Three sets of hands holding a wooden heart. Across the heart is a banner that says “Opening the Heart” and “April.”

April: Alcoholism Awareness Month

By Caden Ziegler
Web Content Contributor

April has a ton of national observances, but I would like to focus on one: Alcoholism Awareness. There are countless charities, but it can be difficult separating which ones actually do good and are beneficial to the cause. Here, I’ve outlined a couple charities that I think have great mission statements and use the money they are given effectively.

Amy Winehouse Foundation

One such charity that seems to be credible is the Amy Winehouse Foundation. The three goals for the charity are:

  • To inform and educate young people about the effects of drug and alcohol misuse and support those seeking help with their drug and alcohol related problems and those needing on-going support in their recovery.
  • To provide support for those most vulnerable, those at high risk of misuse or disadvantaged through circumstance.
  • To support personal development of disadvantaged young people through music.
Four blocks of text describing the different programs offered by the Amy Winehouse foundation: Resilience Programme for Schools, Amy’s Yard, Amy’s Place, and Music Therapy for Children.
The Amy Winehouse Foundation has four different programs for addiction recovery and upcoming musicians. Screenshot from www.amywinehousefoundation.org.

The charity has four different areas of work. The first one is called “RESILIENCE PROGRAMME FOR SCHOOLS,” which aims to provide drug and alcohol awareness in secondary schools.

“Amy’s Yard” is a program designed specifically for struggling musical artists 18-25 to help them become confident, self-sustaining musical artists. While this isn’t directly related to alcoholism, the charity uses Amy’s personal studio to help young and vulnerable artists cultivate their voice and resilience, no doubt preventing them from falling into the world of addiction.

“Amy’s Place” is the third section of the charity, providing a place to live for women that have gone through treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. While they stay here, they have great support and learn lessons on how to readapt to society and stay clean.

The final program in the Amy Winehouse Foundation is “Musical Therapy for Children,” where children and family can go to the Music Room at Haven House, a children’s hospital in Essex, and develop communication skills through music. Music therapy can be used for developmental problems, motor-issues and communication problems. The Music Room is also staffed with therapists for the children to speak to.

To Write Love on Her Arms

To Write Love on Her Arms is a charity started by Jamie Tworkowski after hearing his friends story.

“When Jamie met Renee Yohe, she was struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts,” the website reads.

She entered treatment and he started selling T-shirts to cover the cost, but it has grown exponentially since he shared her story and started the conversation about suicide, self-harm, and addiction. So far, they have raised over two million dollars and have sold merchandise to almost 98 countries. The full story can be found here.

White screen with text saying “We believe: You were created to love and be loved. People need other people. Your story is important. Better days are ahead. Hope and help are real.
To Write Love on Her Arms core message. Screenshot from www.twloha.com

There are many ways to help out with this charity; one way is to donate your birthday. For your birthday, people can follow a specific link and donate to TWLOHA. They also have a way for you to share your story and how TWLOHA has impacted you and helped you recover.

They are always looking for other charities and businesses to partner with, and hold events that have live music, celebration, and serve to provide hope. They explicitly say that the “Heavy and Light” event “is not a benefit show. It is not about raising awareness. It is an attempt to move people.” At the end of the event, local resources for professional help are handed out to the attendees.

If you’re a professional, they also allow you to become a part of a crisis text line, or you can apply to have your business listed on their resource page.

TWLOHA also has a store with shirts, jackets, mugs, sweatpants and a lot more. The designs on the shirt are actually pretty cute, and it’s for a great cause.

Featured image created by Caden Ziegler.

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