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Zachary Schleien lost a friend, Louis, who suffered from schizophrenia, in a tragic and unnecessary death. His friend’s passing inspired him to do something.
Having just been introduced at work to CaringCrowd, Johnson & Johnson’s crowdfunding platform to support global public health efforts, Zach launched a campaign to raise money to help train hundreds of parents of children with schizoaffective disorder. The training, NAMI Basics, is led by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Preliminary Interview with Zachary Schleien who raised over $9,500 for NAMI.
The following is a brief pre-interview that provides context for the recorded interview you may watch or listen to at the top of this article.
Crowdfunding page: https://www.caringcrowd.org/nami
What is the purpose of your crowdfunding campaign?
Non-profit funding is difficult and many times government funding does not reflect the concerns of local communities. I turned to crowdfunding to help supplement funding on this very important, often neglected, and misunderstood condition.
More about NAMI:
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. We are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.
For-profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit
More about CaringCrowd:
CaringCrowd(R) is a crowdfunding site 100% dedicated to global public health. Individuals who want to support public health can browse projects that need funding and make a pledge to help. Any 501(c)(3) non-profit can submit a project and funding goal for consideration on the platform. Then, submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. This platform was created by Johnson & Johnson as a driver for collaboration on global public health, and as a new way to bring funding to organizations tackling key public health challenges on the ground.
Zachary Schleien’s bio:
Zach’s CaringCrowd Profile: https://www.caringcrowd.org/zachary-schleien
Zachary Schleien works for Johnson & Johnson as an Analyst in their IT Leadership Development Program (ITLDP). Zach recently successfully funded a project for $9,500 to benefit the NAMI Basics Program in honor of a close family friend, Louis. In March of 2017, Louis rejected therapy due to medication side effects along with non-acceptance of his condition, making it nearly impossible to manage. Two months later, in the throes of psychosis, he did not understand the danger posed by the nearby river. It is presumed that he perished on June 4, 2017. NAMI Basics is a free, 6-week education program for parents and family caregivers of children and teens who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or who have already been diagnosed.
Derek Fetzer’s bio:
Co-founder and Team Leader of CARINGCROWD®. Originally an industrial engineer from Peru and from Purdue University, Derek has over 23 years of strategy, consulting, and business analytics experience across different industries, spanning the US, EU, and Latin America. For the last 10 years, Derek has worked in the area of infectious diseases, collaborating on key product launches in HIV/AIDS, HCV, and tuberculosis. His career interest is in improving access to healthcare around the world by empowering the “crowd.”
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