Support mental health through raffle

Local organization to hold live raffle

Heads-Up Guidance Services counselors gather as the organization is asking the community to participate in an upcoming raffle.
Mental health and wellness is more important than ever and Heads-Up Guidance Services is asking for the community’s help to make this a reality for those in need.

A $10,000 raffle is being held live July 5 on WTOC between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and tickets are on sale now. Proceeds will cover 80% of the mental health guidance costs incurred by HUGS who currently offer sessions for only $20.

Tickets start at $100 for one entry and there are several ticket packages and sponsorship options available. Each individual $100 ticket bought will go to fund five sessions to those in need of mental health counseling with the entire raffle assisting about 500 local residents.

Kelly Long, Chief Office Administrator and Executive Assistant, said, “There’s so much that goes into keeping our organization going, from basics such as keeping the doors open and keeping the lights on, but we also need help providing the low cost services. We’re able to do it with 100% volunteer counselors. We provide sessions for only $20 which is better than the best insurance co-pay - but when we do that, there is still $80 on the table we need the community to help us cover.”

HUGS’s mission is to make exceptional behavioral health counseling accessible and affordable to all, and to train and utilize compassionate volunteer professionals to meet community counseling needs.

“We provided over 6,800 services in 2020 to adults, couples, children, adolescents and families, and are on track to double this in 2021,” Long said.

Open since 2009, HUGS has been saving taxpayers money for over a decade.

By not accepting insurance or government funding, HUGS was able to save taxpayers over $1 million in 2020 and they are on track to save 35% more this year.

“HUGS gives opportunities for mental health services to those who could not otherwise afford it,” said James Dubry, volunteer counselor.

The organization believes in a transformational, not transactional, environment and are asking the local community for help. “We depend on community support to help us. We believe in a hand up, not a hand out. By supporting us, you’re supporting the community,” Long said.

For information, or to purchase raffle tickets, visit The deadline for raffle entries is today.

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