Getting A Big Hug By A Billboard
The YOU ARE ENOUGH billboard campaign is something I came up with one morning while I was dealing with depression, anxiety, and hopelessness, feelings that I have had to fight with for most of my life. I thought to myself how no one should have to go through the darkness and loneliness that I was feeling. I wanted to find a way to give folks who were dealing with mental health challenges a way to feel seen and loved. So why not put a billboard up in my neighborhood with the words YOU ARE ENOUGH on it?!
It was August of 2019, and on this morning, I knew that I had to do something to help the many people who are dealing with a sense of loss, lack of purpose, and isolation. As someone who has gone to therapy and dealt with prescription medicine that only messed me up more, I knew that connection with others was also medicine that so many of us need. I thought that if I got up a billboard with these powerful and supportive words that people would feel that yes, they were seen and that someone had to think about putting the billboard up in the first place. So before starting a fundraising campaign to get the billboard up I wanted to hear what people thought about the idea. After a year of interviewing friends and strangers I decided that not only did we need to get billboards up, but that we also needed to find ways to bring communities together and create support systems.
The billboard would only be the beginning. The stories that people had to share were so heartfelt. We live in such a scarcity society where we are programmed to think that we are not enough, can't do enough or have enough. I want to change this by bringing people together and share the words YOU ARE ENOUGH. We just want to be seen and I believe that this campaign is one way that we can help one another know that others have our back, that we are not alone, and that we are loved for who we are.
It was not easy to raise funds for the billboard on a GoFundMe page, but I did it. I chose to launch the first billboard during the Covid-19 pandemic in July of 2020. What is so beautiful about this campaign is that it is all about people sharing it forward and wanting to help others. This billboard was a WE effort and I continue to learn that yes, we can be here for one another.