Living Everyday with a Grateful Heart
12 years ago I lost my best friend, my Dad, to suicide, and it completely rocked my world. I didn’t understand how someone so loved and strong could break and feel so worthless. Now being in college, having lost friends to suicide, and having loved ones losing loved ones to suicide, I finally decided that enough was enough - I had to do something.
I’ve also had this obsession with physical gratitude, specifically handwritten thank you cards. I just think that they’re the greatest things ever! Having this passion for physical gratitude and this dream of ending suicide- I decided to go to work and try and figure out how I could combine the two.
With the help of a lot of amazing people at the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, Grateful & Company was born! I did a bunch of research and learned that being physically grateful is actually scientifically connected to lowering levels of depression, thus lowering the rate of suicide. I also learned something interesting when it came to happy people and grateful people… did you know that it is actually not happy people that are grateful, but grateful people that are proven to be happier? Funny, huh? Regardless, I had found my connection. If I could empower people to see the good in themselves and the world around them, maybe it could spark change.
I started Grateful & Company because I wanted to empower people to believe that they were worthy. We exist to empower people to recognize their self worth, to acknowledge the value in those around them, and to do both of these things with physical appreciation- hence our three pillars, recognizing, acknowledging, and showing with the intent of ending suicide, specifically on college campuses.
So that’s what we do. We sell awesome products that remind people to say thank you and that everyone is amazing in their own way. Why are we particularly passionate about ending suicide on college campuses? Glad you asked! Suicide is actually the second highest cause of death amongst college students… 1 in 12 actually have a suicide plan in place…and at the end of this year (on average according to a national statistic) over 1,000 college students will have committed suicide. I went to work to figure out how I could take Grateful & Company and lower these numbers- if not eliminate them completely. Our bottom line is now going towards improving mental health resources on college campuses. Right now, we’re working with the University of Houston towards funding therapists to come on campus to conduct suicide prevention programs for the student body.
Gratitude has become so much more than saying thank you. Gratitude has become an opportunity to save a life. It’s a game changer.