In August, we awarded two college scholarships to students who have been affected by a sibling's addiction. The author of the winning essay, Ryan Gruchala, received $1,200.00 to help pay his tuition at the University of Dayton; and the runner-up, Luke Moran, got $500.00 to help pay for his studies at the University of Delaware.
Those scholarships were funded in part through the generous donations of ordinary people. People who realize that addiction is a family disease, and that it eats away at families in every way possible: emotionally, physically, and financially. Addiction affects everyone in the family--mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.--but I don't think anyone is affected as much as siblings. Oftentimes they don't understand what's going on with the brother or sister who means so much to them, or why it's happening.
A sibling's addiction can also have a negative financial impact on a family. While trying to help an addicted child, parents burn through money at a tremendous rate. They spend thousands of dollars on rehab treatment, hospitals, therapy, intensive outpatient programs, sober living houses, special medications, etc. By the time another child is ready to go to college, parents are frequently struggling financially. So every little bit helps.
My wife and I have decided to do another My Life as 3D Scholarship Essay Contest for 2016. We will once again put up $500.00 of our own money, and we would love to have others contribute to the cause. Our goal? To meet or exceed the amount of the scholarships awarded the first time around.
I've set up a fundraising page on the YouCaring website. (I chose YouCaring this time because their fees are lower than other crowdfunding sites.) Please consider making a donation to this cause, even if it's only a couple of dollars. It all adds up, and you will be helping someone who is very deserving.
This fundraiser will be open through March of 2016. The essay contest will be announced in my blog in April of 2016. The winners will be announced in August of 2016.
If anyone wants more information about how the first essay contest was set up and run, you can visit my blog post about it.
So, who wants to help make a difference in a young person's life?
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." --Winston Churchill