Contributions Director/Web site
Phillip Morris Companies, Inc.
120 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
My name is Julie Flynn and I currently run a help web site for teen depression. The address is www.illstandbyyou.com. I would greatly appreciate it if you would please take the time to see what I have accomplished. Just recently I discovered your web site and was very impressed with your generosity for non profit organizations.
I am a 42 year old mom who has a strong passion to help teens and young adults who suffer from depression. I am currently in the process of opening a non profit organization to provide the much needed support that these teens are so desperately crying out for.
I began my web site in July of 2000, and I have been volunteering my everyday and night services talking to teens who are in need of comfort and support while dealing with their depression issues. To date there have already been over 10,000 visitors to the site. Due to the growing number of teens in need, it has become impossible to continue doing this alone. I am desperately in need of help to accomplish my goals. I have been doing this free of charge and bearing all related costs for the last six months. In order to expand this service I am desperately in need of funds.
The teen suicide rate continues to escalate as there are 14 teens everyday who commit suicide in the United States alone. The Internet has enabled teens and young adults to contact me from all over the world. I currently talk to teens from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Israel, and England. Depression knows no boundaries. They come to me when they have lost all hope due to their depression, family problems, abusive relationships, and suicidal ideologies. They are turning to addictive and life threatening behavior such as, alcoholism, drug addiction, self injury, and eating disorders. Some have told me that I have saved there lives. They have thanked me over and over again for being there for them. To lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on is very comforting to those in pain. Sometimes, that is all it takes. I admire their courage in reaching out and I am honored it is me they are turning to.
My long range goal is to build a center for teens and young adults to come to for free, to get help for depression issues. There are so many who say their family cannot afford it, and they are afraid to ask for help as they do not want to be a financial burden to their families. Due to the stigma society still has on depression, teens are afraid they will be treated differently not only by their family but also by their peers. My goal is to stop this stigma and let everyone know what a courageous and wonderful thing it is to reach out and get the help you need. The center would need to be open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as depression and suicidal thoughts come at any time, day or night.
My goal is:
1. Talk to teens and young adults on the Internet. Get to know them and build up trust. (So many do not trust adults)
2. Provide to them a 1-800 number for times when they feel they cannot go on one more day.
3. Build a large home or center which does not resemble a hospital. A place that brings comfort and unconditional love to those in need. There would be a staff of psychiatrists and psychologists so medications and therapy can be offered.
I am and will continue contacting the media in regards to what I am doing. The public needs to be more aware of how our children are in pain and what I am doing to try and help them. Once this is publicized, I believe the parents of these children would be more willing to let them come. I have so much compassion and empathy for people who are hurting, and I will do whatever I can to help. There is a shortage of help out there, these teens do not know where to turn.
The Internal Revenue Service, recently contacted me as I need to provide them with a few more forms in order to qualify for the 501 (c ) (3) status. I do have my tax exempt number and will be mailing the forms they requested soon. I have also contacted the Governor of Minnesota and he has now proclaimed the week of September 17-23 for Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week.
This is not a dream for me, I have every intention to see this become a reality. I hope you take an interest in my organization. Please send me the information on how to apply for a Phillip Morris grant.
Crossroads to Recovery
I emailed a similar letter to four of my local news stations and two major newspapers. As I hear from them, I will post what they say.
This first one is from Ted Canova, the News Director for Channel 4 News in the Twin Cities.
Thanks for your e-mail. I think your web site would be a great story. I've
instucted other news managers to pursue it with you.
After two weeks with no response, I emailed Channel 4 again and this is how it went:
Dear Mr. Canova,
I wrote to you on January 10th and was very pleased to see such a quick
response. To refresh your memory, my name is Julie Flynn and I have a web
site regarding teen depression and the devastating effects it has on teens
today. The teen suicide rate continues to rise and I am asking for your help
in trying to lower this.
My organization (Crossroads to Recovery) is only a step away from
becoming registered with the IRS as a non profit organization. It is
however, now a corporation listed with the state of Minnesota. My hope is to
have my story aired so I can continue reaching out to more teens and young
adults who feel they can no longer go on one more day. Because my web site
has reached over 13,000 I know what a huge demand there is for help for
these teens. Currently I have five teens from the St. Paul area volunteering
their time with me as my dream turns into the reality it needs to be.
You had mentioned in your e-mail that you had instructed other news
managers to pursue this with me, and I look forward to hearing from them. I
appreciate your concern and willingness to help me lower these tragically
high statistics. I would be very grateful in knowing how soon you think this
could possibly be aired.
Thank you very much for your time.
Within a few minutes, they responded with this:
Thanks for the e-mail....congratulations...we'll get on it this time.
Letters Written in 2000