SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Three siblings have raised over $8,500 in honor of their dad.
The two Olson sisters and their brother decided to donate to Face It TOGETHER after their father who suffered from alcoholism suddenly passed away a year ago. The siblings said they want to bring to light the stigma surrounding addiction.
“It can affect anyone, it can affect your neighbor, your friend, your relatives, anyone you know could be affected by it and you may not even know. I think that was a big point with us, we wanted to be able to share our story in hopes of helping other people, maybe, share their story or get the help they need. So, that was the whole point behind starting the fundraiser for Father’s Day,” Lauren Olson said.
The three went on to say they want people to openly have a conversation about alcoholism. Harrison said talking about addiction isn’t easy, but by sharing the story of his father, he hopes it starts that conversation with people.
“Yeah, of course, it’s going to be hard to talk about, but I think it’s something we have to do. And, I think it’s certainly the right thing to do in order to prevent other people from having to deal with things we’ve dealt with and just preventing more deaths and lives ruined from addiction,” Harrison Olson said.
Kaitlin said that when you talk about addiction it can actually lead to many new relationships through the experiences you share.
“It’s actually brought a lot of people to me, and, saying they’ve gone through similar things or they understand what I’m going through, and that’s made it even easier to talk about. I think, a lot of people are afraid to talk about it because they don’t know who else is going through it, or they don’t want to bring attention to it because it hurts. But, once you know there’s a community of people that are experiencing the same thing you are, I think, that’s made it a lot easier,” Kaitlin Olson said.
Picking Face It TOGETHER for their donation was a no-brainer for the trio. Lauren said their family has used their services; plus the siblings support the goals the organization strives for.
“Even doing more research about Face It TOGETHER, realizing that they recognize that not everyone’s goal is the same and not everyone has the same lifestyle. They coach each individual towards their own specific goal, and I think that was really important because I thought it was a really innovative way of helping others where it’s not so rigid and strict on how things need to be done. I think it was important to recognize that everyone has their own path and they adjust to every individual that receives help,” Lauren Olson said.
Dane Bloch is the Face It TOGETHER Director of Development. He said Face It TOGETHER offers a different option compared to in-patient treatment programs.
“FIT steps in to provide that lower cost, peer lead, coaching opportunity to help them get the support they need and address the issues they are facing,” Bloch said.
He went on to say that the money raised is specifically for providing access to peer coaching in South Dakota because that is what the Olson’s father benefited from.
Kaitlin, Lauren and Harrison wanted to raise $5,000 in a month. They ended up reaching their goal in less than two days.
“I didn’t even know if we were going to reach the goal, like… at all. We were almost there in a day and it was really crazy and encouraging to see support like that,” Harrison Olson said.
While the three encourage you to donate, Kaitlin says it’s not just the funds that makes an impact.
“You don’t necessarily have to donate to make a difference in this area, I really think it’s important that people have the tough conversations surrounding this topic. I think, that’s what’s most important to me, just that this message reached people that needed to hear it. Hopefully, it helps others dealing with the same types of things,” Kaitlin Olson said.
After enduring tragedy, Kaitlin, Lauren and Harrison are finding the silver-lining in remembrance of their dad, Tim. The fundraiser ends July 19, 2020.