Friday, July 19, 2013

Become a NAMI Volunteer!

We are so grateful that you support NAMI by participating in NAMIWalks. Your NAMIWalk efforts help us raise the necessary funding for NAMI’s crucial programing in your area, as well as raise awareness about NAMI’s mission. However, have you ever thought how you could continue supporting NAMI throughout the year – beyond the Walk?

In addition to participating in the NAMIWalk, you can become a NAMI volunteer. Many state and affiliate NAMIs need volunteers to assist in hosting NAMI’s education programs and support groups, providing assistance with help-line calls and requests, and performing administrative duties – answering phone calls, performing data entry tasks, sorting mail, etc.

Another way you can volunteer is by serving on the Board of Directors. NAMI Board Members help guide the organization to ensure it is operating efficiently, ethically, and in the best interest of the individuals it serves. Board Members are also the lead supporters and ambassadors of the organization; they need to help raise funds, support the Walk by being a Team Captain, and spread awareness of the great work NAMI is providing in the community. 

Volunteering your time and talent to NAMI throughout the year is a great way to show your support. Volunteers are vital to the success of non-profit organizations. Many organizations wouldn’t be able to work toward achieving its missions without having dedicated volunteers. Contact your state or affiliate NAMI today and let them know you want to become a volunteer!

“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another,” Erma Bombeck.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What's a Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon?

This is the time of year when the Fall NAMIWalk Sites begin hosting their Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheons (KOL). The KOL is the second event that leads up to Walk Day (the first event being the Walk Information Meeting – WIM). The WIM is the kick-off for the Walk Season – a recap of the previous year’s Walk, the announcement of the current year’s goals and how the funds from the Walk will be used. The KOL is training for Team Captains.

KOLs are for current and past Team Captains, as well as individuals who are interested in becoming a Team Captain. During the 90 minute training, attendees learn how to become team leaders. We provide them with information and materials needed to build successful teams and achieve their $1,000 fundraising goals.

NAMIWalks has devised a fundraising formula so all teams are able to raise $1,000. This is how we break it down – 1 team with 10 members, each member raising $100, so the team collectively raises $1,000. It’s that easy!

During KOLs we discuss multiple ways teams can raise funds – from the traditional face-to-face ask to using online social networks and hosting small fundraising events. We make the discussion interactive by having the attendees share their ideas and experiences. We create an environment where everyone learns from each other! We have many creative Team Captains who have done an excellent job at finding unique and interesting ways to raise funds and they love to share their tactics.

Although this is a training and everyone who attends should be ready to learn, KOLs are also about having FUN. Learning should be enjoyable, so we make sure to add some excitement to the events. Some KOLs have a theme, such as a movie premiere or a luau (don’t be surprised to see people dressed in costumes based on the theme), while others will incorporate a game or trivia with the winners receiving prizes, and some will incorporate both! So, be ready to enjoy the event!

If you think you’re ready to become a Team Captain, contact your local Walk Manager to register for the upcoming KOL in your area!

Top picture of NAMI Westchester's KOL and bottom picture of NAMI New Jersey's KOL.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July is the National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Celebrate and bring awareness and supportive information to your community!

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month offers organizations of all types and sizes a wonderful opportunity to create mental health awareness in diverse communities. The US House of Representatives proclaimed July as this special month in 2008, aiming to improve access to mental health treatment and services through increased public awareness. Since then, many organizations have hosted a variety of events and activities in communities across the country each year.

NAMIWalks brings all people together to walk as one group. The event celebrates everyone's differences and encourages people to express themselves through creativity (designing team t-shirts and signs) to reflect their teams and diverse backgrounds. NAMIWalks brings communities together to fight the stigma around mental illness. 

Please follow the link - - for additional information on National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.