Stories

Not Ashamed, Not Alone

"On Saturday, my friend and I were walking the village in Winona Lake with our cameras, just taking photos of flowers and other pretty things we found. On a whim, we decided to stop at Belove to look around. There was a tray of bands on a table that we were both sifting through, and I found this Not Ashamed band. It immediately resonated with me and I felt like I needed it. Having the words Not Ashamed on my wrist and being able to look down and read them throughout the day means so much, especially right now at this stage in my life.

I lost my mom on May 25th of this year to suicide. No one tells you how to grieve a loss from suicide and not many people that I know have been touched by it, so I Googled with hopes of finding SOMETHING that could help me. What I found is that a lot of survivors of suicide (that's what I'm called now) feel shame; not necessarily by the actual death of their loved one, but that they can't talk about it like you would an illness or an accident. So much confusion comes with it, and I know I wanted people to talk to me and not just ask how I was doing. When you say the word "suicide" people shut down and don't want to talk anymore.

For me, Not Ashamed is talking about my mom's death openly with hopes that I will reach other suicide survivors; to help them know that they are not alone in their grief, and we can help each other heal. There are so many of us, but we stay hushed behind other peoples' shame. I want to make a difference with the fight against the stigma of mental illness, even if it's just a small ripple effect.

Not Ashamed means I will talk about my mom's life and the type of person she was, because suicide isn't a one size fits all problem. Not Ashamed also means I'm not ashamed to talk about my own mental health and the fact that I have anxiety and panic disorder. I sought out therapy after my mom's death and started medication for my anxiety. I'm open about it because I know other people feel shame in needing help, and as a result, they don't seek the help they need.

I've been told a lot that I am too sensitive. I get my feelings hurt too easily or I care too much. Not Ashamed means I am proud to be soft in the hardened world we now live in. I'm not ashamed to cry during Disney movies or when something makes me happy. To be a feeler, to love people fiercely, to tell people often how much they mean to me and how thankful I am to have them in my life. I'm not ashamed to be that mushy person. Not Ashamed means being myself. My quirky, book nerd, introverted, big-hearted, coffee-addicted self." -Erin H.

In this story: Custom band

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Hope for a Cure

"Hey MudLOVE team, I'm sure you guys are beyond flooded with messages all around the globe. I just wanted to share my little story with you, so you can see how grateful I am for your company. I am 18 years old and I was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Almost every person who came to visit me in the hospital told me to have hope. The doctors told me to have hope because one day they might find a cure.

Being that I was in the hospital for a week, I was watching The Bachelor and happened to catch Ben's bracelet. I looked up your foundation and felt that it was the personal one for me. Diabetes is strung with the word hope, and my medical ID bracelet says hope on it as well. Because of you guys I had hope. And I went and got it tattooed. 😇" -Samantha I.

In this story: Get Hope. Give Hope.

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With Hope, I Made it Through

"I have always loved helping others because it gives me a feeling that I can't even put into words. A feeling of hope and happiness; knowing others are happy and that they know there are people out in the world that are thinking of them. It is so amazing that MudLOVE has found a way to make others happy and just be able to give hope.

I have chosen to get 'grace.', 'Survivor ♪' and 'hope.' crafted on my clay because they are ways that I get through life. I have chosen 'grace.' because God gives me grace, and I also give others grace and will always give others grace because life is not easy.

I chose 'Survivor ' because I survived the Haiti earthquake in 2010, and I did not think that I would make it through. I caught a disease and we had the American Red Cross and other organizations come to Haiti and help those who were sick. I was badly sick, but with hope I made it through. Hope is just how I live life. I feel that hope is something that everyone should have, because it is just a positive way of thinking in life. These three meaningful words crafted on my clay is my way of giving others and myself hope." -Guetchina L.

In this story: grace. | Custom band. |  hope. 

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Life Through Clean Water

"Walk4Water was this Saturday, and we had a great event. We’ve been selling MudLOVE merchandise for the past several weeks, and we sold more at the event. Our goal for the walk was to raise $12,000, and we surpassed that goal and raised more than $13,000.

We had about 180 people walk the campus of the University of Alabama with us. We had water filter demonstrations and heard stories from the Healing Hands team about the work they do with their clean water projects. With the amount we raised, we will be able to drill a well in Honduras and donate the extra money to an orphanage in Haiti!



We used the theme “da vida” for the walk, which means “give life” in Spanish. We got custom-made bracelets and mugs and were able to sell them. Those profits contributed significantly to our overall goal. 

We know that what we’re doing, and what you guys do, is exactly that: giving life through clean water and job opportunities to break the cycle of poverty. Thanks so much for what you guys do!" -Gillian R.

In this story:  hope. | Fundraisers

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Hope in All Seasons

"My last name means a lot to me. It's been a promise of deliverance through some of life's toughest lessons. As I go through this season where I prepare to change that last name, I'm learning to hold on to the One who gives me hope in those moments. I bought this bracelet because it helps give hope & life to families in underprivileged countries, but it also serves as a reminder that there has been and always will be hope in me - no matter what my last name is." -Nikki Hope



In this story: Get Hope. Give Hope.

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