Purple State Challenge – Washington



Welcome to the start of the #PurpleStateChallenge!

KYRS-Thin Air Community Radio


“KYRS-Thin Air Community Radio is a volunteer-powered, non-commercial, listener-supported, community radio station in Spokane, WA serving the area with unique programming for un-served and underserved populations. Heard on 92.3 & 88.1 FM and streaming 24/7 at http://www.kyrs.org, we provide a mix of news, views, culture and music often overlooked by other media.

Thin Air Radio’s goal is to build a strong, listener-supported community radio station that empowers people, especially ethnic minorities, low-income, and other marginalized groups, to strive for a more just and sustainable world.”


Why I choose this group:

I really like this as my first choice in the Purple State Challenge because it’s emblematic of what I’m trying to do; making sure that everyone is heard. I want to blur the lines of red and blue in this country and get back to looking at people as people. KYRS does a great job of encouraging dialogues in the community. America is kind, just, and strong and KYRS is on air making sure that we all continue to hear that.

Check them out:

You can listen and donate here –

Website | http://www.kyrs.org    Facebook | @kyrs.fm   Twitter | @kyrsfm


Don’t forget to let me know of awesome organizations in your state.

Taking Time for Acclaim

The company I work for offers a few programs to encourage community involvement. Of course I volunteer because it’s a part of who I am but the company perks certainly are nice. You can find volunteer opportunities but also record them and at the end of the year based on the number of verified volunteer hours they give you a certain amount to donate to an organization of your choice. With my 202 volunteer hours last year I maxed out this benefit and get to give a serious chunk of cash to my favorite place! It’s really a nice reward to recognize all my hard work.


While I don’t do things for the acclaim it is an important part of self-care to allow yourself to be recognized by others and to take a minute to recognize yourself for all your work. Acclaim shouldn’t be sought out but should be welcomed. So I’m taking a moment to celebrate with my grant.


Then I realized I have to pick a charity. One charity. How do I choose? Local or global? Which important issue? Health? Environment? Education? So many good people doing good things!! The first rule I made is I’m not going to donate to any of the organizations I volunteered for so that rules out Special Olympics, Crisis Text Line, American Red Cross, Pantene Beautiful Lengths, 826LA, and Homeboy Industries. All fantastic organizations but they got my time last year.


So organizations started popping into my head. There is My Friend’s Place which I’ve worked with in the past and just love. The Los Angeles Library that keeps my city literate. To Write Love on Her Arms which is celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary. The Jane Goodall Institue that is a leader in conservation. The Girl Scouts, I was one when I was younger and loved it. Planned Parenthood a very important organization to women’s health in the US. WriteGirl another great local education organization. And other ones keep jumping into my head – RAIIN, UNICEF, Books for Africa, etc, etc.


I guess this is a fun thing to think about. I want to pick a charity by the end of the month. Comment or tweet me your thoughts on how to narrow down my choices or suggest an organization for me to add to my list!

Crisis Text Line


“Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis.”

Crisis Text Line (CTL) was founded by Nancy Lublin in 2013. You can watch her TED Talk. I first found out about it in a spring issues of Marie Claire Magazine. When I first read about it I was immediately excited. It was right around the time that news stories came out about people in domestic violence situations who couldn’t call for help ordering pizza and sending message covertly. There are so many times when it’s too difficult to call for help because someone might overhear or just because sometimes it’s mentally easier to not have to say your problems out loud. I know I’ve had moments when I couldn’t speak without sobbing and texting would have been a welcome alternative.

The other thing that excited me about CTL is that it’s very data driven. I’m a bit of a nerd and think that gathering the data will only help us be better at helping in the future. They publish the data they collect here. You can see what issues come up when, where people are texting from, and even what time of day certain issues come up. If we want to end suicide, hate crimes, domestic and sexual abuse, etc, we need to know everything we can about it. By collecting and sharing the data CTL is helping more than those who text in.

Recently the cell phone carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, & Verizon showed their support by waving all charges for texts to CTL and making it so that CTL will not show up on cell phone statements. Crisis Text Line also works to refer texters to wonderful organizations like TWLOHA, RAINN, & The Trevor Project.

So now that you know how amazing CTL is – what can you do to help?

  • Spread the Word 
    • Tell everyone to text 741741 when in crisis. Anywhere, anytime. You never know what someone might be going through or when someone might need it. It’s nice to know someone is there 24/7 to help when you need it. Post this flyer – CTLTexterFlyer
  • Donate

    • Along with volunteer counselors we have amazing supervisors, trainers, and techs. The backend of the platform is sophisticated and always improving and needs financial support to do that.
    • You can send your tax-deductible donations via Paypal (link here) or by sending a check to:
      Crisis Text Line
      Attn: Finance Dept.
      24 West 25th Street, 6th Fl
      New York, NY 10010
  •  Volunteer
    • Being a volunteer is as difficult as it is rewarding. After an extensive application process about a third of those that apply are chosen. There is a six week training process and time shadowing current volunteers followed by a final exam before you go live with texters. You need to commit to four hours a week for a year. The training is wonderful and full of support as is the volunteer experience week to week. That said it is a huge commitment. There are the four hours on the platform, you’ll have hundreds of challenging and not always rewarding conversations over the year. You’ll need time to debrief and you’ll become an expert and self-care in your own life. It’s challenging to say the least. Conversations can be difficult for so many reasons from tragic situations to people who aren’t ready to accept help to the sheer volume of those reaching out to crisis that may remind you of your own. But. But there are moments when you know you’ve helped someone at one of the lowest points of their life and you feel like a superhero. You can be a superhero!
    • More information about Volunteering can be found here.


I’m so excited to be a part of this organization. Please consider getting involved and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have.