This interview is a tad different from our normal interviews. Instead of interviewing a band member, we decided to interview an organization that has an impact on band members, fans of all music genres, and people of all ages. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Jason Blades of the now infamous non-profit organization To Write Love On Her Arms.
We discussed the journey that has been TWLOHA throughout the years and the future of the organization.
To read more, click here.
TWLOHA began in 2006 as a Myspace blog that told a story of struggles that face many people, both back then and today, how do you believe that the organization has grown to be this successful and helpful?
Looking back we are fortunate that we have had the opportunity to help and offer hope to so many people. We attribute the organizations success to our supporters. We were trying to tell a story and to help a friend, but we realized that we stumbled upon a much larger conversation, one that needed to be had, but wasn’t. From there, our supporters have been incredible, they are the reason we are able to help people all over the world find help, and provide resources and education.
At what point did you realize that TWLOHA was more than “just a blog” ?
The moment it was posted. It was a story of depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. It was the story of a girl’s struggles, but also her finding help through treatment and with her friends. We had hoped that it could offer hope to others, but we never imagined it would become a non-profit.
What do you consider the most successful moment in the TWLOHA journey thus far?
We have some moments that we are very proud of, but I think that every time we hear from a supporter, or someone that has been helped by the organization, that it is our most successful moment. We exist for everyone, but if we could only help one person, than has all been worth it.
TWLOHA does conferences and teams up with college campuses, what happens during/ inside these conferences?
The goal of these conferences and college chapters is to bring the mission of hope and help as well as education and sensitivity towards issues we address to local communities. We want to equip the local communities so that they are able to better address the issues when they occur. These conferences and college chapters have taken a life of their own are something incredible to experience; it is a privilege to host them.
How did the creation of these conferences come about?
The conferences came because we wanted to continue the conversation that we had started. We wanted mental health to not be taboo and something that people were afraid of. We felt that offering education and sensitivity towards those issues would help to challenge the stigma that surrounded them, making it easier for people struggling to find help.
What has been the driving force behind running the organization for as long as it has been now, and continues to drive it forward?
Without a doubt, all of our supporters and our desire for those that are struggling to know that they aren’t alone. We exist because of them, and for them.
What has been one of the most inspiring stories you’ve heard along the way?
It would be an injustice to choose just one, because I believe that they are all inspiring. We have the privilege of hearing from people every day, all over the world. They tell us stories of their struggles, and how they found help, or asked for help the first time. Each and every story is important and inspiring. It is a privilege that we are very thankful for and take very seriously.
Does TWLOHA plan on hitting the road with any other tours soon?
We have a full summer as well as some great fall events planned, it would be best to check out our events page! http://twloha.com/events
To keep up with all things TWLOHA make sure to check out their Facebook page.
Remember to stop by the TWLOHA tent all summer at the Vans Warped Tour!