Greetings Friends family and supporters!
Operation Exposure and Hope 4U foundation are excited to announce:
Operation Summer Exposure 4. #BreakTheStigma
July 22nd-July 29th 2019
This will be our fourth consecutive summer program where we will uplift, engage and motivate our participants to be leaders and agents of change within their own communities! The focus this year is mental health and honing mental, physical, and emotional alignment. My idea is that the body follows the head. Thus, if we can engage and expose these young men to activities that will help bring peace within themselves, the rest will follow. We will be sponsoring 15 boys from the Atlanta metropolitan area as well as Rowan and Cabarrus counties of North Carolina.
Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Each year, when the dust settles and May comes to an end, I wonder why we’re not encouraged to be aware of our mental health year round just as we are for our physical health. Given the statistical research and data that is available about the effects of anxiety and depression on our bodies and immune systems, mental health is a critical point of focus in advancing overall health. As Harvard Health pointed out in 2008, “anxiety has now been implicated in several chronic physical illnesses, including heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders, and gastrointestinal conditions.” These conditions are no joke, so why don’t we take mental health more seriously?
The answer, in part, may be rooted in a lack of understanding and possibly fear within our communities. Both are reflected in the way we routinely downplay and underestimate mental health, as part of our daily lexicon. How many times have you heard “I literally had a panic attack”, “she’s so bipolar”, or “don't mind him, he’s a little OCD?" If you’ve never struggled with a mental health issue, you may not give these phrases a second thought. Those who do struggle may continue to battle their conditions in silence given the lack of understanding and compassion that society has for their differing struggles. This is particularly true of the most vulnerable population in our midst: adolescents are often dealing with emerging mental health disorders.
With our focus surrounding mental health, this year's camp will be a little different. We will be having daily yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation sessions, in addition to words of affirmation from positive motivational speakers, activities to encourage expression through poetry and spoken word, and wellness discussions relating to healthy eating. The formal camp component will run from July 26th to July 29th.
In order to implement this year's camp and the mental health retreat, we are looking to fundraise $5000, and the deadline to donate is July 21st, 2019. We will be keeping track of all donations through this platform, but donations can also be given through:
Cash App @operationexposure
When you donate through the aforementioned platforms, please also send an email to verify receipt of your donation!
Checks should be addressed to:
Hope 4U Foundation "Operation Summer Exposure 4"
P.O Box 1044, Salisbury, NC 28145