The Bethany Phelps Memorial Fund
The Bethany Phelps Memorial Fund has been established to carry on a small bit of the enormous good Bethany would have contributed to this world. In her honor, the Fund will donate to causes that would have been supported by her.
Bethany was diagnosed with mild depression, but we know she must have fought more than anybody knew. Depression and anxiety are hard to comprehend from the outside. To appreciate the condition, you might liken it to a physical manifestation such as a child suffering from cancer. With cancer, all can sympathize with and understand the unfair pain the child is in, and all can recognize the bravery in the constant fight. If these children should not survive, it is not their fault or choice - it is the cancer. Bethany, like all others who struggle with depression, fought a similar battle. But it is a battle that is oftentimes lonely and difficult for others to see and understand. It is a fight without much recognition because of stigma, judgment, and simple misunderstanding. There are rarely balloons or flowers to acknowledge their bravery while they struggle with their sickness. Bethany succeeded in her battle in many ways because of the joy we knew she had and the joy she brought to the people around her. This is why she is “Brave Bethany." Two-thirds of the Fund proceeds will be donated to the research and treatment of mental illness in the hope that one less child will need to bravely fight this insidious and invisible illness.
Bethany loved nature and the planet. She belonged to the trees in our yard, climbing them, playing in them and even talking to them. Her love of nature extended far beyond this - all the way to the ocean. She was particularly concerned about the destruction of the world’s coral reefs. In her name, a third of the Fund proceeds will be dedicated to supporting the preservation of coral reefs.
The Phelps family has been profoundly moved and is eternally grateful for the outpouring of support for Bethany. We have been especially touched by the many continuing gestures of love by family, friends, teachers and others who have known Bethany.
We thank you for any contribution you can make.
Mental Health Research
There is much needed research to be done in mental health - especially in the area of genetic/epigenetics of mental illness. Our fund supports two major trusted and impactful charities - NAMI and AFSP. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
Coral Reef Preservation
Our fund also supports the Coral Restoration Foundation. The Coral Restoration Foundation's core mission is to restore coral reefs, to educate others on the importance of our oceans, and to use science to further coral research and coral reef monitoring techniques. They are the world's largest non-profit marine-conservation organization dedicated to restoring coral reefs to a healthy state, in Florida and globally - working to support the reefs' natural recovery processes through the large-scale cultivation, outplanting, and monitoring of genetically diverse, reef-building corals. They engage and empower others in the mission to save our planet's coral reef with dive programs, educational activities, scientific collaborations, and outreach.