The Seeking Light Foundation is a non profit mental health organization servicing the Greater South Bay areas. Started by two local South Bay residents, The Foundation’s mission is to create a brighter light that shines on mental illness in order to inform, educate, support and advocate for those effected by mental illness in our communities. The Foundation provides information about local resources and services available for individuals with or without insurance as well as their families and friends. The foundation also offers training workshops to help employers provide safe workplaces for employees who are recovering from depression or other mental illnesses.
For this weeks community spotlight, we are getting to know Lilah, Co-Founder of The Seeking Light Foundation and the incredible work that this organization is doing in the South Bay.
The Seeking Light Foundation: A Non Profit Mental Health Organization
Tell us a little about you
I grew up in the South Bay. It is definitely home for me. I love it here. I also an co-owner with my best friend Kim Judy of a gift shop in Riviera Village called Card De A. Being a part of this village brings so much joy to me and my daughters.
I am a widow with two young daughters. Stella is 11 and Adaline is 4. While becoming a widow turned my world upside down, I have kept my feet moving and my heart beating. My family, my friends, the community.. they have played a role in keeping me positive and inspiring me to do what I can to help anyone I can.
Please tell us about The Seeking Light Foundation
I started The Seeking Light Foundation with my friend Shannon Hennessey in 2019. It is non profit mental health organization servicing the Greater South Bay areas. Our mission is to create a brighter light that shines on mental health in order to inform, educate, support, and advocate for those effected by mental illness in our communities. Right now we are focusing on our THERAPY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.
Who does The Seeking Light Foundation support?
As a part of our mission, we want to assist in helping individuals receive therapy that otherwise would not be financially able to. From this intention, we created THE THERAPY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. Individuals, or their loved ones can apply to receive full coverage for sessions by a Licensed Therapist and/or Psychologist. Our Board of Directors will do their best to match each individual with a clinician that specializes in symptoms the individual is experiencing and be mindful of any other requests they may have.
What inspired you to start The Seeking Light Foundation?
My late husband was bipolar. He fought a battle with his head and heart almost every single day. He occasionally escaped his pain by self medicating and the last time he did, he had an accidental intoxication of fentanyl and it ended his life on June 5, 2017. Our baby was only 5 months old at the time. My whole world crumbled. We miss him every day. Five days later I also lost my dad in a terrible construction accident. It was the most devastating week of my life. Some days it still feels unreal.
Mental illnesses are real and it’s so important to acknowledge how we are feeling. It’s vital to educate ourselves on the mind and mental struggles and find ways to live and love better through it all. I don’t want anyone to feel alone or afraid to ask for help. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s the greatest step you can make in bettering your life… and the lives of those you love. Losing my husband and my father in the same week changed me in so many ways. It gave me a brighter, more clear pair of lens and I have since and will continue to… do all I can to share and guide you all through my new pair of lens.
These tragedies, they inspired me to help. Five months after my losses, I started making soy candles and selling them. I was donating a percentage of my proceeds to The International Bipolar Foundation. In 2019, I met my dear kindred spirit Shannon Hennessey. It was honestly nothing less of a divine intervention. Shannon struggles with bipolar herself. She is the most brave and open person I know. She works on herself every single day and for that I admire her. We had an instant connection and we inspired each other in so many ways… including starting our own mental health non profit foundation… THE SEEKING LIGHT FOUNDATION.
How can the community support The Seeking Light Foundation?
We are a pretty new organization and can most definitely benefit from our community learning about us, following our instagram and spreading the word that we are here to help!
We do also rely on donations and fundraising in order to help people in need by providing therapy through our therapy financial assistance program, to continue our mission on shining a light on mental health in order to advocate, support, educate, and help break the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
So, we need donations. We are open to fundraising ideas as well. If you know of a business that wants to give back, we love collaborating. For example, a restaurant or shop could choose to fundraise by having a day or a week where a percentage of sales totals are donated to The Seeking Light Foundation. This helps your business and supports mental health at the same time. Bettolinos Kitchen did this with us last month. Every little bit helps. We appreciate all the support more than you know.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Shannon and I would LOVE and APPRECIATE the communities support in advocating for The Seeking Light Foundation. It took just the two of us to start this, but it will take a village to keep it going. Together we can do so much more. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
The Seeking Light Foundation
Facebook: Seeking Light Foundation
Check out these other local stories about giving back to our community!
Local Community Spotlight – The Buddy Bench Project
South Bay Gives Back: Homeless Project
South Bay Gives Back: Bettolino Kitchen