I was recently introduced to an organization that I feel is an inspiration to our community and feel that the story of how this all began is something that should be shared. The Elephant Next Door helps people with gambling problems, who are in recovery and supports them during difficult times in their lives. Below is some information on how The Elephant Next Door was created and how getting the word out about gambling is so important.
In November of 2012, Pete started a Kickstarter campaign to produce a documentary film to show the devastation caused by gambling problems. The video project was not funded, so Pete self-funded a documentary short with Robert Mcguigan, a Wisconsin man who dedicated his life to speaking in schools about the dangers of problem gambling. Robert’s son had been murdered over a bet gone awry. Shortly after the filming Robert died from brain cancer. Prior to his death, Robert expressed gratitude that his story would continue to help people. “Robert McGuigan: Tragedy to Inspiration” will be entered in film festivals showing next summer. Pete also collaborated with Toby Allen, A British artist who created the Real Monster Series to make information about mental illness accessible to children. Toby, with input from Pete and his clients, created a Gambling Disorder Monster in 2013. As a testament to Toby’s belief in Pete’s work, Toby donates a portion of the proceeds of the sale of every Gambling Disorder Monster print to the Elephant Next Door. Pete has also addressed national audiences via podcast and live presentation for The American Counseling Association and The National Council for Problem Gambling. Regionally, he spoke at Oregon State University, Volunteers in Medicine, the Oregon Counseling Association, and the Evergreen Council for Problem Gambling. Pete’s continued effort resulted in bringing together seven supporters who incorporated The Elephant Next Door (The END) in 2014 as an Oregon non-profit corporation. In 2015 the IRS determined The END was a public charity and was granted tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Check out the Elephant Next Door on their website at: http://www.elephantnextdoor.org/ or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/theelephantnextdoor. It’s a great resource for people who are in recovery, want to learn more, or are in the program. We’ve received referrals to the program from people sharing posts. We’re really working to get this out there. Every like or share is a huge victory! Thanks so much for helping to Break the Silence!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Photos by: Creative Images of Life ~ Stacie Muller. Should you have an upcoming event, please contact me for your photography needs at 541-948-3195.