Love inspires recovery



By Joia Patterson

To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit organization founded by Jamie Tworkowski in 2006. The organization is dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA has a vision to console, enlighten, motivate and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

TWLOHA was inspired by a friend of Tworkowski’s named Renee.

Renee’s depression  led to drugs, alcohol and cutting her skin. Tworkowski witnessed Renee’s struggle and constantly prayed for her, hoping that she would get better. Renee needed more; rehabilitation was her only resort to become a more stable person.

Tworkowski and friends helped get Renee into a rehabilitation center. The center was expensive, and the friends could barely raise the funds needed to send Renee to treatment.

Tworkowski decided to publish Renee’s story on MySpace, and  titled it “To Write Love On Her Arms.” He then received financial support to design shirts to raise money for Renee’s treatment.

When popular bands such as Switchfoot and Anberlin wore the shirts during their shows, Renee’s story spread quickly. TWLOHA became an internet sensation, and music remains a large part of the organization.

The organization has donated $800,000 to treatment and support.

“The goal of bringing TWLOHA is to spread love, hope and support,” said Students Activities Board Director of Engaging Issues Jill Baranowski.

“Reading of poems, personalized scripts and quotes will be a part of this event, allowing UK students to fully open up about life.”

There will be an anonymous Rasdall Gallery set up in the back of the ballroom to allow students to write letters to express their feelings. The letters will be available for attendees to read.

Students from universities such as Eastern Kentucky University, University of Transylvania and University of Louisville have been inquiring about the TWLOHA event and are expected to attend.

Ryan O’Neal of ” Sleeping at Last” will perform.

The event has been publicized via Facebook, posters, flyers and a huge display of giant arms outside of Whitehall Classroom Building.

Director of Public Relations for the SAB, Sabrina Hounshell created the display of giant arms.

“Making an art figure of giant arms is a different way to attract students’ attention. Students can feel a part of the event by walking under the arms and placing their signature on it,” said Hounshell.

The arms were made out of chicken wire and took about six days to make.

Hounshell has known about the TWLOHA organization since high school, and is very excited to attend. She plans to participate in the writing of the anonymous letters and believes that students will feel more comfortable in participating in this idea with a crowd of support around them.

Baranowski said they are expecting more than 500 people to attend the event on Monday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center Grand Ballroom. Admission is free.