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Tuesday, 25 November 2014
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"Help Support EDCT This #GivingTuesday" (By: Abbey Wallace)

My name is Abbey Wallace and I am an intern at the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee. Throughout the past few years of my life I went through a lot of different emotional battles. My battles started with anxiety and depression and eventually lead to a struggle with an eating disorder. My journey to recovery not only affected me but also had an impact on the people around me. Luckily, my friends and family were very supportive and encouraging along the way which aided in my recovery. Coming from a small, rural town in Upstate New York, there aren’t many resources for people struggling with eating disorders. When starting my junior year at Belmont University here in Nashville, I was introduced to the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee while researching for internships for my fall semester. I couldn’t believe how much this organization was doing for people who were struggling with the same issues I dealt with. I am so thankful to be working with such an incredible organization.

December 2, 2014 marks the beginning of #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is a day for people all around the world to come together and celebrate the positive impact that nonprofit organizations have in our community by giving back. This year for #GivingTuesday, I am asking you to help support EDCT.

Last year, with your support, EDCT was able to make a huge impact in the lives of many by:

  • Offering free-of-cost support groups across the state
  • Hosting four community events to raise awareness about eating disorders and related issues
  • Referring 168 individuals to the appropriate resources for help though our telephone/online intake program
  • Reaching 974 Tennesseans through our Speakers Bureau community education program
  • Training 261 health care professionals on best practices in eating disorders treatment and prevention

None of this would have been possible without YOU.

To get involved, please visit EDCT’s #GivingTuesday campaign page here. From there, you will notice two different ways that you can get invovled:

  1. Become an Ambassador: Help spread the word amongst coworkers, family and friends through social media, emails and personal phone calls. You may also create a crowdfunding page where you can set your own fundraising goal and even share your personal story. To create a crowdfunding page, click here.
  2. Donate: Support EDCT’s #GivingTuesday campaign by making a monetary donation. Any amount helps.

#GivingTuesday does not end on Tuesday, December 2nd for EDCT. We are excited to extend our campaign through December 31st, in hopes that you will consider giving back to EDCT during this holiday season. Your support helps us to continute on with our mission of providing hope, help and support to all those impacted by eating disorders and disordered eating.

I sincerenly ask for your support of EDCT this December for #GivingTuesday. I have learned so much from interning here for the past few months and EDCT will always have a special place in my heart. With your donations, no matter how big or small, and your ability to spread the word about EDCT, you can help make EDCT’s 2014/15 year the biggest yet!

About the Author

Abbey is currently a junior Music Business major at Belmont University. She joined EDCT in the fall as an intern due to her rising passion for non-profit organizations and eating disorder awareness. She enjoys traveling, Starbucks, live music and spending her free time with her friends, family and pets.

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Posted on 11/25/2014 9:30 AM by Abbey Wallace
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Tuesday, 18 November 2014
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"What Lights You Up?" (By: Maria Grasso)

In many mysterious—and often chilling—ways, this question creeps its way into my mind over and over again.  For the past few years, I’ve encountered it—or been asked it—at various defining moments in my life.  Interestingly enough, the answer is always the same, I just don’t always come to it the same way.

What we constantly put in front of our eyes and minds creates us.  We are a product of our environment.  I am not giving you an excuse to blame your self-worth on your circumstances.  In fact, I am doing quite the opposite. I am freeing you from the constraints of things you think you cannot escape. Take responsibility for your self-worth, because guess who is in charge of your environment? You, of course.

I vividly remember being at the crux of my ED and ferociously assigning songs and quotes to my roller coaster of late teen emotions and experiences.  By focusing on these words, negative ones mostly, I lived those moments over and over again.  Ultimately, I wrapped myself up in the most hideous packaging and left myself on the doorstep of the world--no shiny, gold ribbon, guys.    

The truth is, you control most of the words that go past your eyes and into your ears.   It wasn’t until the most recent time I was asked the question “What lights you up?” did I understand its role in my recovery.  See, during my days in the dark, I couldn’t find the answer…and that deeply frustrated my bright and shiny, passionate heart.  I was a girl on fire, wasn’t I? Uh, I wasn’t even convincing myself at that point.  I began seeking out what lit other people up, reading quotes of inspiration, motivation, purpose, passion—heck, anything with a glimmer of positivity!  What lit me up? Why couldn’t I figure it out?

The right words remind us of who we are and give us the positive reinforcement we need to create the environment for that person to emerge, or re-emerge.  I couldn’t access my light because I didn’t cultivate an environment for it to materialize.  I poured negativity into my eyes and ears everyday, darkening my world.  I realized I needed to make a change.  I began to practice positivity each day from then on, obnoxiously sharing quotes, thoughts, and ideas that drew out passion and fire from within myself.  My friends and family can tell you about the onslaught of words they get from me still to this day.  See, what lights me up is sharing capability with the world, building confidence in other people for whatever the world has in store for them.  I can only access that light when I put positivity in front of my eyes and ears. 

Recovery requires that you take back control of the words you encounter.  Recovery finds itself when you can finally answer the question most critical to your purpose, what lights you up?

About the Author

Maria Grasso has a passion for people and commitment to education.  In her youth, she served as a Youth Ambassador for a United Nations Association development program in both South Africa and Namibia where she assisted in school development and built water sanitation facilities and homes for rural families. After graduation, Maria moved to Houston, Texas to work in urban education and nonprofit administration at an innovative Houston high school for economically disadvantaged students, while completing her Master’s of Business Administration. Currently, she serves as Executive Director of a youth success program that exposes high school and college students to the proven systems and techniques, that when properly practiced, give students a 7-year head start on their career and life. Maria is an advocate for using your body for strength—and loves motivating friends and family to reach their goals and laugh along the way!

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Posted on 11/18/2014 9:30 AM by Maria Grasso
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