Thursday, April 2, 2015

Putting the FUN in FUNdraising

We at NAMIWalks LOVE how Walk participants are using creative ways to raise funds for the Walk program. From hosting chili cook-off events at the office to designing and selling holiday cards to raffling off homemade baked goods, people are using their talents to FUNdraise! We have a document that lists a variety of out-of-the-box ways to raise funds for NAMIWalks - 101 Ways to put 'Fun' in FUNdraising. There are many great ideas for Teams and individuals, so check it out and get inspired! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Attend a Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon or a Walk Information Meeting!

NAMIWalks Palm Beach County's Walk Information Meeting
Right now the Spring Walk Sites are getting ready to host their Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheons, while the Fall Walk Sites are beginning to host their Walk Information Meetings. I thought a post on both events, and what you as a NAMIWalks’ participant/supporter can do to help make these events successful would be appropriate!

I’ll begin with a brief overview of each event:
·       The Walk Information Meeting (WIM) opens the NAMIWalks’ season. The Meeting is typically hosted 9-months prior to Walk Day. The event’s purpose is to discuss how the funds from the previous Walk benefited NAMI, announce the current event date, goals and the plans to make the Walk exciting! This is also the event where attendees can register to become volunteers and receive information about sponsoring the event. In addition to inviting previous sponsors, team captains, walkers and volunteers, all members of the community are invited to attend.

NAMIWalks Southwest Louisiana Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon
      The Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon (KOL) follows the WIM. The Luncheon serves as a training session for all registered Team Captains and those interested in becoming a Captain. The attendees learn more about the importance of the Walk program, as well as how to successfully build Teams and raise funds. The Walk Manager provides tactics, tools and information to assist Team Captains on their Walk journeys.

Your participation in these events is imperative to the success of the Walk. If you have participated in a Fall Walk make sure you attend the Walk Information Meeting, so you know what to expect during the new Walk Season. Take a friend with you to get them involved with the program. The more people who participate in the event, the better! If you haven’t in the past, maybe this is the year for you to volunteer! You can be a Team Captain/walker and still volunteer for the event. We need help in many areas – assistance with securing sponsors, engaging Team Captains, promoting the Walk, planning/setting up/breaking down the Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon and Walk Day.

NAMIWalks Mobile's Mardi Gras themed Kick-Off Luncheon
In addition to volunteering, maybe you own or work for a company that would be interested in sponsoring the Walk. We have great opportunities for both large and small businesses to support the event. Our sponsorship levels range between $250 and $15,000. Each level receives wonderful benefits, such as having your business name and/or logo printed on event t-shirts and marketing materials.

If you are currently registered or planning to participate in a Spring Walk, maybe this year you will consider being a Team Captain. Don’t be intimidated by the term, Team Captain. We have come up with a formula to make it easy for Teams to be successful and to reach a $1,000 goal. All you have to do is form a Team, recruit 10 family members and/or friends for the Team, encourage each person to raise $100, so the Team as a whole will raise $1,000. It’s that easy! You will learn easy steps to achieve the goal during the course of the Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon.

This is your opportunity to get more involved with NAMIWalks! With your support, we will raise the funds needed to continue offering crucial educational programs and support services to individuals impacted by mental illness! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Thank you for supporting NAMIWalks in 2014! 
We hope you have a wonderful New Year that's full of happiness and FUN!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Looking Forward to 2015, By Mary Giliberti, J.D., NAMI Executive Director


It’s no secret that NAMI wants to build a broad movement to improve the lives of all people affected by mental illness. In 2014, I could feel the movement growing, especially in trips to meet with grassroots NAMI leaders in such diverse states such as Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, Tennessee and Texas. The energy and commitment of NAMI volunteers is always impressive—and essential to the future.

Taken together, many developments in 2014 provide a foundation for 2015 and years ahead. The challenge is to keep building on these opportunities.

· Philanthropist Ted Stanley donated $650 million to the Broad Institute for brain research to potentially develop new treatments. In the words of NAMI’s medical director, Ken Duckworth, it is a new “ ground-breaker” for scientific research on mental illness. Medical science is a cornerstone for NAMI’s commitment to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
· USA Today launched a special series, The Cost of Not Caring , about the inadequate mental health care system which inspired dialogue in communities around the country. NAMI worked closely on the series, helping identify people affected by the issues so their personal stories could educate readers.

· Diverse faith communities increased their focus on the need to help people find treatment for mental health problems. The most dramatic event was "The Gathering" of religious leaders and mental health experts organized by the Saddleback Church, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and NAMI Orange County that provided a nationally significant model for outreach.

· The call for Congress to pass mental health care legislation increased. NAMI sponsored a National Day of Action in which recording artist and actress Demi Lovato participated, amplifying our voice. NAMI also published a state legislative report for 2014, gathering all of the mental health legislation that passed in the past year. We will be continuing our efforts at the state and federal level to meet the objectives of our new strategic plan and address issues such as homelessness, criminalization of people with mental illness, early intervention and treatment, and the needs of service men and women, veterans and their families.

· Along with others, NAMI won an important victory by defeating proposed restrictions on access to medications under Medicare Part D. Protection of shared decision-making by doctors and individuals is a key NAMI value and we will continue our efforts to ensure access to treatment that works.

· Attention increased this year on the need to end the criminalization of mental illness. NAMI helped shape the debate with its call for nationwide expansion of crisis intervention teams (CIT). In 2015, NAMI, the Council of State Governments, the National Association of Counties and others will build on this momentum by launching an unprecedented campaign to lower the number of people with mental illnesses in jails by improving access to effective mental health and co-occurring substance use treatment.

· Major inroads were made with youth and young adults through the NAMI on Campus program, with 85 active clubs on campuses across the country and 240 in the process of being formed. Additionally, NAMI’s Raising Mental Health Awareness on College Campuses toolkit was sent to more than 300 campus communities. Young adults leading these groups and activities are NAMI leaders of the future!

Every movement has many different centers of energy, creativity and commitment. Both large and small events converge to form greater waves of change. Looking back on 2014, are there trends or events that you think provide hope, inspiration or opportunities for the future?

Do you have ideas you want to share for 2015?

Please feel free to share them with me at I may not be able to reply individually, but I can promise to read every message personally.

In the meantime, best wishes for the holidays and the New Year. Thank you for all you do on behalf of people living with mental illness and their families!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Thank you very much for supporting NAMIWalks this year! We hope you have a HAPPY & SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON with Your Family and Friends! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The 2015 Spring National Walk Manager Training was a Success!

This past weekend (Nov. 7th - Nov. 9th) the National NAMIWalks Team hosted the 2015 Spring Walk Manager Training (WMT) for all the spring Walk Managers around the country. The Training, held in Las Vegas, was a wonderful event! We had three full days of sessions on how to successfully manage a NAMIWalk -- from raising funds to promoting the event to engaging participants! After completing the intense training, the Walk Managers were excited and ready to go home and start working on their upcoming events! We heard from many of our veteran Walk Managers that it was the best WMT they have ever attended!

Spring Walk Managers dressed in shirts that represented the location of their NAMIWalks.
We were very fortunate to have Hakeem Rahim as our keynote speaker. Mr. Rahim, became an advocate for issues around mental illness in 2012. Since then he has testified in front of Congress, been featured in USA Today and has shared his journey with over 7,000 students. He is a certified NAMI In Our Own Voice speaker and NAMI Queens/Nassau Let's Talk Mental Illness presenter. In addition, he is also a member of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance's National Board.

Mr. Rahim spoke of his experiences and the importance of engaging the community to get involved with NAMIWalks, NAMI and mental health advocacy. His remarks inspired everyone in attendance!

Hakeem Rahim addressing the Walk Managers.
Hakeem Rahim showing his support of NAMIWalks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pictures of Fall 2014 NAMIWalks

A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some photos from Fall 2014 NAMIWalks!

NAMIWalks Northern Virginia 

NAMIWalks Northern Virginia 

NAMIWalks New Hampshire 

NAMIWalks New Hampshire

NAMIWalks Los Angeles County

NAMIWalks Los Angeles County

NAMIWalks Butler County

NAMIWalks Butler County

NAMIWalks Moultrie

NAMIWalks Moultrie

NAMIWalks Waukesha

NAMIWalks Waukesha
NAMIWalks Hawaii

NAMIWalks Hawaii

NAMIWalks Hawaii

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Enjoy Our NEW Walk Coaching Videos!

We have recently filmed new coaching videos to help you, Team Captains and walkers, learn new ways to raise funds and build awareness through your NAMIWalks efforts. The videos are short, but they are full of great information on a variety of topics! Take some time to watch them and let us know what you think! Click Here to view the videos!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

The National NAMIWalks Team wishes you a safe and happy Labor Day! We hope you enjoy time with your loved ones over the holiday weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Putting FUN in FUNdraising!

As a Team Captain and/or walker have you thought about FUN ways to build Teams and/or to raise funds this year? Of course you can ask someone to join your Team and/or donate to you the traditional ways – face-to-face, email, over the phone, online social networks. However, have you thought about using your talents for out of the box ways to engage people?

Here are some FUN ideas that you can do as an individual walker or as a Walk Team:

  • Rock On! If you know musicians, ask them to perform a benefit concert at a backyard BBQ, block party, or local club. The admission ticket is a check made payable to NAMIWalks.
  • Birthday: In lieu of a gift for your birthday, ask your friends and family to make a donation to NAMIWalks through your personal NAMIWalks website.
  • Gym: Ask your gym if you, or they, can teach an aerobics, yoga, or spinning class as a benefit to NAMIWalks.
  • House Party: Host a house party for friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Share your experience with NAMIWalks and your reasons for walking. Ask them to join your Team.
  • Make holiday ornaments: Make special ornaments and sell them for donations.
  • Mow-a-thon: Hold a neighborhood mow-a-thon weekend where you and your family will mow everyone’s lawn for a minimum donation.
  • Runner: Offer to be a friend’s errand runner or personal assistant for a day, in exchange for a substantial donation.
  • Garden Tour: Hold a garden tour at your home or at a local historical home.

Building Teams and raising funds should be an exciting experience! Now that you've read these ideas, I hope you will use one or think of something creative and inventive that you and/or your Team will do!!!