To roadtrip, cross country, in an effort to raise awareness and funding for teenage/young adult suicide prevention?
Just two. =)
On April 1st, 2010, Jayme Lamm andAimee Woodallwill embark on a cross country journey to raise awareness and funds for the JED Foundation. The JED Foundation focuses on educating and preventing young adult suicide and works with young adults to help reduce the emotional stresses they are facing in their daily lives.
The Road Show Blondes will be trekking from Houston to New York City on a 10 day adventure filled with pit stops along the way to spread awareness and participate in a number of pranks and adventures in an effort to raise money.
Aimee is a “firm believer in the power of publicity, and it’s these kinds of in-your-face stunts and adventures that garner the greatest response.” They decided to address this serious issue in a light-hearted way because they have “seen the devastation a suicide can cause, and hope to present this issue in a light that won’t allow people to look the other way.”
They are also leveraging the power of social media along the way by using services like FourSquare, Gowalla, Twitter, and Facebook to let their fans come along for the ride. Because of their great idea, moxy, and adventurous spirits The Road Show has been chosen for this week’s Cause of the Week!
We are looking forward to following along with their journey that starts this Thursday! You can catch their tweets from our Twitter account all this week (a perk of becoming Cause of the Week) and make sure to follow them on Twitter @RoadShowBlondes.
Interview with the Road Show
Why is the road show close to your heart? Why should others support it?
When we decided to take a road trip for charity, we basically had a long talk about what causes were out there, and what we’d been affected by personally. When we reached the topic of suicide, we discovered we’d both lost really good friends to suicide, and it just became the natural choice.
Since we started Road Show, we’ve had people contact us from all over the globe (literally) with personal stories of how suicide has affected them. We’ve had people reach out for advice. We’ve had people tell us about a parent they lost, a best friend they lost, a child they lost. We’ve even had people tell us they’re contemplating taking their own life. And we’re just two gals who decided to take a road trip to generate awareness about the issue, we’re certainly not trained experts. (As an aside, we have lots of resources at our disposal, and have been connecting these folks to the proper resources. We’ve even been contacted a second time by people letting us know how much the resources helped, sometimes taking it a step further to say they don’t know what they would have done without us!) All of these encounters have shown us first-hand how HUGE the issue is. We’ve also had a lot of folks tell us they think the cause makes them uncomfortable… Which fires us up to talk about it even more. It’s a hard subject to talk about. So people DON’T talk about it… and people DIE. That’s why others should care. That’s why they should support what we’re doing. We’re bringing a complex, sad issue out in the open, and trying to do something about it.
Do you have any other events or fundraisers that you would like others to know about?
This is it! While we’re both involved in a number of charitable activities, we don’t want to distract from this mission.
What pranks are in store for the roadtrip?
Some of our challenges are listed on our site and we’re also taking “dares” along the way. For the right donation, we’ll do just about anything (in good taste)!
What advice would you give to others that might like to take on such an amazing endeavor?
Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need! The clock has been working against us. A lot of folks we’ve approached about sponsorships have a “submission process” that takes months. We catch ourselves saying, “If we just had more time!” quite a bit.
What do you have planned for the future of Road Show?
Since we started Road Show six short weeks ago, we’ve been exposed to a lot of suicide-related stories. It’s really been shocking. I think it’s pretty safe to say that just about everyone has been affected by suicide in some way, whether directly or indirectly. Daily, I think, “If this many people are reaching out to us — two girls who decided to drive from Houston to NYC on a whim — how many people are out there, suffering in silence?” Maybe they reach out to us because we ARE just two girls… Whatever the reason, it has inspired us beyond words. I think it’s likely we’ll have to find some way to continue supporting the cause even after we return from New York. Knowing what we know now and knowing the way Jayme and I approach things, it would be hard to walk away (or even slow down). So keep an eye out… Maybe there will be a Road Show II, perhaps to another major city, or in support of another suicide-related organization? Stay tuned!