A Tiny Part Yields Big Blessings

Pat and Mike Packard

Twenty-one years. That’s how long Pat and Mike Packard have been supporting the Well Community. “Initially we got involved because our friend’s son, Joel Pulis, was starting it, and he was doing great work. There is much work to be done with mental illness in the Oak Cliff community and, quite frankly, at large—mental illness is everywhere. We knew the Well was a worthwhile organization, and their passion made Mike and I both become passionate too,” says Pat.

Faithful financial supporters, like the Packards, have sustained the Well Community’s service to adults living with severe mental illness over the years. “Without people willing to go the distance,” says Alice Zaccarello, Executive Director for the Well, “We wouldn’t be able to extend compassionate programs and a caring community to people so often shunned by the larger world.”

In recent years Pat and Mike have become a part of a growing band of supporters who pledge a monthly commitment of $25 or more. Through consistent, regular gifts, the Well Wishers Circle ensures the Well Community is able to provide warm, nutritious meals, games and crafts, life-skills training, clothing and case management. “People come to the Well,” reports Alice, “not only to fill their days with good things but to gain the ability to live stable, safe and healthy lives, even though the cards seem stacked against them.”

Poverty, isolation, housing and food insecurity, stigma and poor health are just some of the challenges faced by individuals living daily with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizoaffective disorder. “In being involved with the Well, not just as a donor but also as a volunteer, I have learned that that many people suffer with mental illness, even those that you don’t think might suffer with it. There should not be stigma attached to it. We should all support those with mental health difficulties—mainly just to help them know that it’s okay to reach out for help,” Pat explains.

Pat and Mike recognize that a monthly commitment to the Well Community is a specific way to help people in their area facing so many challenges because of mental illness. Pat says, “Without regular donations the Well would not be able to operate and would not be able to help our friends with mental illness, providing meals and clothes and all sorts of activities. It’s important to continue the work. Every penny helps, and if you donate on a timely basis every time, then they can count on that no matter how small it is.”

It’s also easy to do. While the Packards gave by check for many, many years, they give electronically now. “Honestly, once we set it up, I don’t have to remember to do it!” she says. “And a big blessing is knowing that the Well is still going and still able to help folks living with mental illness. It’s a blessing to us to know that we’re a tiny part of that.”

You can be a part of the Well Wishers Circle and help provide sustainable financial support for the Well Community. Click here to learn more and make your pledge.

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