Looking Back, Looking forward and Feeling Grateful

My first three Supernatural conventions were highly emotional. There was a significant moment at each one that, along with the death of my nephew, laid the foundation for SPN Survivors to come to life in 2014.

When we started, my husband and I thought we were building a website to shine a spotlight on the resources available to those who were suffering from the loss of a loved one to suicide. We quickly realized, however, we were building something far more reaching.

We had our 1st vendor table at Vegas Con one week after Jared Padalecki launched his first Always Keep Fighting campaign. Once again, that convention was highly emotional for me as I shared my story of loss and listened to the SPN Family share their stories of struggle. What I learned that weekend was that our 8ft table space provided a SAFE place for people to open up and talk about things they normally cannot. And that need was great!

     
I flew home completely exhausted (physically, emotionally and mentally) but the SPN Family inspired me in so many ways. The result was the creation of our Battle Buddies and a circle of love and support I have never experienced anywhere else in my 45+ years on this earth.

The other result was that SPN Survivors became a 501c3 non-profit organization only 18 months after we launched the website. And that is all because of YOU . . . the SPN Family. There aren’t enough words to express how I feel about this amazing group of people lovingly known as the SPN Family.

In 2014, when SPN Survivors went from being an idea to a reality, I became aware of the many powerful stories of how Supernatural had not only changed people’s lives for the better, but also saved people’s lives. My husband and I felt these stories should be documented and somehow used to inspire others and serve as a testimonial to the power of our “little show” truly Helping People, Saving Lives: The Family Business! (our motto)

     
We were thrilled to learn Lynn Zubernis (Fangasm) felt the same way and after 2+ years of hard work, everyone will be able to read some of these powerful life-changing stories in Lynn’s new chapter book, Family Don’t End with Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives, available May 9, 2017.

I am super excited about this book and can’t wait to read all 25 chapters and be inspired, once again, by the power of our show and the SPN Family!

     
As 2016 came to a close, I found myself reflecting back on all the wonderful people I have had the privilege to meet on this “survivors journey”. From Rachel, who I shared tears and a missed photo op with in Vegas, to another Rachael who shared with me these words from Misha (above), to the many moms who poured their hearts out to us (especially at ChiCon) and so many more. You have touched my heart and changed me for the better. I think about you often and wonder how you are doing. I’m sorry I can’t remember all of your names, and over time I may not remember your face, but I remember your story. I remember your hugs, your tears, your pain, your joy, and your thank you’s. And I treasure them all, so Thank YOU! And {{hugs}} to all of you too.

      

I’m also thankful and blown away by the generosity and kindness of those who donated to our Comfort Kit collection drive last summer. Between Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Chicago and those who mailed items directly to us, we received over 700 coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, notebooks, journals, and activity books! THANK YOU to all who donated!!! Your contribution is making a difference in the lives of those who are hurting and need to know their life matters, and that we care about them.

This is what it’s all about . . . Helping People, Saving Lives: The Family Business!

Looking forward, we are busy breathing life into our two annual awareness events:

       

March for Hope – Moving together for a brighter tomorrow – is our annual fundraiser and mental health awareness event which we will officially kick-off at Nash Con Feb 24-26 . Please join us as we make #TakeCareofYou a month long event with various activities supporting your physical, mental and emotional health. We also invite you to join our fundraising efforts through our Facebook Page to support our Comfort Kit Program in hospitals, schools and counseling offices. Every $25 raised sponsors a Battle Buddy and Comfort Kit to help someone Always Keep Fighting for better days ahead because #YouMatter!

#YouMatter! Day – Creating ripples of kindness across our communities – is our suicide prevention awareness event coming up in September. Please join us as we make “mattering” a way of life by reaching out to those around us and reminding them they matter. “It’s amazing how kind words and actions can create a ripple effect and many others will benefit from the positive things you do and say.” (T.A. Garcia)  We encourage everyone to be THAT ripple effect and make a difference in your community.

The last four years have been an amazing journey and I am forever grateful for each and every one of you. Let’s keep marching forward, together!

Come on . . . {{Group Hug}}
~ Karla

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