Letter: An open letter from Be Great for Nate

Posted 4/26/22

Dear community members, 

Be Great For Nate was created four years ago to support youth in our community by raising suicide awareness. It has been our honor to serve in this organization in memory …

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Letter: An open letter from Be Great for Nate

Posted

Dear community members, 

Be Great For Nate was created four years ago to support youth in our community by raising suicide awareness. It has been our honor to serve in this organization in memory of Nathan Bruno and it is with great pride that we recognize Be Great For Nate as an embodiment of youth empowerment and a catalyst for change.

The Nathan Bruno and Jason Flatt Act originated in the Be Great For Nate movement and was led into law by the Rhode Island state legislature. Throughout the pandemic Be Great For Nate, like so many nonprofits, has experienced significant challenges. While we were finding new creative ways to perform outreach and education, we also recognized that it was time to explore our strategic goals and future initiatives. 

As we were finalizing our strategic plan and gearing up for our major fund-raising season, accusations were brought to our attention that resulted in the termination of our executive director. This matter is now in the hands of our local authorities, and this betrayal of trust has been devastating to our organization and Nathan’s memory.

Our primary concern is for anyone who may have been impacted by these actions. We do not take lightly the trust that our youth and their families have for BG4N. Immediately, our number one priority was to ensure that all our youth participants have a comfortable place to share and feel safe now and into the future. 

In the wake of these events, we have partnered with Newport Mental Health to provide counseling services to anyone who needs them. Over the past several weeks we have also taken a step back to reevaluate our business plan and future goals.

We are humbled by the overwhelming outreach and support that the organization has received during the past few weeks. It has reminded us all of the good that has arisen in Nathan‘s memory and how the community has rallied since his passing. We cannot allow the situation to overshadow the critical need to evaluate Suicide Awareness prevention and action. However, these recent events have provided us with the opportunity to reflect. 

Due to current and fund-raising circumstances, today we are announcing that we have made the difficult decision to step back from all Be Great For Nate sponsored activities including suspending our fund-raising efforts and closing our office located at 300 Highpoint Ave. in Portsmouth indefinitely. We know that this announcement will be disappointing to many, but we want to assure you that our entire Board agrees it is the right decision at this time.

We must continue to shine a light on and remember the need for suicide awareness, prevention, and action. We must continue to protect and empower our youth. Our young people are facing their own epidemic. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in youth and has increased during the pandemic.

Our community has strong organizations dedicated to our young people who can carry forward this critical work, such as The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Newport Mental Health, to name just two of many. 

In the coming weeks the Board will continue to meet in the hopes that the organization might be revived and renewed at some time in the future.

In the meantime, let’s always carry in our hearts ways to make our community a better place for those we cherish. 
Sincerely, 

The Board of Be Great For Nate 

Portsmouth

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