Light up the Dark is a non- profit organization for people who have gone or are going through dark periods of their life and give them the the help and support they need. “It’s a community coming together to help and encourage other people “ said Heather Oden, founder of Light up the Dark. Heather’s inspiration to create Light up the Dark was during her healing process of being gang raped. She was recovering from a dark point in her life and was wanting to help people who were going through similar situations. After helping people, it started to lead to the creation of the organization. Jacob Oden, Heather’s son also went through his own darkness and like his mother, wanted to help people going through the same thing which also helped him. In the summer of 2016, Jacob said if Light up the Dark got big enough that he could work there after college. “He said that’s what he he wanted to do, work at Light up the Dark.” Heather Oden shared. “His memorial was Light up the Dark because of his passion for it and encouraging other people.” Oden stated. The money given from Jacob’s memorial first went to training the adults to address youth going through depression and anxiety. Life coaching and parental classes are offered as well as being paired with a mentor.
There are four parts to Light up the dark. Part one is the Lighthouse which is a place where people who have been through darkness and need help getting on their feet can go. Part two is Operation Restore. Operation restore is all the people-to-people services, such as the mentoring, classes,and coaching. Part three is Jacob’s Legacy. It’s where people speak about why your life matters and that you’re here for a reason. “That you shouldn’t put off living out your purpose that God gave you, today or even a couple years from now. Part four is Light up the Dark Academy. Its quality devos inspiration to God for free. We don’t have a lot on it yet but we will get more on it soon.” said Oden.
The Light Post is a place where teens can come in and chill to get away from everything, whether it’s your darkness or not; the lightpost is a place of peacefulness. You can go do inexpensive anti-darkness artwork, make survival bracelets, and buy Light up the dark merchandise, coffee, drinks, food, and books. “It’s a positive way to spend time rather than with people who are bringing you down” Oden added.
Light up the Dark’s main purpose is to help people who are going through the dark. The most effective way to get out of the dark is to get help. “It’s better to have someone helpful to walk through it with you” Oden said, not only from experience but from helping others. Heather strongly suggest that if you need help getting through darkness whether its depression or anxiety or something else. Take advantage of the mentoring that’s provided from Light up the dark.
“The mentoring really works, at first I was reluctant to do it but my friends talked me into doing it since it would help me. After two days I got paired with my mentor and already meet with them. They let me talk about what happened to me, which was depression, and they said that I wasn’t alone, that they will be there to help me through it. It took a long time but i eventually started to get better. I would not be happy or even living today if it wasn’t for my mentor, who I thank God for bringing them into my life” said an Anonymous source, depression survivor, and a person who was mentored which saved their life.
The Light up the Dark organization has saved lives and given hope to people who thought there was no point in life anymore, they have helped people with anxiety, sexual assault, and more. Being paired with a mentor is a great way to get help if you are in need of it. The coaches/mentors are all prepared to help anyone who needs it. On the Light up the dark web site, under the tab Need Light? is where you will find the links to get a mentor who Amber Gray will pair you with, or go to the mentoring tab to get further information on it. “Whatever your broken or dark is, I know who God is, I know what his love is like and that love awnsers things” Oden said.