This February 22 marks the fourth year since my brother, Jeff, passed away. Just recently, I happened to be looking at my text messages and saw that my last set of messages with Jeff was on February 21. The texts were mundane; the silly sort of small talk that we all do. At the time, I never thought it would be last time I would ever talk with him.
I can't think of anything more difficult than losing someone you love, and although time can lessen the pain, the sense of loss always remains. And yet, we must carry on.
For me, Jeff's death impacted my thinking in many ways and I have come to believe what matters isn't so much how we think about the future, but how we make best use of the time we have now.
It was the beginning of Red String and, with it, our Jeff Adachi Legacy Project (JALP). Through the JALP program, our hope is that for those of us who loved Jeff and those who may not have had the chance to meet him, can see and feel his spirit in the work that we are doing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Through the JALP, we are working to carry forward Jeff's ideals of creating a fairer, more just society that works not just for the few, but for all. We do this by partnering with local San Francisco Bay Area charities and making an investment in under-served people and communities to enable them to create solutions and changes that work best for them and their own community. Jeff called this approach, "community empowerment" - motivating involvement by giving the people who are most affected by the change they are seeking the power to make it happen.
Currently, the JALP consists of eight partner charity members working on issues Jeff cared most about from stopping the school-to-prison pipeline to youth homelessness, from violence prevention to crisis response services, and from after-school programs to helping kids find their passions, and in the process, saving lives, uplifting livelihoods, and building healthier, safer, and more vibrant communities.
To learn more about our JALP, please check out our video, and after seeing our work, I hope you will come to share in our collective passion, purpose, and charity. Our only ask of you is to join us in keeping Jeff's spirit and memory alive by sharing our stories and activities with your family and friends and donating to or volunteering with us or your favorite local charity. Learn More
(to be continued)