A program created by BJ Thomas-Wilson and Sylvia Harrell.
Two moms brought together by tragedy know first hand how hard it can be when life knocks you down. After losing their children, Sylvia Harrell and BJ Thomas-Wilson asked the question.... "What if you could remember what is GOOD in your life? What if, in that moment of pain, you could be reminded of how incredibly loved you are? What if, instead of spending 20 minutes figuring out how to end your life, you spent that same time remembering to live it?"
Everyone needs a toolbox or at GiveMe20 - we call it a LIFEBOX. It's a box filled with YOUR STORY; memories of great moments in your life, dreams for the future, and reminders of why your life matters... because no matter how dark life seems at this moment, the sun will rise tomorrow and you should be here to see it happen.
The #GiveMe20 program has been delivered to over 10,000 students in the Kansas City area including Miami, Linn and Johnson Counties. Interested in finding out how your teens can build a LifeBox and pledge to #GiveMe20? Click the link below and get the details.
SOURCES OF STRENGTH provides evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying, and substance abuse by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help, and strength We believe that many strengths are more powerful than one. Our united goal is to activate and mobilize these strengths in ways that positively change individuals and communities.
Shifting Gears for Regan has partnered with Johnson County Mental Health and area suicide prevention organizations to fund Sources of Strength in middle and high schools in Johnson County, KS. If you are interested in learning how to implement Sources of Strength at your school contact us and we can share more info.
Each year, Shifting Gears offers scholarships to Paola High School seniors. Students are asked to write a short essay talking about how mental health or suicide has impacted their life and how they might work to raise awareness in the future. We are proud to have provided 15 scholarships since 2019 and look forward to awarding many more.
The Paola Community Garden is home to the Shifting Gears Butterfly Garden. It is a place of peace and beauty. We know that time spent in nature is a great way to manage stress and mental health. In developing the butterfly garden our hope was that people could spend time looking for caterpillars and butterflies, relax on the beautiful new benches and truly just find respite for a bit.
Each year in late April, friends and family gather at the garden for Regan's birthday - cleaning, planting more flowers, spreading mulch and preparing for visitors. In 2021, Tanner Wilson (Regan's stepbrother) added 3 large benches to the garden as part of his Eagle Scout project. The hope was to make the space someplace people could truly relax and just enjoy the sunshine.
Each December we hang solar powered Christmas lights from Regan's tree and throughout the garden to provide a beacon of light during the winter months.