Kimberly Berry

This past holiday season I wanted to create an impact in an underserved community in my own backyard. As someone who has been personally impacted by mental illness in a loved one, I understood the depth of the isolation families can feel when navigating a mental health crisis. So I created Project Holiday Hope to provide low income families who were receiving crisis level care through Catholic Community Services (CCS) a reason to celebrate during a very difficult time in their lives. CCS provides high intensity mental health treatment and crisis stabilization services to Medicare qualified families throughout Southwest Washington. The work they do is critical to avoid unnecessary psychiatric hospitalizations of children struggling with their mental health. Many of these parents and caregivers are unable to financially provide for their families, with high rates of job loss or inability to work due to the care management of their child. This all contributes to the alienation and isolation of these vulnerable families from their community. We were able to provide over 230 gifts to a total of 27 families/125 individuals through our amazing donors. This was a complete grassroots campaign ran completely by myself and a dedicated staff member at CCS. Now we are looking to expand the project to provide financial support to families year round for basic needs such as housing assistance, transportation expenses, and food. ~ Kimberly Berry

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