On July 11th, 2012 our beautiful 16 year old daughter Amanda Kellie Andrews took her own life. A decision was made, not after months or years of depression, but in a brief moment of despair. The unfortunate and tragic consequence of that decision is that the world has lost a truly beautiful being and lives were changed forever by her absence.
The day after her passing we found a blog post she had written the year prior when she was apparently grounded. The blog post talked about how she wished the phrase "Choose the Right" would pop in to her head BEFORE she made a bad choice. This was the message that we shared with the over 1000 people who attended her memorial service and the message that we hope to help her carry forward. Three simple words...Choose the Right (CTR).
The concept is simple... When you are faced with any decision in life, big or small, think about the consequences your choices may bring, not just for you, but how it might impact those around you, and simply Choose the Right. The right choice isn't always the easiest one to make, but it will always be worth it. If you are feeling down, find a friend or adult you trust to help talk it out. If pressured to drink, smoke, or do drugs... remember those three words and CTR. If someone is being bullied, be their friend and their voice if they need help speaking up. Don't ever let someone walk alone through this world.
I think that if Amanda were here she would say Be Smarter. CTR – Choose the Right and don’t make the same mistake I did. She might also say be beautiful, be a friend, eat more smiley face fries, chicken wings, and Hot Cheetos, and please give someone a hug and smile for me. Live wisely and Choose the Right so that someday many years hence in the next life she will thank you for letting her make a difference for the better in your life.
We have a campaign pledge wall on Facebook, and while over 1700 have officially "Liked" the pledge wall, we have (with the help of Amanda's friends, others in our community, and new pledge participants across the country) distributed almost 5000 wristbands! You too can be part of this amazing pledge to show our teens and young adults that they are loved beyond measure.
Go to the Amanda Panda's Choose the Right Campaign Facebook page and 'LIKE' the page to tell us you agree to take the pledge. Once you do, leave us your address in a message or wall post and we will send you a CTR wristband to remind you of that pledge.
Live Wisely and always, always... Choose the Right - Amanda Panda :)
You can check out our AKA Amanda Panda CTR Foundation HERE: http://akaamandapandafoundation.org/about-amanda-pandas-choose-the-right-pledge/
Donations can be made to:
AKA Amanda Panda CTR Foundation
Monrovia, CA 91016