January 10, 2017

Our Crazy Awesome Volunteers and What We Put Them Through!

If you haven’t met Rose, she’s been a fixture in our office. She’s given more hours than I’d like to count and has done it with quite the generous heart. She wears The Stitch daily and epitomizes what SYS is all about. 🙂


I first learned about Speak Your Silence on the wonderful world of Facebook. It was August 2015. I couldn’t believe that it was located here in Boise, ID. With only a handful of individuals knowing my story of abuse at the time, I was attracted to the organization immediately. I joined “The Fam” because counseling had such a huge impact on my life; I wanted to help those who could not afford it.  It wasn’t until January that I reached out to Matt and asked how I could help. Lucky for me, he was just about to start putting together thousand of The Stitch kits for Causebox.

So, on January 23, 2016, I stepped into that little office in Downtown Boise for the first time. I fumbled with the sewing machine, but eventually got the hang of spinning the orange thread onto the cards.

I kid you not, on that first day, “I forgot to soak my beans!” were words that I thought I was saying silently in my mind, but really came out like word vomit.

On top of that, I, along with the other volunteers, was fired…multiple times.  😉  But for some reason, Matt kept letting me back into the office to help.

Then Faithbox came along. Thousands more of The Stitch kits. If I wasn’t a pro after helping with the first big batch, I would be very soon.

Fun fact: The sewing machine is the only machine we use. Everything else is done by hand because you’re that important to us. 🙂 We spin the thread, stick a needle through, and stuff the thread card, along with “Stitch It”, “Shoot It”, “Share It” cards, and a sticker, into a little box. And we have A LOT of fun! 🙂

During the Faithbox excitement, I was asked to help lead a few groups. Even when it was a billion degrees outside, and while we were running about in a room where the AC wasn’t working great, there was no place else I would rather be.

Why? The other volunteers.

I love telling them all about SYS.
I love hearing about how they all learned about SYS.
I love seeing people from all different backgrounds and organizations come together for one awesome cause.

Matt founded this organization, but he can’t do it on his own. Although sometimes he thinks he can. 😉 It takes an army to keep SYS afloat and I have LOVED meeting everyone who wants to be part of it!

We volunteers are just one part.

All of you reading this, those who have donated, and everyone who wears The Stitch are each very important parts.  And I appreciate you very much! 🙂

If you didn’t know, here at SYS, we like to do things the old fashioned way. In a world consumed by tweets, texts, and Facebook posts, we like to remind people of the lost art of letter writing. If you’re part of “The Fam”, or participated in Camp Fangamer, there’s a chance you received a thank you note from me. If you’ve ever donated to SYS or purchased one of The (really awesome) Stitch kits or t-shirts online, then you received a handwritten note saying how much we appreciate you.

Here’s the thing – it’s 2017 and we could have easily typed up the message, printed it, and delivered it by drone. (If only we were cool enough to have a drone.)

But like I mentioned before, we want you to know how much we appreciate you.

Most recently, a number of other volunteers and I took a few hours out of our day(s) to handwrite a little note, asking 900+ individuals to be part of The Loudspeaker. We did our hand exercises, grabbed our favorite pens, and started writing away.

You see, The Loudspeaker is more than just funding the coffee runs.
It’s giving SYS a place to call home.
It’s the light shining down as I package The Stitch kit #14,887.
It’s the orange thread that brings hope to so many.

Those are the thoughts, along with a plethora of others, which crossed my mind as I wrote the notes and stuffed the envelopes, in hopes that SYS would gain 30 more Loudspeaker Members. (Yes, even as my hand was cramping on #248)

You deserve a handwritten note because you matter a lot. 🙂

Thank you for joining me on this mission to conquer the stigma of child sexual abuse.
Wear The Stitch.
Share your story.
Maybe I’ll see you in the office one day. 🙂