Definitions

dedicating to

To Write Love on Her Arms

To Write Love on Her Arms, also known as TWLOHA, is an American non-profit organization which aims to present hope and find help for people struggling with problems such as depression, drug addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Based in Central Florida, TWLOHA seeks to connect people to treatment centers, websites, books, support groups, and other resources. TWLOHA also encourages people to have honest conversations about these issues, to live in community, and to seek help for these treatable conditions.

A percentage of profits of TWLOHA goes towards bringing hope and help to meet people right where they are. A large portion is dedicating to bridging the gap between traditional treatment (i.e. rehab, counseling, helplines) and the places where ordinary people come together and live their lives. Examples of this include: music festivals and tours, social networking sites, and schools and universities. Wanting to support existing professional help organizations (not wanting to replace them), TWLOHA also sends a portion of donations directly to such causes as National Hopeline Network, Teen Challenge and (in Australia) Kids Help Line. TWLOHA committed to supporting these organizations each month for the rest of 2007, with a fundraising goal of US$100,000.

In its first year of existence as an organization, TWLOHA operated under the umbrella of Fireproof Ministries [501(c)3]. After a season of growth and transition, TWLOHA became an independent non-profit corporation in the Fall of 2007, TWLOHA, INC . TWLOHA currently operates as a 501(c)3 (application pending). Their 2007 990 Form is on extension, due November 15th, 2008.

The group's main exposure comes from musicians and bands who wear the organization's distinctive T-shirts in photographs and performances, however it has recently gained more and more public exposure through merchandise and public community websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. TWLOHA had a booth at every stop on the 2007 Vans Warped Tour.

As of April 2008, Hot Topic started carrying TWLOHA shirts, which makes Hot Topic the first chain to ever carry TWLOHA merchandise. Within 2 weeks TWLOHA shirts were one of the biggest selling shirts in Hot Topic, but due to the use of profanity and religion in the story printed on the inside of the shirts, they were ultimately pulled from the store at the end of those 2 weeks. The shirts that were unsold were given to Hot Topic employees. As a result, the founder wrote a completely new piece presenting a message of hope and love for the inside of the shirts. Currently, TWLOHA shirts are available at Hot Topic stores nationwide.

Community Exposure

TWLOHA has risen to prominence very quickly through endorsements of celebrities such as Hayley Williams from Paramore, Roger Argenis from Aerial, Jon Foreman from Switchfoot, Sean from the Blackout, Derek from Mayday Parade, Deon Rexroat from Anberlin, Amy Lee from Evanescence, Bryce Avary from The Rocket Summer, Casey Calvert from Hawthorne Heights,and Brendon Urie from Panic at the Disco and has a growing loyal fan base. Other supportive bands and musicians include Between the Trees, The Rocket Summer, The Almost, Underoath, Bayside, As We Collide, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and many more. Over 233,000 fans on Facebook since being added to the application (as of February 2008). In addition, Facebook groups for TWLOHA have increased three-fold since early 2007, with nearly 50,000 Facebook users associating themselves with groups related to the organization. As well, the "Love Is The Movement" project, although separate to the actual organization, had more than 380,000 members who dedicated themselves to writing "love" on their arms and sharing the message of the organization on February 13th, 2008 -- and any day thereafter.

In 2008, bands like Switchfoot have been on tour in support of this organization. The Up In Arms Tour has been across America spreading awareness of instances of depression and suicide amongst young people in attempt to be an agent of change to those suffering and those affected by these issues.

History

TWLOHA was founded by Jamie Tworkowski in March 2006. Prior to that, the seeds of the group were sown by a story written by Tworkowski, about 19-year-old Renee Yohe, who struggled with addiction, depression, self-injury, and attempted suicide. Tworkowski's story, written in February 2006, chronicles Yohe's life five days before she entered treatment. Unable to get Yohe checked into a treatment centre in the mean time, friends take care of her through love and prayer.

On the FAQ for TWLOHA's official website, it stated that Renee has finished rehab and is currently going to school in Florida. It also stated that she is healthy and sober, although she'll have to fight her addiction for the rest of her life.

In addition to the story, T-shirts were printed and sold in Orlando to fund Yohe's drug treatment, and a MySpace page was created to serve as home base for the project. Bands such as Anberlin and Switchfoot showed their support and began wearing the TWLOHA T-shirts right away, and TWLOHA's MySpace page began to receive messages and comments from young people struggling with the same issues that Yohe faced. What began as an attempt to help one person in Orlando quickly generated wide interest – to date, TWLOHA has heard from young people in all 50 states as well as many from Canada, Mexico, Australia and the United Kingdom, among others.

TWLOHA began operating as a non-profit organization in October 2006 under the umbrella of Fireproof Ministries. On September 1, 2007, TWLOHA left Fireproof and TWLOHA, Inc. was established in Florida as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. TWLOHA uses a team of part-time help and volunteers to respond to the growing volume of MySpace messages and emails. The group recently leased an office in Cocoa, Florida, which will allow them to expand. In August 2007, TWLOHA was awarded a MySpace Impact Award in the Community Building category.

September 10-17 has been called "TWLOHA Week" and many write "LOVE" on their arms during that week, sharing the story of hope with others.

"Love is the Movement", "Rescue is Possible" and "Stop the Bleeding" are slogans often used by the organization. "Stop the Bleeding" is the slogan TWLOHA uses for live events, which combine music, art and speaking.

References

External links

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