To kick off summer, I took a mini road trip with my dog Argos, hiking and camping from Washington DC on out to Utah and back. When you’re on the trails, you generally encounter like-minded people: friendly, nature-loving, and curious. Any time while traveling, I invite the opportunity to talk to these strangers. You can learn a lot about the surrounding area, find common ground, or even make new friends. Sometimes, I’ve found that an easy icebreaker is with the clothing someone is wearing. For example, a Dallas Cowboys baseball cap could begin a conversation between two fans or a tshirt streaked with Zion National Park could start a debate on the park’s best hike.
All of this being said, I have an absurd amount of graphic tshirts that make me a walking billboard for causes I’ve donated to and organizations I support. So to take this icebreaker from the trails to the internet, I wore seven different shirts over the course of my trip and will blog about each cause they represent.
Stay tuned for the next seven days, as I’ll release a new shirt and cause each day. Day 1 is included below.
DAY 1: To Write Love On Her Arms
To Write Love On Her Arms is an organization dedicated to helping people with mental illness and addiction find help. In an extremely open and welcoming forum, TWLOHA shares stories and inspiration from people who have overcome their struggles as well as those who are still embattled within them.
What I’ve always loved about TWLOHA is this willingness to speak about mental health openly. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans lives with some form of mental illness. That’s 20% of the population, or roughly 65 million people in the United States! So why does having a mental illness feel so isolating? Why don’t we feel comfortable talking about it? Learning about or understanding mental illness can help us to erase the stigma associated with talking about it. So let’s talk! Let’s educate ourselves.
You can find the rest of the tshirt blogging series below.
Bonus Day – Selcouth Collective – a brand new clothing line designed by a high school friend of mine, encouraging you to break through stereotypes, biases, and norms.