more beautiful hand-made cards in the mail today from my friend Rebecca and her daughter Takayla.
The messages are ones of hope and love. My favourite message said, “Your life matters to me”. So powerful and true~
A local optometrist office made 100 cards the other day as well! They shared with me how important this activity was for them because they all knew of someone who battled with addiction. They delivered the cards to our local detox.
If you would like to make some addiction get-well cards, all you need is some craft supplies and positive words! Post them on social media with the #addictiongetwellcards and I will add them to the Twitter page @WellCards and Instagram @Addiction_Get_Well_Cards
Share your stories about your conversations around the table while you make the cards. That is equally as important as giving them to your local detox, rehabilitation centre, hospital or friend/family member experiencing hard times with addiction.
I will be heading to Ottawa at the end of February to make cards with MP’s from across the country. I know that this won’t stop the opioid crisis. But PART of the reason for the crisis is stigma. And opioid strategies across the county have anti-stigma pillars, so this simple project really fits well into that agenda. I will also be making cards soon with the Barrie Colts OHL Team, MP Doug Shipley, MPP Doug Downey, the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy, “Orillia Talks Opioid Event” (Feb 19th), and more! Thank you.
Thank you Barrie Chamber of Commerce and SO MANY MORE… Check out gallery below.