BOSTON, May 10, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is pleased to announce the 5th Annual 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Boston on June 3, 2017 at Jamaica Pond. The Walk aims to raise awareness about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental health disorder that affects over two million adults and a half million children in the U.S. alone, as well as for related disorders including body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and hoarding disorder (HD). Over the past 5 years, the Boston Walk has continued to grow, thanks in large part to the community members and businesses that have stepped up to support this important cause.
This year, the IOCDF is pleased to have Brookline resident, Jo-Ann Winston, serve as the grand marshal for the Boston Walk, along with the entire Winston Family! Jo-Ann and her family's involvement with the IOCDF started three years ago when she read Denis Asselin's story about his son Nathaniel, the inspiration for the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk. She read about the Boston Walk taking place at Jamaica Pond, created a Walk Team, and began raising money for the IOCDF. After attending the Walk and meeting members of the community, as well as the IOCDF staff, she started volunteering at the IOCDF office in downtown, and is now a member of the IOCDF Board of Directors.
"My family's story is like so many families struggling with OCD," Jo-Ann explains. "We were lost, confused, uneducated, and alone. When I found the IOCDF, I found families that shared my story. I found parents who shared the same frustrations and had the same questions. I found children who had the same controlling voice in their heads that my daughter had. I found professionals who had the research and compassion to help. With all of this, I found a community that my family and I could lean on. Finding this community made me want to be involved even more."
In addition to the Winston Family, the IOCDF is extremely appreciative to all of the walkers, donors, sponsors, and partners who are supporting this year's Walk. One of the most coveted items from the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk is the Official Walk T-shirt. Each year, the IOCDF designs a special commemorative Walk T-shirt for all registered walkers who raise $25 or more on their personal fundraising pages. For the second year in a row, the IOCDF is pleased and honored to be working with a fellow non-profit, Spectrum Designs Foundation, for the printing of the Boston Walk T-shirts.
Spectrum Designs Foundation is a non-profit, social enterprise company specializing in custom apparel decoration with the mission of providing meaningful work opportunities for teens and young adults with autism. Grounded in its vision of providing gainful employment opportunities to people with autism, Spectrum Designs' employees earn at least minimum wage and Spectrum's unique structure allows for people of all abilities to grow and thrive, both within the organization and beyond.
Through their continued partnership, the IOCDF and Spectrum Designs Foundation have been able to simultaneously support two amazing causes.
"Spectrum Designs is incredibly proud to be a sponsor of the IOCDF for the second year running," says Tim Howe – Chief Operating Officer of Spectrum Designs. "The IOCDF has a pragmatic and positive approach to mental health that we share wholeheartedly — an emphasis on inherent self-worth, productivity and community. A number of our employees live with OCD and related disorders, and we appreciate the incredible work the IOCDF is doing to end the stigma associated with mental health illnesses, as well as their willingness to partner with organizations that share that vision.
As we expand our operations and employ more and more teens and young adults with autism and related developmental disabilities, it is partnerships like our enduring one with the IOCDF that propel us forwards and allow us to blaze a trail for disability employment."
In 2016 Spectrum Designs Foundation has continued to grow. They purchased a 7,500 square foot building to serve as a flagship, allowing them to double the number of individuals with disabilities that they employ, and have added three other social enterprises to their offering:
- Spectrum Bakes, a custom artisanal bakery creating home baked treats for special events
- Spectrum Grows, homegrown hydroponic microgreens for local restaurants and chefs
- Spectrum Suds, a boutique laundry service offering pickup and delivery to local clients
Along with Spectrum Designs, the IOCDF is thankful to have the support of Bradley Hospital, CLIF Bar, McLean Hospital OCD Institute, Mountain Valley Treatment Center, Polar Beverages, and Winston Flowers. In addition to the Walk itself, Boston participants will enjoy a community celebration complete with live band, face painting, and awards!
Boston is one of four cities with 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walks co-hosted by the IOCDF and its Local Affiliates. OCD Georgia and OCD Texas will co-host Walks with the IOCDF in Atlanta and Houston, respectively, on June 3rd and OCD Sacramento and OCD SF Bay Area, the IOCDF Northern California Affiliates, will co-host a Walk at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on June 10th. Beyond these four cities, hundreds of Virtual Walkers will raise funds and awareness in their local communities across the country — and globe — as well.
"OCD affects 1 in 100 adults, but it is still little understood in the general public," explains Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the IOCDF. "This 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk is about building a community of support — and making sure people know how to access the resources and support they need."
The Walk is open to people of all ages in the Boston area — visit www.iocdf.org/walkBoston to learn more.
About the International OCD Foundation
The International OCD Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a donor-supported nonprofit organization, working to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them. Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in 24 states and territories, as well as 11 global partners. The IOCDF has a $2 million annual operating budget, has granted millions of dollars for OCD research, and is a vital resource for the estimated 1 in 100 individuals with OCD around the world. For more information, visit www.iocdf.org.
Communications Manager, International OCD Foundation
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SOURCE International OCD Foundation