Hello everyone,

First things first, an organizational update: Please Live has been diligently working on building our foundation as a nonprofit for the past two years now. Over the course of 2012 we really amped up our progress in finalizing our Board of Directors and four committees with a solid base of volunteers (but we’re always looking for more!). We have the necessary ground work completed and all that’s left to do is file for our 501(c)3 status which should be completed within the next two weeks. Hopefully we will be able to start 2013 as a nonprofit, however it may be several weeks into January before that goal is achieved.

We just want to thank everyone out there in Central PA and even in other states who have supported us up until this point. It takes a lot of trust and faith to support a brand new nonprofit, and many of you have supported us despite securities that the money was being used correctly or tax-deductible advantages. Because of the people who believed in us from the very beginning, students in our community will learn how to receive help from a potentially fatal illness; depression.

On a more seasonal note, the holidays are upon us. The holidays are always a surreal time for myself personally. I always enter into the season expecting beautiful snow, a Martha-Stewart decorated house with Martha Stewart style dinner parties, perfect gifts wrapped perfectly, cheerful holiday music, cheerful people, and goodwill towards all. This, of course, is the holiday ideal, but unfortunately it is far from reality. Even the families that can afford to look perfect show cracks and brokenness under a
magnifying glass. The surrealism hits me when I enter into a season with expectation, and time and time again the reality doesn’t fit the expectation, and I am faced with the inevitable disappointment that I somehow don’t fit the season.

The cure for this is to realize that the holiday ideal is just that – an ideal – and not something that needs to be conformed to in order to experience joy this season. Recognize that you can have a lovely holiday even with your broken, imperfect family and your microwave meal that you still somehow managed to burn. Acknowledging that Christmas isn’t always “the most wonderful time of the year” will prepare you to have a lovely holiday season with realistic expectations that won’t start your season off with disappointment.

And, of course, for anyone out there who has lost a loved one – either to suicide or other causes – face a difficult time in this season. For some tips on how to cope with the holidays after a loss due to suicide, check out the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s tips on Handling the Holidays here:

Thanks again for all of your support, and we hope you all have the best holiday season possible this year.