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Why Only7Seconds?

We all have stories, And our stories matter. Today I’d like you to hear my Only7Seconds story because we need your help. Our organization is on a mission to end loneliness for youth through intentional, meaningful connection. And we are doing it. We are making an impact, we are so close to turning a corner on sustainability through grants and product sales, but right now, we are a fledgling startup who needs an influx of money. And in order to tug at your purse strings, I’m going to share my story about Only7Seconds and encourage my team to do the same. 


In May of 2019, Only7Seconds was an idea. We were living in Redmond and COVID was not yet a thing. 


Thatcher had not yet graduated from Redmond and Zac would show up and help at Mason’s baseball games. My mom and dad would come up for visits and I was blissfully, well, okay, that’s a stretch, I was working as a principal in Northshore. We had some struggles but were making it work one day at a time through family dinners, younglife events and lots of baseball. 


Meanwhile, east of the mountains, Only7Seconds was noticing disconnection and Kristin started to have conversations about exactly how long it takes to make sure someone knows they matter. To send a quick text to make sure that someone doesn’t feel alone–just seven seconds. Yard signs, bracelets, hope notes, SHARE Day (Spread hope and remember everyone). 


Meanwhile, Thatcher graduates, goes to ASU and while I’m sitting in the board room at Northshore, I hear whispers, it starts with the high school principals, the coaching types and I hear suicide, football, Redmond. I look down at my phone and I have dozens of text messages. I take a minute and discover that my Zac, my sweet, sweet fourth grader who was now a high schooler had died. I was devastated and yet I knew my feelings were not what mattered. I was their teacher, I had to do something for the kids. 


I lined up with the other parents in our neighborhood and help up signs as the school day ended that said, you matter and we smiled and waved to the kids as they left school that entire week. My former students would park their cars and get out and hug me. The day after I took a vacation day and hosted the kids who just wanted to hang out and talk. I went to the football game and held hands with his mom. I did what I could to make sure they knew they were not alone, but it was too late. We had lost Zac. 


The hardest part for me was calling Thatcher in Arizona to let him know about it. Our boys have always had a lot of empathy and I knew it was going to hurt. It did.


And then the storm came. Losing Uncle Bill, COVID, Thatcher’s freshman year ending early, my dad getting sick and ultimately dying. It was a living hell for us. And we did what we always did, we came together, we talked, we hugged, we told stories. And we pieced ourselves back together.


The world was different for us, we still had baseball, secret speakeasy baseball and lots of time east of the mountains. I saw signs that year that said Because You Matter and I loved them. I wondered about them. And then my friend, Amber, posted a picture of her son in a Because You Matter shirt and then I had to know–what was this? 


Amber told me about this organization Only7Seconds and the youth suicides in the greater Chelan area and I knew I had found my people. I emailed and reached out through the website ultimately connecting with Luke in July of 2021. During our conversation, I knew I had found a friend for life. And a place for my energy. Luke invited me to a working retreat the following week and I drove to Pateros, Washington and spent the day creating what would become the Connection Curriculum. 


And then we moved to Arizona.


For the last three years, I have given my heart to Only7Seconds. We have added to the team and Kristin our original founder, has taken a step back to work on new projects. We’ve been generously supported and stewared by an amazing board. We have refined our approach and we have developed a kickass strategic plan. We have metrics and work plans, we have staff meetings and a Scientific Advisory Board. We have refined the Connection Curriculum and are about to record our third season of storytellers. I’m personally working on a modification for the curriculum to be used with coaches and families. Our initial data shows that it works–kids feel less lonely and more connected. 


And, we need help. We need your dollars and your connections. We need you to get ready to do the biggest SHARE day yet on May 7, our 5 year anniversary, and we need you to knock on doors of schools that need an assembly, a teacher training or the entire curriculum. We need your introductions and your advocacy. We have training that you can do to feel like you know the curriculum better. We have samples and marketing tools. Just hit me up and I’ll get you set up to go into the world as an advocate to end loneliness.


And most importantly right now, we need investment. To pay our staff and to invest in these new programs takes money and we need 1 giant angel donor to give us a million dollars, or we need a million of you to give us one dollar. It takes money to write grants, to visit with schools, to build partnerships and programs and we humbly ask, if you have ever thought to donate, do it today. Do it as part of our 5 year anniversary celebration. 


Give today to my crowdsource page or set up your own, send your donations–cash, check, card, property, endowments, etc. to www.only7seconds.com. I promise it is worth it. We prefer you don’t use credit cards so if you have a large donation, please work with Katlyn (katlyn@only7seconds.com) to figure out the details.



Why now?


I’m tired of working three jobs. Since moving to Arizona, I have worked for ASU Prep–the K-12 side of the ASU business as my regular job and then I have done Only7Seconds on the side, weekends, evenings, lunch breaks. With the hope of going full time at Only7Seconds, I also got my coaching certification so I could supplement working for a non-profit. I coach early mornings, weekends, evenings. It is too much–I haven’t created anything beautiful in months and I haven’t been writing regularly which is my first true love. I need to work one fewer jobs. AND I can only do that by either giving up Only7Seconds or figuring out how to fully fund it as a viable work option. 


We are lean–Luke, Marcia, Katlyn, Denise and Tori. That’s it. You give $50,000 and it goes directly to salaries so we can continue to show up at schools and offer assemblies. You give and we write grants, you give and we write curriculum, you give and we develop relationships with others that want to give. We run a tight ship, and we need your help.


  • $7/mo, $84 dollars pays for 20 kids to have the Connection Curriculum

  • $1,000 pays for an assembly

  • $2,500 pays for a full day of assemblies and teacher professional development

  • $5,000 the first draft of the coaching program

  • $10,000 a jump start on our research work

  • $25,000 curriculum for a school of 5000 with teacher pd, assemblies and weekly lessons

  • $100,000 breathing room, an investment in the organization so we can do the good work for the next few months while we wait for grants

  • $500,000 peace, enough in the bank that we do the work without hustling for grants each month and wondering if we will be able to sustain. Offer full time work to contractors. Grow the team.

  • $1,000,000 future, you provide a future for this work where we work to improve the lives of youth in this country and can use our expertise to narrow our grant and fundraising needs and focus on the real work of connect rather than constantly fundraising


Give to us as an organization and we continue to build, or earmark money for your local school or heck, tell Luke you want to pay my salary or Tori’s or Katlyn’s or his! All helps, all matters. 


And if you don’t have money to give but time, we will take that, too. Join us on the 7th of each month and write notes to the people in your life that matter. If we each took an hour on the 7th of the month, and texted one person every seven seconds–we could reach 514 people individually. If 500 people did that, over 250,000 people would know they matter. Mark  your calendar–next one is on for May 7th!


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