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What is To Write Love on Her Arms?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a charitable organization that provides help and hope to youths who are struggling with issues like addiction, self injury, depression, and suicidal thoughts. While the organization does not directly provide treatment and recovery services, it supports organizations that do, and it aims to promote the cause and to stimulate dialog about these issues. The goals of this organization is heavily promoted by musicians and bands, and many prominent musical acts have worn shirts and gear from the organization to encourage audience members to support the it.

The roots of To Write Love on Her Arms began in early 2006, when Jamie Tworkowski encountered a young woman named Renee who was in urgent need of assistance. She was turned down by a rehab facility because she was deemed too risky due to self-mutilation behavior, and Tworkowski helped her get the assistance she needed. At the time, Tworkowski started fundraising for Renee, and he wrote a story about encountering her five days before she entered rehab, and his experiences with her as he encouraged her to seek help.

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Renee may have started out alone and without help in her story, but she quickly had a group of friends and supporters who wanted to assist her in any way possible, with open, loving arms. A major theme of the organization is love, acceptance, and support. The name of the organization is a reference to a line in the story, when Tworkowski says “we will be her church, the body of Christ coming alive to meet her needs, to write love on her arms.” While the story certainly references Christian values and Tworkowski describes himself as a spiritual individual, the organization does not term itself a Christian group, and it welcomes all people in need without judgment or comment.

By October 2006, Tworkowski realized that he could help thousands of troubled youths across the world in the same way that he helped Renee, and To Write Love on Her Arms applied for nonprofit status. Many people feel a deep connection with the organization and they are deeply moved by Renee's story, which reads like the story of many other troubled youths, except that it has a positive ending rather than a tragic one. As of 2007, the group was donating 25% of its income directly to treatment and recovery organizations, and it was using addition funds for the purpose of encouraging open discussion about substance abuse and depression among youths.

The organization identifies itself with an assortment of slogans, including “Love is the Movement,” “Hope is Not a Myth,” “Stop the Bleeding,” and “Rescue is Possible.” The group hopes that increased awareness of the problems which face youth will bring about more support, hopefully preventing suicides, struggles with substance abuse, untreated depression, and other issues.

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anon109651
Post 5

@anon80855: I went through the same thing and am very sorry for the pain of both you and your friend. For you to get help, you might want to look at the TWLOHA website for some helplines and look for counselors. Therapy and treatment really help. I hope this gets better and I send love and prayers to anyone going through similar problems.

anon80855
Post 4

I was going through a lot of stuff a couple weeks ago. Non stop cutting and I was very close to killing myself. I still do cut myself, just not every day. It's very hard to stop and I don't know what to do.

My friend is going through the same thing and I'm trying to help her but nothing I say or do Is getting through to her. I don't know what to do about her problem. Any help?

anon56113
Post 3

I just wanted to take the time to say thank you. My whole life I've always felt like nothing -- as if i had no purpose, and going into college i really broke down bad.

I was so ashamed to get help. It got so bad that every day I would thing about killing myself, and would lock myself away from the world. The day i felt like i could take it, I called and talked with my sis.

Because of this organization she was able to give me the support I needed to get help for my severe depression and anxiety. Thank you for this blessing. I wake up each day feeling thankful, knowing that i made it through the day before. Knowing I have nothing to be ashamed of,knowing there are others just like me. We are all making it through together, with the love of our families and friends.

Thank you for speaking for us. Now we can help speak for ourselves.

Brothers and sisters, please don't give up. You are loved, you are needed, you are beautiful, you are smart, you have a purpose. Don't give up. Let someone help you find your purpose. You're here for a reason.

Love, IwroteLOVEonMYarm! Meg.C from lake charles,La

Moderator's reply: Meg, thank you for posting and for your courage in sharing your experience, strength and hope. Everyone on the wiseGEEK team is rooting for you as you continue your recovery.

anon54081
Post 2

Please help out by choosing TWLOHA as your charity and vote.

screenwriter
Post 1

I wonder how one might get in touch with this group?

I live in the New England, Massachusetts to be more specific and I would be interested in knowing if this group has any need for local volunteers.

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