I was inspired and wanted to bring this back to Fallon. Fallon is a great community, but we lack the resources that large cities have when it comes to mental health services. Additionally, Nevada has one of the highest rates of suicide in the country. With this in mind, I wanted to expand the project to include our community in addition to the school.
#WhyYouMatter is a campaign to promote positive self-image. My goal is to remind our students and community that we are all important. We each bring a unique gift that enhances our community. The project invites each member of the community to be photographed with an "I matter because" statement. Photos will be printed in black and white with a red banner. We will display the images in the community exhibitions that will be hung in January and again in April and invite the community to come out for a #WhyYouMatter night.
I first approached our school superintendent to gauge how receptive she would be to the idea. Of course, she was on board. So I set out to engage our community. I contacted anyone who I thought might be willing to support the project and the idea. I went to various meetings in the community and shared the project and my goals. I approached anyone who would listen.
Fortunately for me, our local library was the first group who jumped on board and offered support. Once the Churchill Library was on board, others in the community followed. Within two months, I had raised enough money to support the project both within the school and the community. I have to say, that I've lived in a number of places through out the country and this is the first time that I have been able to launch something this large. The community support here is something I have not experienced in other places. Not to say it isn't there, but I am impressed with the willingness and motivation of this town in particular.
I will launch the project this coming Saturday at the Fallon Community Days event. You can read more about the project on our website: www.whyyoumatterfallonnv.com.
If you are a local, please come participate. Make your voice heard and remember—you have an important role to play.