Dear Fellow NAMI Wilmington Members and interested friends,

Our past and present Boards would like to thank everyone for their patience and hard work managing through the past year. We are grateful for our support group facilitators and participants for their patience and innovative spirit. Although Zoom meetings were not optimum, they were productive and provided continued guidance and support. We remain financially sound. Long-term supporters, creative cost savings and a successful 2020 Virtual Walk allowed us to meet our expenses during a challenging year.

We are very excited to move into a new year strengthened and ready to maintain the many positive, existing efforts of our affiliate. We are equally excited to implement strategies to grow membership, increase provider participation and publicize our needs and efforts. All this effort and planning has one key goal to support our Mission —

We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental illness and their families through support, education, and advocacy.

We have more demands than our present Board and dedicated volunteers can handle. Below is a list of projects and/or committees that require membership participation.

This list is by no means inclusive. I hope you will consider adding your talents, interests and availability to support our mission. Please call the appropriate Leader for details. Here are some of our immediate needs.

1. Provider Participation. With well over 700 providers, churches and schools in close proximity to Wilmington, we know NAMI has services to help those organizations help their members. Too many of our local organizations are unaware of NAMI’s scope of services and capabilities.

Our solution: We developed a variety of marketing and communication materials: updated NAMI brochure and business card holders. We have written introduction speeches and developed email templates for distribution.

Here’s how you can help: We need callers, introducers, deliverers and follow-up. This process also needs a lead point person. Contact Chuck Eldridge at 856-287-2845.

2. Support Group Facilitators. We continue to have more demands for a variety of Support Groups requiring more facilitators. Training is provided, along with supporting materials.

Our solution: We would like to reach out to our membership to identify those who are interested in running a support group: Connection Recovery & Support Group (peer run and peer led), Family Support Group, and In Our Own Voice.

Here’s how you can help: Being a support group facilitator is one of the most rewarding volunteer activities NAMI Wilmington provides to our community. If you are interested in becoming a support group facilitator or know someone who would: Contact Johnnie Puckett at 910-520-9896.

3. NAMI Walk for Awareness. NAMI Wilmington’s Walk for Awareness is our annual fundraiser. Last year’s NAMI Walk was held virtually and this year will depend on our Governor’s COVID restrictions. All funds raised go directly to support NAMI Wilmington programs to educate our community and support individuals/families who struggle with mental health issues.

Our solution: Recruit members to volunteer in the planning and preparation for the NAMI Walk in October. The NAMI Walk Planning Committee will need between 7 and 9 members to help with a variety of tasks to insure a successful walk. There is a framework in place to direct the committee’s planning efforts. The planning committee will begin meeting in June and continue until the walk is completed. The committee generally meets monthly until September and then may meet more frequently as needed.

Here’s how you can help: If you would like to lend your expertise and energy for an exciting experience, consider volunteering to be a member of the planning committee or step into a leadership role as the lead point person for this important event. Contact Chuck Eldridge at 856-287-2845.

These are our top three immediate needs, but this list isn’t comprehensive — we need CIT panel members, Peer and Family facilitators, and, of course, we need to get out our message and mission to the public and private sectors via social media.

Clearly our needs are significant, but our mission is worthy and I know that with your help we will achieve our goals and serve those in need with the heart of a warrior and in the spirit of service and education.

Chuck Eldridge
President, NAMI Wilmington