CRISIS TEXT HOTLINE // Text HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling.

SAL7 community making a difference

Books Against Bullying book stand

Shine A Ligh7 (SAL7) aims to help our community by being a champion for youth mental health awareness and education in Minnesota, but we can’t do it alone. Over the years, SAL7 has been inspired and humbled by the generosity of our community and fans for what they are doing to make a difference. Further proving that reducing the stigma associated with mental health is a team effort, we are proud to feature these remarkable stories.

Books Against Bullying Writes Their Own Chapter

Paul Martin and Maddie

In 2017, 10-year-old Maddie attended a Da Beauty League summer game to see one of her favorite NHL players Paul Martin on the ice. She was inspired to learn about the work he was doing to bring awareness to youth mental health in Minnesota. She thought, “I can do something to help,” so she and her mom, Amanda, sprung into action and created Books Against Bullying. The concept was simple – collect donated books and resell them for $1, with all proceeds going to the mental health non-profit of Maddie’s choice. Since 2017, Books Against Bullying has donated over $4,500 to SAL7. In 2019 alone, Maddie raised $10,000 which she generously distributed to charities of her choosing. Maddie continues to grow and foster her mission to end bullying through a shared love of reading, and Amanda admits that their home has turned into a small library. Thank you Maddie and Amanda for taking action to help improve youth mental health in Minnesota! 

Learn more about Books Against Bullying

Remembering Joe Crippes

Photo collage of Joe Crippes

Turning tragedy into inspiration, Joe Crippes’ family raised over $2,500 in honor of what would have been his 21st birthday, giving one-third to SAL7. Joe tragically died by an accidental overdose in December 2020, which was the result of suffering from the disease of addiction and ongoing mental health challenges. Joe’s sister, Rachael, believes that mental health habits are something that can be passed on from generation to generation, making it critical to understand, acknowledge, and share our mental health experiences. 

Joe was known for his smile that lit up a room and the love he had for his family, music, legos, Call of Duty, and fishing. He would be proud to know that his life is making a difference for others today. Joe was known for saying, “Love and acceptance is the answer. Stop judging each other and accept everyone the way they are, not the way you think they should be.” SAL7 agrees with Joe’s philosophy of love and acceptance and we are honored to be part of Joe’s legacy.

Learn more about the Joe Crippes fundraiser

Farrell’s Gym Hosts a Knockout Fundraiser

Paul Martin and Casey Bloemke

In December 2021, Casey Bloemke, owner of Farrell’s fitness studios in the Twin Cities, organized a four-hour Kick-Box-A-Thon for members and friends to raise money for SAL7.

Casey chose SAL7 because he truly believes in the mission and recognizes the positive impact of focusing more energy and effort on helping children who struggle with mental health challenges. He believes almost all of us have faced a mental health challenge either personally, or by caring for someone who is experiencing a mental wellness issue. Farrell’s has a number of members who hold SAL7 close to their heart and collectively they were  able to raise nearly $3,000 in four hours.

Learn more about Casey and Farrell’s

Interested in hosting a fundraiser for Shine A Ligh7? Click here to submit a request.