Today’s Face is Gloria Abril. Several years ago, NAMI decided to stop doing the Phoenix NAMIwalk. They could no longer afford to pay two people $60,000/year to run the event. Gloria continued working her regular job, and took on the monumental task of organizing the NAMIwalk for 2011, 2012, and 2013 with a small group of volunteers. Each year, instead of the wages being paid to those employees, the full amount raised goes to NAMI for research, advocacy, and education. It takes nine months each year for her and her volunteers to organize and run the event each year.
I asked why it was so important to her, that she would sacrifice so much of her year leading this effort. She told me that she has 4 family members with mental illness, and when she found out that NAMI wasn’t going to fund the event any more, she got volunteers to come in. Gloria does this to support her family members with mental illness.