Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is with great enthusiasm I write this note looking back on the accomplishments of Face It since last year's Give to the Max Day! As you know, we moved physical locations in June of 2021 and ever since that day we have been filling our space with new groups, new programs, and plenty of energy in our fight to help men recover from depression and prevent suicide. And this year, I am so excited to announce the newest addition to our programs, Face It Northwoods!
Pictured in the banner above is the outside of Face It Northwoods. Historically, Face It would provide one men's retreat a year and we would take 20 men for a weekend, which meant the +200 other men associated with Face It would be left out of a very important program. We have seen firsthand how our retreat would help men build deeper relationships with one another, create new friendships, and go a very long way in helping a guy on his journey of recovery from depression. And now with the addition of Face It Northwoods, we will be able to provide multiple 1-day retreats to go along with several weekend and week-long retreats!
Face It acquired Northwoods in January of this year and while things got off to a bit of a rocky (or should I say snowy) start as the weight of this past year's record snowfall collapsed the 40x40 garage on the property, we remain determined! Oh and there was the slight issue of the HVAC system failing, but hey we remain undeterred! And I guess it is worth mentioning that under the weight of all the snow and wind, the property suffered a tremendous downing and loss of trees, but we push forward!
The good news in all of this, we have had many capable hands of several volunteers helping us as we rebuild! Since spring of 2023, over 1000 hours of volunteered time by the men of Face It have occurred. These men have stepped up to help us completely rebuild and reshape what will become "their" retreat center! And during these times together, not only have hammers been pounding nails, guys have shared stories, laughs, and developed the deep friendships that go so far when a man is in the depths of depression. Before Northwoods even opened its doors for a retreat, it has been helping guys out!
In addition to Northwoods, all of the other programs Face It provides have grown. We are just about to launch support group NUMBER 24 (as of this time last year we had 20)!! We are currently serving nearly 235 men in our support groups and as fast as we open up a new group, we fill it. While the demand is disheartening, the fact that men are reaching out at a greater rate and have a place to get support, is the real victory! We now have 36 volunteer facilitators (as of this time last year we had 28). These dedicated men give 26 nights a year to support other men and the success they are having these men recover from depression is phenomenal!
Other accomplishments over the last year include 45 men completing the Westrom Initiative which is our peer support/therapy program, the full resumption of our monthly men's breakfast, 15 public presentations, the initiation of a monthly "game-night", a 2-day meditation class, and the retention of a breathwork specialist to provide classes on the role of breathwork and depression reduction.
A significant milestone reached this year is that we have surpassed the 135,000-hour mark of FREE peer support services provided. Since launching our first peer support group in 2011, Face It has never charged one dollar for a group, a class, a crisis phone call or visit, a retreat, a breakfast, or any other service we offer. We have been able to do this because of YOU!
The gratitude both Bill and I feel for all of you runs deep and our commitment to use your financial support wisely is as strong as ever. And as you can see, Face It keeps pushing forward with innovative and effective ways to help the men who walk through our door. So, thank you for your past support and please join us as we continue onward in our mission to help men enter recovery from their depression and to prevent suicide.
With deep gratitude,
Mark and Bill
The Face It Experience and why our work is important!