a hero can save us

Blogathon 2009 - Introductory Post

Why am I reading this?

I am Twyla, I live in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, and I just graduated from my B.F.A Honors in Fine Art and moved into the work force and away from home. My internet handle is newsong , and I am an avid online journaller. Blogging has infiltrated my daily life, and I write not only about my experiences, but about my thoughts on many intellectual and personal topics. For two years I blogged for a charity called Not For Sale, an active group spreading awareness about modern day slavery and supporting groups that aid in the mission to abolish it. This year I am tackling a new kind of slavery - a mental illness affecting many people, and one that I myself was victim to for many years. This post is asking you to support me in Blogathon 2009 and my cause by sponsoring the charity I have chosen, and spreading the word about this event. Read on!

What on earth is a blogathon?

Blogathon 2009 is made up of an organized group of bloggers who, starting at 6am PDT on Saturday, July 25th, 2009, (which is 7am Saskatchewan, SK, Canada time, where I am based) will be writing a blog post every half hour for 24 hours - a total of 48 posts each. Many bloggers including myself choose to theme their posts, do a little bit of prep ahead of time for big projects, or offer incentives for different sums of money donated. Each blogger chooses a charity where donations can be made online, and in my case offline as well. There are over 200 bloggers currently registered with all sorts of charities. Our motto? Stay up late. Make a difference.

Themes you say? What are you blogging about this year?

I had enough extra posts I wanted to do to last me a hundred posts and two years, feel free to read my archives - but this year I had to be a bit more creative. On moving out of the house and spending a little time helping my family cleaning up vast swaths of the basement to prepare for renovations, I discovered many things from my childhood and youth that brought a smile to my face. With the help of my new and amazing camera and the zeal of the Blogathon at my back, I'll be photographing, scanning, or unearthing from my memory descriptions of 48 emblematic items from my childhood and blogging about them. It will be a personal history for myself to remember and for my friends to enjoy, as well as, I'm hoping, all the strangers who come to read my posts.

What charity are you supporting?

The charity I have chosen to sponsor for this year is called Looking Glass and is based in Burnaby, B.C., Canada. Like my previous charities, it's about a type of slavery. But for me this year is about something much more personal. Some of you who know me well may be aware that this year I realized I had and was subsequently diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder. I am on a fast road to recovery after a lot of prayer and support from friends and I have begun learning how to deal with the many aspects of the disease and the habits it created in me.

Binge Eating Disorder is a mental and physical illness characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop. Often it is caused by the initial impulse to seek solace in food when it is the most available pleasure. People with binge eating disorder struggle with feelings of guilt, disgust, and depression. They worry about what the compulsive eating will do to their bodies and beat themselves up for their lack of self-control. They desperately want to stop binge eating, but they feel like they can’t. According to the National Institutes of Health, 2 percent of all U.S. adults suffer from compulsive overeating—making binge eating disorder more common than bulimia or anorexia.

Looking Glass is a group of people from across Canada dedicated to creating Canada's first treatment facility for adolescents with eating disorders. In partnership with the medical community, they are dedicated to helping young women and men get to the other side of eating disorders, returning them to a world where the image in the mirror matches the true one within.

I chose this charity because they fit all the criteria I was looking for this year. You can donate to them online, they do not cater exclusively to one of the three recognized eating disorders, and they are not gender-biased. A significant number of men are binge eaters, quite a few more than are inflicted with the other eating disorders, though men can be anorexic and bulimic as well.

This cause is close to my heart, as I suffered from binge eating for over ten years before I finally found enough information about it to self-diagnose and find freedom through a logical understanding of what was happening. I have experienced a miraculous recovery, but I understand the pain of living with an eating disorder, the difficulty of hiding it, and the mental issues involved. I hope that my participation in this blogathon will help bring someone else some freedom as well.

What can I do?

I'm asking you to do 5 things.

1. SPEAK. Forward this as an email, ask me for a link image, tell friends and family. Spread the word about Blogathon and the mission to have a Canadian treatment center for eating disorders.
2. GIVE. Choose to sponsor me, and donate to this cause. You can donate as little as a dollar or as much as you want. I'm shooting for $1,000, but I would be thrilled if we could raise more!
3. LEARN. Find out more about this cause, educate yourself about eating disorders and other common mental illnesses.
4. READ. Come check out my blog. (You're already here, yay!) I can't guarantee that all 48 posts that day will be scintillating, but I have grand plans and I guarantee that there will be a fantastic personal history for you to enjoy. Bookmark this link to follow my participation in the 'thon. Also, because this is an image heavy year, you can access the images directly at this link after the 'thon.
5. REPRESENT. If you support the effort to start an eating disorder treatment center in Canada, please check out some of the information I'll be providing and consider taking up the cause yourself. If you live in another country, look for efforts in your area.

How Can I Give?

There are two ways to sponsor me - my charity, that is - financially as a blogger in the Blogathon. You can pledge a lump sum, payable before, during, or after the event to the charity, or you can pledge a sum for each hour that I write in the blogathon! I am young and spry and plan to write all the way through (my first year I wrote all the way through just after coming home from surgery!) so make sure you're willing to pay the full amount... If you have friends and family with less access to the internet, they can give you money and you can pledge it for them with a proxy pledge.  I will not receive any funds for doing this and I will not blatantly promote myself in a way that could make me money during the event. Ready to get involved?

* Go Here to Create an Account with the Blogathon. From this link you can read their privacy policy as well.
* You will then arrive at the pledge page. My blog ID is 102. Choose how much you'd like to sponsor me for, and whether it's a lump sum, or an hourly amount. THIS DOES NOT MAKE A DONATION. It is a record of your planned donation for me as well as a way for the Blogathon to keep track of total donations for the event, and you can choose to remain anonymous or mask your identity if you wish, but I'd love to know who you are! After the event, you'll receive two reminders to give - if you've already donated you can ignore them. Please email me or comment on my blog as well! I'd loveto hear from you.
* You can then go to the donation section of Looking Glass right away or during/after the Blogathon, or right then if you'd like.

I'm truly hoping that the cause I have chosen will speak louder than the incentives. I have tried offering elaborate incentives before and then gotten kind of swamped and found myself unable to fulfill my promise. Therefore this is the offer: If you are planning to make a large donation and you have some artwork in mind that you would like me to tackle, let me know and we'll try to work something out.

How Can I Spread The Word?

* Forward this in an email! It's a whole lot better than most forwards, and if you know me directly, be my reference! You can ask me to send the email to you so you don't have to worry about HTML issues, and it won't come with images, either.
* Link to my Blog tag where I discuss the Blogathon - http://newsong.livejournal.com/tag/blogathon+2009
* Ask me for a special image and upload it to your server if you're a webmaster or a blogger. I'll be making some personal ones shortly.
  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Mood: sleepy Looking forward to 48 posts!
  • Current Music: Lifehouse - Hanging By A Moment