The Cherokee word gadugi (ᎦᏚᎩ) was an important one when I was starting Yanasi YoYo. Gadugi (ᎦᏚᎩ) means the actions of a few to better everyone. Historically, gadugi (ᎦᏚᎩ) was members of the tribe harvesting for someone who was sick. In the early 80s, the late Chief Wilma Mankiller used it as a rallying cry to bring together volunteers to lay nearly 20 miles of pipeline to bring running water to the people of Bell, Oklahoma. As a principle, it shows that the small actions of a few can have a large impact on the many. Part of my goal with Yanasi YoYo is to introduce people to the ideas and language of the Cherokee Nation, and gadugi (ᎦᏚᎩ) is one of those ideas worth sharing.
For the last couple months a few different makers and I have been working together to make a bundle to support the community, operating on the idea that everyone donating what they can will create a larger impact than any of us could on our own. Since I’m finally in the process of flowing silicone on the throws, I thought it was a good time to introduce the bundle!
The first charity bundle represents donations from 6 different makers and companies in the YoYo community: Lowkey Throws, MonkeyfingeR Design, Joe Davies, Zipline Strings, Yanasi YoYo, and Brian Melford. We’ve all pitched in to the bundle to support Crisis Text Line, with 100% of the sale of each bundle being donated. Crisis Text Line is a crisis support hotline that functions through text messaging. By texting HOME to 741741, anyone can receive crisis support from a trained counselor. The counselor support is free because of donations, and the funds from the Charity Bundles will be enough to support 26 people in crisis. It’s a sobering thought that, especially in the YoYoing community, a number of people have suffered the loss of friends and family to suicide, but it is also heartening that the actions we take can have real impacts on the lives of those around us.
While all of the funds from the Charity Bundle will be going to Crisis Text Line, we wanted to do what we can to raise awareness of depression and anxiety that affects the throwing community. PurpleYoYo began as a way to increase awareness of depression and anxiety in the YoYo community, and to create an atmosphere where people would be more comfortable sharing their own struggles with mental health. Giveaways and fundraisers for PurpleYoYo in the past have created spaces for people to share their stories and to reach out to those that have been suffering quietly. The community has expanded to embrace these issues through groups like ThrowTherapy, where members can talk openly and bluntly about the difficulties they face in their everyday lives that are made more challenging due to depression and anxiety. I personally struggled with depression and anxiety and began YoYoing again to have a mindfulness exercise during anxiety and panic attacks, and through conversations with others in the community I know I’m not the only one.
The bundles are loaded with goodies from all of the people involved. MonkeyfingeR has included sets of their Voodoo bead Begleri, which come with 4 beads, multiple cords, stickers, and a carrying pouch. Lowkey Throws laser cut some real wood stands that match the PurpleYoYo logo when it is holding a yoyo. Zipline Strings donated purple Stringthings preloaded with custom PurpleYoYo themed string. Joe Davies sent in handmade yoyo pouches, complete with fuzzy purple lining. Melford AnoTime’d some Scissortails with a custom purple and clear speckle. Yanasi YoYo is including the Scissortail with purple flowable silicone, PurpleYoYo and Yanasi Stickers, a PurpleYoYo Pin, and an Everyday Case stamped purple instead of the usual black.
There will only be 5 bundles, and each of them will be priced at $100. The full $100 from each will be donated to Crisis Text Line, meaning all told we’ll be donating $500! Crisis Text Line breaks down their costs to show that one person counseled has a cost of $19, meaning the bundles will help 26 people in their time of crisis. It’s my hope that the bundles will also keep the conversations about depression and anxiety going in the community, and create a larger support network for those working to improve their own mental health. The drop date and time is Wednesday December 12th at 8pm Eastern Time in the Yanasi YoYo Shop.