Dear First Priority Partner,
I am writing to you today as a follow-up to a previous blog post to you earlier this summer. In that post, I thanked you for your prayer and support during the most unprecedented time of our 30-year history. I also asked for your financial support this summer as we get ready to relaunch Christian outreach clubs in the public schools this fall. My previous email also outlined the challenges First Priority clubs faced last school year due to COVID-19. School officials tell us they are counting on First Priority clubs to be back in the schools this fall. With your support, we can make this happen!
You may remember that I shared with you about the significant depression and loneliness amongst students today. Former Surgeon General Murthy wrote in the Harvard Business Review that, “we live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s.” A study published in The Journal of Abnormal Psychology reports that, “between 2009 and 2017 rates of depression among kids ages 14 to 17 increased by more than 60 percent, and 47 percent among those ages 12 to13. The most alarming of them all: the suicide rate among children aged 10-14 nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017, while the suicide rate among older teenagers increased by 76 percent. Can you imagine what those numbers are now following a pandemic? In 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for children aged 10-14, teenagers 15-19, and young adults 20-24.
These statistics are disturbing and frightening. I am asking you to help us help these students. Your summer gift will be DOUBLED and help First Priority work with local churches and schools to address this issue of loneliness. You see, as First Priority clubs are able to relaunch and meet on school campuses again, kids and teens have a place to connect and belong. First Priority becomes a place that students know they can find friends and hope. We know the ultimate solution to loneliness is Jesus!
If you have already sent a gift, thank you for your generosity. If you haven’t sent a gift yet, there is still time for you personally to make a difference in the lives of teenagers all across the Birmingham area. Can I count on you this summer? The need is great and the solution is simple. I need your help to help us reach Every Last One.