By Katherine M. Zimmerman, NAMI-UW Co-President (2022-2024)
To start off my first semester as president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (NAMI-UW), I wanted to find a way to contribute to my community and continue to advocate for mental health & support individuals/families that suffer from mental illness.
Initially, Author & Mental Health Advocate, Jason Wood contacted me about helping NAMI-UW organize a semester kick-off event for the fall semester. Jason Wood is the author of "Starving for Survival: One Man's Journey With Orthorexia" and has a blog titled Orthorexia Bites. It was a pleasure to work with Jason and to learn more about his struggles with orthorexia and mental health. I truly admire his dedication to sharing his story to let others know they're not alone and for using his experiences in order to obtain personal growth, passion, and resilience.
One of my main goals was to find a business that would sponsor our event — I struggled at first due to the large number of donuts I requested and the short time frame I had to organize everything. However, once I sent a donation request to Kwik Trip, I was quickly assisted by helpful staff and contacted by their District Leader. She was kind and cooperative while working with me to arrange a date and time to pick up 200 glazed donuts (a.k.a. "Glazers") from my local Kwik Trip. The store leader, Becca was also very accommodating and helped arrange a smooth pick-up! When my mother and I went to pick up the 200 donuts, we received great service from the Kwik Trip staff, who were extremely helpful and supportive!
After weeks of planning and organizing, I was so thankful to finally have everything I needed to have a successful event and was very excited to put everything into action! Additionally, Jason Wood provided us with a video to share with UW-Madison students on our website and I created graphic designs/advertisements to spread the word about our event!
I'd like to personally thank Jason Wood for collaborating with and inspiring me. I'd also like to thank Kwik Trip for being our sponsor by donating 200 donuts to our event! Finally, a special thank you to my amazing executive team for all the work they've done for the event and the immense effort they continue to put into NAMI-UW!
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