Saturday, April 20, 2013

Shining Strong

Hello Everyone -  It's Ellie, Founder of Crying Out Now.

I have an exciting announcement to make!  As of April 4, 2013, Crying Out Now is officially part of a non-profit corporation called Shining Strong.

This is exciting for several reasons, not the least of which is it enables us to pursue sponsorships, grants and other forms of revenue to help grow our mission - helping women who struggle with drinking, early sobriety, or who are sober and want to stay that way.

Up until this point this website has been funded by me.  I have reached the limits of what I can do on my own and forming Shining Strong as a non-profit corporation enables me to take an important first steps in finding additional revenue sources for CON.

As many of you know, I have two jewelry businesses:  Shining Stones and Two Little Birds Studio.  I'm happy to announce that these two businesses are now officially under the legal non-profit umbrella of Shining Strong, and as such all proceeds from these businesses go directly to fund Crying Out Now and my other site - an internet talk show/podcast with the same mission as Crying Out Now, called The Bubble Hour.  The Bubble Hour airs weekly on Sunday nights at 9pm EST, 8pm Central, 7pm Mountain and 6pm Pacific. It already has over 35,000 downloads (after only a few months in existence) and is growing exponentially.  The Bubble Hour is also now under the non-profit corporation Shining Strong.

Effective immediately, the proceeds from any jewelry you purchase from either of my businesses goes 100% towards funding these two important sites.  This gives readers and/or listeners another way to support the mission of Shining Strong and get a beautiful piece (or pieces) of jewelry as well!

We also have a way to contribute directly - you can see the widget on our right hand sidebar (WePay) and you can contribute any amount. Every little bit helps so much. In order to grow these sites (and even to maintain them) our costs are growing as well (happily, as it means our message is spreading).  If you or someone you love has benefited from CON or The Bubble Hour we gratefully accept your contribution in the form of a direct payment or purchasing jewelry from either store.

The impact of what we're doing here is already being felt on a global level; we get emails from all around the world from women who say they thought they were alone, the only ones suffering and stuck in the grips of alcoholism.  The first step towards sobriety for many women is to submit a post here, or read the brave and beautiful words on this site, or listen to the stories on The Bubble Hour.  We are humbled and honored to be part of helping people help themselves take that brave step and find freedom from addiction.

There are other ways you can help, too, that aren't monetary. Leaving comments is HUGE. Women who pour their truths onto this site get so much support and comfort from your words.  Spreading the word about Shining Strong, CON and The Bubble Hour on your FB pages or Twitter pages helps, too.  Just in the past month our readership has almost tripled, thanks mostly to the grass-roots efforts of readers like you.

You can also leave a testimonial (anonymously or with a pseudonym if you wish) on Shining Strong's website by clicking here. This helps us demonstrate the impact we're having to potential sponsors or donors.  You can read these testimonials (get a tissue ready) by clicking on the "comment" button below the online form.

Lastly, you can purchase my book (see the right hand side bar for a preview) Let Me Get This Straight, (click to go to my book's homepage) which chronicles my own alcoholism and recovery, the death of my father, my cancer journey and funny/poignant stories of motherhood and life.  The proceeds from any purchase of the book (pdf version available for PCs, eBook version for Apple products and also a softcover edition) ALL go directly to funding Shining Strong.

Below is a video that highlights the mission of Shining Strong, which was named in honor of my father, Jonathan Strong, who passed away suddenly in June 2011.  My Dad taught me many, many things, but first and foremost was the importance of giving back to the communities you serve. I would not be sober today if it weren't for the compassion and love given to me by other recovering women, and these sites (and my personal blog) are my way of giving back a debt I couldn't repay in a thousand lifetimes.

So please watch the video, help us spread the word by facebooking or tweeting this post, leave a comment, purchase some jewelry (follow the links above to go to my store(s)) or contribute directly (we are not yet a 501(c)3 - that is our next step but it involves a fair amount of money and time - so these contributions are not yet tax deductible, but we're getting there).

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all you do - to the brave story-tellers, to the compassionate commenters, and to all of you who help us spread the word.  Together we are a light in the darkness; a light that grows brighter every. single. day.

One story at a time.


  1. You're amazing, Ellie. I'm so proud of you and the work you've done.

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  3. I commend you for all that you do.. I've followed you for a while now but haven't posted my testimony yet!! My 1 yr sober date is 3-28-2013. I've done it all myself with help from the man upstairs, my family and the Internet!! Oh and doctors! The site that you have provided is unbelievable. I am still reluctant to share your on fbooks as I have yet to come out of the closet. I am still healing (I was 30 min from a coma - pretty bad shape) physically and mentally. You're bubble hour show is a great idea. I feel like I know you, Lisa, and Amanda!!! Keep up the great work - and know that there are people out here like me - that maybe just aren't ready to share your help but still need it drastically!

    1. Congratulations D Gardner on over one year. Wow, doing it on your own is amazing. I truly admire your commitment and courage. I am three months into my sober journey. I haven't "come out" yet to family and friends either. I love feeling physically and mentally good. I am working the 12 Steps with the help of AA and the "man" upstairs. Love the Bubble Hour. Ellie, Lisa, and Amanda are amazing!!!! I appreciate your heartfelt comments.

    2. 4 years sober 3/2/13 with AA and the god of my understanding. It is truly grace that got me sober and keeps me sober. To carry the message is one of the best privileges of my life and to journey with others who understand my feelings and previous misery. Life on life's terms truly is amazing even when it is hard. Congratulations D Gardner, may your sobriety continue.

  4. Hi Ellie - love your posts and your show! Thought you and the crew would appreciate this new song by Sara B - so appropo!