"We Help Children and Families in Crisis"

Crisis Phone: 866-7-HELP-ME
Office Phone: (717)428-3140

Children and Families
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Families Renewed, Inc. is a registered 501 (c) (3) charitable organization

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Families Renewed, Inc.
644 Shrewsbury Commons Avenue, #261
Shrewsbury, PA 17361

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Who Is The Guy With Purple And Teal Hair?

From the Desk of Bruce Norton,
Chairman and CEO of Families Renewed, Inc.

You may have seen in the York Dispatch, or another local newspaper, on social media, or elsewhere on the Internet a story about a school bus driver who let a student on his bus color his hair any color of combination of colors that were decided by his followers on TikTok and other social media platforms. Well, that man is me. In addition to my work as CEO, I drive a school bus part time to cover my living expenses. Driving the school bus is a perfect part time job because it gives me both daytime and nighttime hours to do my work in Families Renewed while giving me time to make a difference in the lives of the kids who ride my bus.

Around the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021, I realized that there are many people talking about the tragedy of teen suicide. Everyone agrees that we need to do something to reduce the incidence of teen suicide, but the only thing we are doing about it is the same thing we have been doing for decades. We try to prevent bullying, and we try to help those who are thinking about suicide by getting them to therapy or putting them on medications, or both. The result of those actions is nothing more than a general increase in teen suicide overall. So, I wanted to do more. I wanted to change the conversation to one that would be more productive. I wanted the conversation to include self harm. While suicide grabs the headlines, self harm is more insidious, and more prevalent. And while not a direct cause of suicide, it is one of the risk factors for suicide. More than half of teens and young adults ages 10 - 24 engage in self harm on a regular and continuing basis. The causes for each are nearly identical, so if you can prevent one, you can prevent both suicide and self harm. That is why I created a TikTok challenge I called Bruce's Challenge.

The challenge was if I got 100,000 likes I would let a student on my bus color my hair any color or combination of colors chosen by my followers. I uploaded that video, which was the first TikTok video I had ever produced, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to TikTok to see what would happen. It was kind of cool to watch the number of likes get up to 6,000 or 7,000 until about 9pm Thanksgiving night. At 9pm, it really started taking off. For the next 12 hours I watched it grow to over 39,000 likes. Since that time, I expanded the videos to YouTube and other social media platforms. It was in early May, 2022 when we reached an aggregate total of 100,000 likes across all of the different social media platforms. And, while rainbow was a very popular combination of colors, it was edged out by the suicide prevention theme of purple and teal.

On Friday, May 6, 2022 we held the event where one of the students on my bus colored my hair purple and teal at Hair Mechanix in Delta, PA. We recorded the event live on TikTok. In the challenge I told my followers that I would leave my hair colored for a month if we got to 100,000 likes, and would leave my hair colored for six months if we got to a million. We did not get to a milliion likes, but the idea of an old man walking around with purple and teal hair has generated so much conversation that I have chosen to leave it this way until we can get our solution to the problem, or one like it, implemented. Our solution, LifeBST, is an evidence based solution that addresses the root cause of both suicide and self harm. It also has the added benefit of lowering school violence in general, as well as lowering the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

LifeBST is an ambitious project and we cannot do it alone. We are currently working with education professionals, licensed therapists, and local mental health systems to build upon the foundation that we created to produce an effective and predictable solution that can be rolled out in an easy and cost effective manner. We also need your help. Your donations will not only help prevent suicide and self harm, but will also reduce the suffering experienced by those who engage in self harm or think about suicide. Please donate today.

Families Renewed, Inc., Has Teamed Up With Matt Dorgan To Create The Brianna Dorgan Memorial Fund

01/31/2021: We wanted to announce to that we have teamed up with Matt Dorgan for an event to kick off the Brianna Dorgan Memorial Fund, on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at 10:00. The event, created by Matt Dorgan and Mark Bauer is called Building Bridges for Brianna. It will be held at Lions Park 500 Lions Drive, Dallastown, PA 17313, right across from Dallastown Area High School. It is our hope that this event will not only heighten awareness of the tragedy of child and teen self harm, suicide, and child abuse, but will also give parents, families, and teens the tools needed to prevent future tragedies. Everyone is welcome. Please click the link below to read Brianna's story

Important Update Regarding Our Response To The COVID-19 Pandemic

01/01/2021 Update: After coming through ten months of navigating the pandemic and the various governments responses to it, we have been able to determine that there is currently a critical need for child and family advocacy. Families Renewed, Inc., has been engaged in child and family advocacy in the past on a limited child by child basis in the coordination of multiagency services to ensure the best interests and needs of the individual child and family are met. However, more recently, government administrations and law makers are making decisions without understanding the consequences of these decisions on, and without the input from advocates for, the most vulnerable members of our society, our children. It is clear that we must expand our child advocacy to a more regional advocacy that involves stakeholders, decision makers, and law makers.

Since the start of the pandemic:

Because of all the fighting and misinformation it is nearly impossible for parents to make good and informed decisions for their children and their families. In many cases government authorities are taking parental decision making away and making one size fits all decisions for them. This needs to stop. Parents need to be able to exercise their right to make decisions for their children and families. Parents need reliable information on which to base those decisions. Government authorities need to understand the consequences of their actions. This level of child and family advocacy falls within each of our programs for different reasons. While we are still committed to helping the child or family on an individual basis, the need for higher level advocacy cannot be ignored.

We need your help in taking up this fight. We need to be able to work with law makers, attorneys, and subject matter experts. This is the most financially demanding undertaking we have attempted to date. Please support us in this endeavor with a one time or recurring donation. We need your help more than ever now. More importantly, children and families need your help more than ever.