Each quarter, GreenStar selects three local not-for-profits to be the recipients of our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program donations. Our BYOB program encourages shoppers to bring their own bags by providing them with a token worth 5¢ that they can donate to one of the chosen organizations. At the end of the quarter, we make a donation to the groups based on the number of tokens given by our customers. This quarter, our recipients are the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Finger Lakes, the Multicultural Resource Center, and the Learning Web.

Mental illness has a devastating effect on the families, friends, and loved ones of those who are directly affected. Often it is these loved ones who take on the care of the affected person. The whole family suffers in this crisis. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Finger Lakes (NAMI-FL) provides support for families, relatives, and friends of people diagnosed with major mental illnesses; educates them and the public about serious mental illnesses; and advocates for the families as well as their ill family members. NAMI-FL serves families in Tompkins County and the Southern Tier surrounding area.

NAMI-FL is an all-volunteer organization, dependent on the contributions, free time, and good will of members and friends. All their events are led by experienced volunteers who have loved ones with mental illness. They lead support groups for family and friends of people with mental health issues. They work with schools and teachers to End the Silence around the prejudice people with mental illness experience. They sponsor Family-to-Family, an in depth, free, 12-week course that is targeted to family and friends.

NAMI-FL volunteers provide support and information for family members of patients at the Behavioral Services Unit of Cayuga Medical Center. They organize free programs on various aspects of mental illness for the community. They operate an information line that can be accessed by phone (607-273-2462) or email (namifl@hotmail.com).

NAMI-FL’s volunteers are deeply involved in the mental health community. For more about their work, connect to namifingerlakes.org, or like them on Facebook.

Are you involved with a not-for-profit organization that might benefit from this program? Apply to be a recipient here.