Siblings of people struggling with addiction can get pushed aside while their family deals with a brother's or sister's disease. Believe me: It's not something that's done intentionally. It just happens.
The scholarship essay contest Kathy and I created was something we came up with to show that siblings matter. We wanted to give those siblings a voice, have them write about how they've been affected by addiction, and reward a couple of them with some money to help pay their college tuition.
We gave away a total of $1,700.00 last year--$1,200.00 to the winner and $500.00 to the runner-up. Our goal this year is to at least match that amount, and, hopefully, exceed it. As I write this blog post, our YouCaring.com campaign for the scholarship fund stands at $1,585.00, so we're getting close. But we're only actively seeking contributions for five more days, so time is running out.
If anyone needs a reason to make a small donation, I offer up this testimony from a 17-year-old girl in Montana. She sent me a message via Facebook last night after she read my Heroes In Recovery blog entitled "Siblings and the Ripple Effect of Addiction." Here's what she wrote:
"Hi, I don't know if messaging you will help. Or if it's even worth it to send this. I read your blog on the ripple effect and how it affects siblings of addicts. I haven't found something that has ever actually explained how I feel with my sister being an addict until I read that. So much of what happened to your younger son is happening to me. I don't know why I'm messaging. I don't know if I want to talk or if I want to write about my experience. I guess it just feels nice knowing that people understand how I feel. I guess I'm more trying to say thank you for writing that because it helped me realize that it's okay to feel forgotten and pushed outta the family. It's normal but thank you for writing that. I hope you know it does help. It doesn't exactly make me feel like everything is okay now but it does help."
That message is exactly why Kathy and I are doing the scholarship contest again this year. And it's why you should take a couple of minutes and make a contribution--any contribution--to the scholarship fund before the end of the month.
Kathy and I believe that it shouldn't be okay for siblings to "feel forgotten and pushed outta the family." They deserve so much more than that.
You can make a contribution to the My Life as 3D Scholarship Fund at this link:
Thanks for listening.