There Are No Strangers Here

There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met. – William Butler Yeats

The Irish poet, W.B. Yates, has a perspective we like around here at Stand Up Eight.  What a charming way to look at others – albeit sometimes difficult to imagine – and as a start-up nonprofit, we’ve taken it to heart.

At Stand Up Eight, we’ve been fortunate enough to make lots of friends who have made it possible for us to tirelessly support adoptive families over the last year.  And we couldn’t be happier about it.  But, as blessed as we’ve been by our friends, we’re always on the lookout for more people who care about what we care about.  One of the ongoing needs we have is warm-hearted people who can help us fulfill our mission to help children not only heal from their abuse and neglect, but thrive in spite of it.  Without people, without friends, our work is impossible.

So, between now and February, we’re doing everything we can to meet new friends, and then celebrate our friendships – young and old – at our first-ever event on February 6, 2018, that we’ve aptly named our February Friendraiser.  Its whole purpose is to love on our friends and meet new ones, all while showing the impact our friendships have made for adoptive families.  We hope to pack the house full of our friends and the friends we have yet to meet! Please join us!

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When: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 6:00p-8:30p

Where: The Roosevelt Room on West 5th in Austin

What: A night-on-the-town to 1) meet other Stand Up Eight supporters, 2) hear more about the impact Stand Up Eight is making, 3) enjoy complimentary appetizers and drinks, 4) buy chances to win swanky prizes, and 5) shop with our talented friends, Waterloo Style and Weather & Story, who will be there showin’ their stuff.  There’s even talk about a potential Plinko situation!  AND, we’ll debut our new video, thanks to One Story Productions.

We hope to see you there!


As If by Magic

In case you missed it, Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. And it’s happening this Tuesday (11/28)!

Ever been a part of a big day o’ giving?  I have, and I’m here to tell you, it has a knack for making even the most cynical of us feel good about presto-chango-instantly impacting the world around us.

As someone who’s at the heart of a nonprofit, a global day to give is music to my ears.  For Becky and me (the whole of Stand Up Eight), we love jumping into the trenches with families at almost no cost to them, and the contributions from others is how we are able to make it happen.  So many wonderfully wonderful people have stepped up to donate their time and resources to our program, and as a nonprofit, we’re at the mercy of everyone’s generosity. Giving Tuesday is a way to point everyone’s focus toward keeping those generosity waters flowing -- and for that, we are grateful (and really, really excited)!

So what’s my point?  We need your help.  Gifts from others not only make it possible for us to walk alongside adoptive families in their homes and schools to help children heal from the abuse and neglect they’ve survived, but it also allows us to provide the resources they need, and to better plan Stand Up Eight’s future.  For instance, did you know that snuggling under a blanket that weighs only five pounds helps some of our kiddos make it through the day without feeling afraid?  It feels a little like magic, but it works because the brain is able to think better when its needs are met, and a weighted blanket helps.

The bad news is that a seemingly simple thing like a five-pound blanket costs a not-so-simple $70 or more, but the good news is that we’re able to provide it because of our donors.  The best news?  Kids feel safer and happier -- which is what they deserve -- because of a magical blanket that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to cuddle.

Days like Giving Tuesday feel like magic, too -- for you and for the nonprofits you support.  This Giving Tuesday, why not commit to giving your time, your talents, or your finances to help a nonprofit doing life-changing work?  As if by magic, even the smallest thing for you can make the biggest impact for someone else.

If you’re able, we’d love for you to head on over to our donate tab and give what feels good. We, and countless families in need, thank you!

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The Difference Between "Your Home" and "You're Home"

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I’mma grammar geek.  Always have been.  And as such, I’ve noticed one of the lessons that continues to elude 10-year-olds and well-educated professionals alike is the difference between “your” and “you’re.”  But it’s simple really – one shows possession (Jen, your husband is Tom Brady), and one is the contraction of “you are” (Jen, you are/you’re Tom Brady’s wife). 

With that English lesson out of the way, let’s take it a more meaningful step further.  People often ask me why I founded Stand Up Eight.  The answer is always the same: it’s because of the difference between “your home” and “you’re home.”

Your home is where you hang your hat and put your feet up at night, and while there is value and power in that sense of ownership, there’s no greater feeling than the sense of belonging when you’re home, among your family, where you’re protected, where you belong. 

Here’s why that’s at the heart of what we do at Stand Up Eight.

1.     The world is a sticky-tricky place for our kids with trauma history.  Many of the coolest chapters in the book of life are lost on them, and instead, they live in the disturbing pages that their young minds weren’t made to comprehend.  Their stories tell of people who were supposed to protect them and couldn’t, and so, one of the many lessons they’ve learned is that home is scary and unsafe.

2.     To make it more difficult, when a child is placed with a safe family, everything that surrounds him is unknown.  New sights, new smells, new feelings, new experiences.  It can be overwhelming for even the most well-adjusted of us.  And included in that long ol’ list of newness is a new home filled with new people.  Understanding how to fit in - especially with the lessons he’s already learned - is frightening and stressful to say the least.

3.     To complicate things further (are you seeing a pattern?), when a child has been harmed by her relationships, the way to heal from that kind of trauma is through relationships – the healthy and appropriate kind.  The kind where she’s enjoyed and valued rather than demoralized and manipulated.  The kind that requires redundant creativity, forgiving structure, devotion on top of commitment, and giant heaps of unconditional love, to name just a few.  Sound easy?  Nope.  Many adoptive parents need a hand with those most days.

With that in mind, the motivation behind everything we do at Stand Up Eight is to help kids feel the difference between “your home” and “you’re home” – the difference between having a home that is safe and feeling safe in a home. 

Stand Up Eight was created to meet the deepest needs of abused and neglected children – to belong, to attach, and to feel feel that they are home.