Kerry Martin founded Hope Xchange in 2013 after battling with a bipolar diagnosis and coming back from three suicide attempts. Kerry is a seasoned and savvy Harvard-trained strategist with three decades of experience crafting innovative solutions to a wide range of social, business and marketing challenges. She is intensely strategic, insanely organized and an inspired communicator with a sound educational foundation and unique interdisciplinary background.
Kerry is also CEO and Founder of Hope Xchange Timebank, and Founder of Give a Grape, a cause-marketing initiative in collaboration with the wine industry to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention and other social causes, and a mental health and suicide prevention activist. She recently agreed to sit on the board of Compassionate Citizens Foundation, whose new focus is youth suicide prevention.
Prior to entering the nonprofit sector, Kerry was a cause-marketing strategist, consulting with heart-centered entrepreneurs to grow mind and market share by adopting a cause and increase revenue with what she coined "caring relevance." She also held senior marketing, business development and program management positions at three dot.com start-ups, was a Project Manager at an environmental economics consulting company and Director of Fundraising for a US Congressional Campaign
I volunteer simply because I care. No one should have to go through life thinking no one cares about them. But they do. The suicide statistics today, particularly for our youth and those in the LGBTQIA community, are simply staggering and absolutely heartbreaking.
I also founded Hope Xchange because I was misdiagnosed and, as a result, screwed up part of my life with unnecessary manic episodes, followed by profound depressions and three suicide attempts, all of which put my family and friends through unbearable pain. But, I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm still here, and unlike far too many, I was not abandoned by my families and friends.
Further, as someone who also mentors in our HOPE for Bipolars program, I know our programs work. We provide a bridge paved with love and light that transitions those struggling from hopeless to hopeful and helpless to helpful, as most I mentor now volunteer for us or want to become mentors.
But, I don't do this alone. I have built an amazing team of volunteers: kindred spirits who I am incredibly grateful and blessed to be supported by and I'm so proud to call part of our Hope Xchange family. So while I don't get paid, I don't care. Because I know, that because of our family, there are people out there who do feel cared for and who no longer feel hopeless. This is what matters most to me.
If our suicide prevention and mental wellness programs align with your corporation's giving back and employee matching programs, please consider joining forces and becoming a Hope Xchange Corporate Sponsor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the benefits associated with our sponsorship options and which may be the best fit for your organization.