Tuesday, 04 September 2012
Employer matching gifts are a great way for supporters of Families for Depression Awareness to make their dollars stretch even further! Yet, many people don't know that all they have to do is ask their employer or check on their company website to see if this option is available to them. Read about how Lynne and Bob support Families for Depression Awareness through Merrill Lynch's matching gift program.How did you find out about Families for Depression Awareness?
How did you find out about Families for Depression Awareness?
Bob: As part of a leadership course, Lynne was putting together a project to support family members and caretakers of people with depression. Having been in this role personally, she knew how difficult it can be when someone you love is suffering. Families for Depression Awareness was the only organization we found that focuses on giving family members the support and information they need to help their loved ones, take care of themselves through the process and end the stigma that makes this awful illness even worse.
What impact has the organization had on you?
Bob: Caring for Lynne's brother made us painfully aware of the lack of resources and information available for family members. At the same time, we were stunned by friends' reactions when we talked openly about depression in our family and realized just how pervasive and destructive the stigma of mental illness can be. For us, being involved with Families for Depression Awareness is an important way to support other families going through the same thing, and to speak out and help people understand depression, without the stigma.
Why is depression awareness an important cause?
Lynne: If a family member has, for example, heart disease or diabetes, we can speak openly about it. We can easily get advice, information and empathy from our community. But when it comes to depression, the stigma closes so many doors, leaving family members without the resources and support they deeply need. That simply has to change. We must open those doors and bring depression into the light.
How did you learn of Merrill Lynch's matching gift program?
Lynne: Bob has been with Merrill Lynch for more than a decade, and we've found them to be community-minded and a great corporate citizen. They make sure all their employees are aware of the matching gifts program, and we have used it over the years to support organizations and causes we care about.
Why did you decide to become a donor?
Bob: We have been incredibly blessed in life, and believe it's our responsibility to give back. We've seen how depression effects so many families, so deeply, and it's important to us to invest in supporting them. We also give precisely because depression awareness is not talked about or funded in the way it should be if we want to make progress.
What would you say to others who were thinking about becoming donors?
Lynne: When you give to Families for Depression Awareness, you are helping to give exceptionally valuable information that family members can use to help keep the people they love healthy. You provide a community of support for families facing depression and help end the stigma and misunderstanding. Most important, you offer hope.