To Write Love on Her Arms

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This article is about non-profit organization. For the film, see To Write Love on Her Arms (film).
To Write Love on Her Arms
TWLOHA logo.jpg
Abbreviation TWLOHA
Motto "Love Is the Movement"
"Rescue Is Possible"
Formation 2006
Type Non-profit organization
Purpose Present hope and find help for people struggling with depression, self-injury, addiction or suicide while also investing directly into treatment and recovery.
Headquarters Melbourne, FL, US
Founder / Creative Director
Jamie Tworkowski

To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is an American non-profit organization[1] which aims to present hope for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and thoughts of suicide while also investing directly into treatment and recovery. Based in Melbourne, Florida, TWLOHA seeks to connect people to treatment centers, websites, books, support groups and other resources.[2] TWLOHA also encourages people to have honest conversations about these issues, and to live in community.

The organization's name is a direct reference to the first person that they ever helped, a young addict who self-harmed by cutting the words "Fuck Up" on her arm with a razor blade—with the group's founder writing an article hoping to help the addict to get cleaned up and "To write 'love' on her arms" instead.[3]

A large portion of the work is dedicated to bridging the gap between traditional treatment (i.e. rehab, counseling, helplines) and the lives of people who need help. Examples of this include music festivals and tours, social networking sites, and schools and universities.[4][5] Wanting to support existing professional help organizations rather than replace them, TWLOHA also sends a portion of donations directly to such causes as Hopeline,, S.A.F.E. Alternatives, Minding Your Mind, and (in Australia) Kids Helpline.[6]

The group's main exposure comes from musicians and bands who wear the organization's distinctive T-shirts in photographs and performances; however, it has recently gained more public exposure through merchandise and public community websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Tumblr.


Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, at Taylor University

TWLOHA was founded by Jamie Tworkowski in March 2006. Prior to that, the seeds of the group were sown by a story written by Tworkowski, about 19-year-old Renee Yohe, who struggled with addiction, depression, self-injury, and attempted suicide. Tworkowski's story, written in February 2006, chronicles Yohe's life five days before she entered treatment. Unable to get Yohe checked into a treatment centre in the meantime, friends offered moral support.[7]

We become her hospital and the possibility of healing fills our living room with life.[7]

TWLOHA began operating as a non-profit organization in October 2006 under the umbrella of Fireproof Ministries.[8] On April 30, 2010, TWLOHA left Fireproof and TWLOHA, Inc. was established in Florida as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The TWLOHA team is made up of 12 full-time staff members and a rotating group of approximately 6 interns.[9] The organization had their offices in Cocoa, FL until 2011 when they moved to downtown Melbourne, FL.[10]

In addition to the story, T-shirts were printed and sold in Orlando to fund Yohe's drug treatment, and a Myspace page was created to serve as home base for the project. Bands such as Anberlin and Switchfoot showed their support and began wearing the TWLOHA T-shirts right away, and TWLOHA's MySpace and Facebook page began to receive messages and comments from young people struggling with the same issues that Yohe faced. What began as an attempt to help one person in Orlando quickly generated wide interest – to date, TWLOHA responded to over 170,000 messages from over 100 countries and invested over $1,200,000 in treatment and recovery.[11]

On the FAQ for TWLOHA's official website, it stated that Renee has finished rehab and will have to fight her addiction for the rest of her life. Yohe published a collection of journals in a book titled "Purpose for the Pain".[12] Yohe's story, and the organization's story, has also been turned to a major motion picture titled Day One. Yohe was portrayed by actress Kat Dennings, and Chad Michael Murray portrayed Tworkowski. Actors Corbin Bleu and Rupert Friend also starred in the film.[13]

Supporters have said September 10–17 is "TWLOHA Week" and many write "LOVE" on their arms during that week, sharing the stories of hope with others. However, there are some regions that observe this day on November 13. The organization address this event and clarified that it was something they did not create, but appreciate their supporters taking on such an active interest in promoting the organization.[14]

Celebrity endorsements[edit]

TWLOHA has risen to prominence through endorsements of celebrities and bands, often seen wearing TWLOHA t-shirts during concerts and events.

Professional soccer players, including Abby Wambach, Ali Krieger, and Christen Press, are often seen wearing TWLOHA apparel.

In March 2015 actor Jared Padalecki designed a new t-shirt for TWLOHA. Actor Joaquin Phoenix has shown support for the organization.

Musicians seen wearing TWLHOA apparel, and mentioning TWLHOA during concerts, include, Miley Cyrus, Boys Like Girls, OneRepublic, A Day to Remember, Panic! at the Disco and many others. The band Between the Trees has written and performs two songs about Renee Yohe, "A Time For Yohe" and "The Way She Feels", while the band Skillet wrote and performs the song "The Last Night".

TWLOHA has been invited to setup booths on tour with several artists, including Switchfoot, Anberlin, The Rocket Summer and others.


Kevin Wu of KevJumba and JumbaFund created interest in this organization when he created JumbaFund, a YouTube channel where all proceeds go to a charity voted on by its viewers.[15] Other YouTube celebrities such as SwiftKarateChop (Matthew Brian Brown) have also begun supporting this organization.

In August 2007, TWLOHA was awarded a MySpace Impact Award in the Community Building category.[16]

On September 12, 2008, To Write Love on Her Arms was featured on the NBC Nightly News segment "Making a Difference".[17]

TWLOHA cut all ties and funding to Mercy Ministries, and Teen Challenge in 2008 after discovering their alleged mistreatment of patients.[18] TWLOHA also addresses this on their FAQ section.[19] TWLOHA's support of the LGBT community is evident on their website. They participated in the "Wear Your Purple" Day [20] and have promoted the It Gets Better Campaign.[21]

Example of individual participating in TWLOHA

"Love is the Movement", "Rescue is Possible", "Hope is real, Help is real" and "Stop the Bleeding" are slogans often used by the organization. "Stop the Bleeding" is the slogan TWLOHA uses for live events, which combine music, art and speaking.


In early 2009, TWLOHA partnered with Kristin Brooks Hope Center to create IMAlive. IMAlive will be the first ever online crisis counseling over instant messenger staffed by people 100% trained and certified in crisis intervention. TWLOHA won $125,000 for IMAlive.[22]

On November 25, 2009, Rolling Stone magazine featured an article about TWLOHA.[22] On November 12, 2009, Jamie invited anyone in the NYC area to join in on the photo-shoot in Washington Square Park. The photos were taken by Peter Yang, whose photo of then Presidential Candidate Barack Obama won "Cover of the Year" in 2008. He later commented after the shoot that this was the largest group of subjects he'd photographed to date.

At the end of 2009, organization founder Jamie Tworkowski received mtvU's Good Woodie Award, which is given to artists whose commitment to a social cause has "effected the greatest change this year".[23]

The TWLOHA Spring 2010 UChapters Tour, "Evenings of Lyrics and Conversation", features music by Damion Suomi, Andy Zipf, and Lauris Vidal.[24]

In March 2010 TWLOHA won the Best Non-Profit Use of Twitter Award at the 2nd Annual Shorty Awards held in New York City.[25]

In October 2010, TWLOHA was part of a piece on CBS Morning News about preventing The Youngest Suicides.[26]


On January 6, 2011 TWLOHA won the 2010 "Must-Follow Non-Profit" Award at the 4th Annual Mashable Awards.[27]

In February 2011, for the second year in a row, TWLOHA was a finalist in the Shorty Awards.[28]

As of January 12, 2011 TWLOHA had reached over 1,000,000 likes on their Official Facebook Page.[29]

On April 5, 2011, Behind the Brand interviewed founder Jamie Tworkowski about the past, present and future of TWLOHA.[30]

In the summer of 2011 TWLOHA launched a new campaign titled "Fears vs. Dreams" which asks people two questions: "What is your biggest fear?" and "What is your greatest dream?".[31]

On October 6, 2011 Chase Bank announced the five finalists for the American Giving Awards in which the five finalists will share $2 Million in grants. TWLOHA is one of those five and gained the most votes in Round 1 of any other organization.[32]

On December 10, 2011, TWLOHA was awarded a $1,000,000 grant towards their services on NBC's American Giving Awards.


In February 2012 TWLOHA's first ever high school campaign, "The Storytellers" launched. The campaign aims to give high school students resources and support to bring awareness about the issues while also fundraising for the organization. The top fundraisers will receive a TWLOHA event at their school for no cost.[33]


In January and February, TWLOHA took its flagship event HEAVY AND LIGHT on the road to 17 cities across the U.S.

TWLOHA added Local Find Help Resource pamphlets and information to their website. [1]

TWLOHA joined Vans Warped Tour in Europe.


A film dramatization (formerly titled Day One and Renee) of Yohe's story that Tworkowski documented was released March 3, 2015 by Sony Pictures starring Kat Dennings as Yohe and Chad Michael Murray as Tworkowski.


  1. ^ "To Write Love on Her Arms > Faq". Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  2. ^ "Find Help". 
  3. ^ Jamie Tworkowsk (2006). "To Write Love on Her Arms". TWLOHA. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Events". 
  5. ^ "Facebook". Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "FAQ". TWLOHA. December 1, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Tworkowski, Jamie. "To Write Love on Her Arms: The Story". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  8. ^ "Past Projects". Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ To Write Love on Her Arms on Twitter
  11. ^ "RELAUNCH COMING SOON". Zink Magazine. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Abbie Weishaar (18 December 2014). "To Write Love on Her Arms (2015)". IMDb. 
  14. ^ "Some Thoughts on TWLOHA Day...". 
  15. ^ "My Dad is so Asian (Ep.12)". YouTube. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ " Video Player". MSNBC. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  18. ^ "To Write Love On Her Arms parts ways with Mercy Ministries". Mercy Survivors. June 17, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  19. ^ "To Write Love on Her Arms > FAQ". Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  20. ^ "To Write Love on Her Arms > News". 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  21. ^ "To Write Love on Her Arms > News". 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  22. ^ a b Glock, Allison (November 25, 2009). "Surfer to Savior: Jamie Tworkowski, Founder of To Write Love on Her Arms". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  23. ^ "2009 mtvU Woodie Award Winners". MTV. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  24. ^ "To Write Love on Her Arms :: HEAVY AND LIGHT 2015". 
  25. ^ "To Write Love on Her Arms Wins a Twitter Shorty Award". Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  26. ^ “”. "TWLOHA on CBS Sunday Morning". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  27. ^ "2010 Mashable Award Winners > FAQ". Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  28. ^ "Announcing the 3rd Annual Shorty Awards Finalists!". 
  29. ^ "Official To Write Love on Her Arms Facebook page". Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  30. ^ "Cargo". Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  31. ^ Fears vs. Dreams. "Fears vs. Dreams". 
  32. ^
  33. ^ "The Storytellers". 

External links[edit]