Jared Padalecki, most commonly known as Sam Winchester on CW’s hit television series Supernatural, has recently finished up his campaign “Always Keep Fighting” in partnership with To Write Love On Her Arms. Padalecki has been starring in the longstanding Supernatural series for 10 seasons now and decided to use his name and his fan base to help support this charitable cause that hits very close to home for him.
Supernatural Star Battles Demons Onscreen and Off
The idea came about to Padalecki when another of CW’s leading stars, Stephen Amell of Arrow, reached out to him and urged him to take a stand against something he was going through himself. Padalecki’s character on Supernatural, Sam Winchester, deals with a constant struggle to have to overcome struggles and obstacles greater than himself. Sam and Dean consistently reference the phrase “keep fighting the good fight” as they battle through demons and monsters through each episode of each season. You know, “saving people, hunting things, the family business”. Not only did Padalecki portray a character constantly fighting to keep moving forward, but he himself was dealing with personal battles against depression. Padalecki admits to having a breakdown while shooting an episode of Supernatural during Season 3 which resulted in a doctor coming on set and giving him the realization that he was clinically depressed. It wasn’t until this January when Padalecki lost a very dear friend to a battle with depression that he decided to finally kick his idea into gear to run a campaign against this dreadful disease. Padalecki recalls the moment he decided to commence his campaign by stating, “Funnily enough, we were doing a show specifically about suicide and it was like the world beating me over the head with a stick: This is what you need to do. This is what you can help raise awareness and funds for and help to start a conversation to hopefully de-stigmatize these things that people are — for no good reason — ashamed to have, and there’s no shame in it.”
“Always Keep Fighting” Campaign a Huge Success
The “Always Keep Fighting” campaign consisted of shirts designed by Padalecki with the slogan written on the front overtop of Padalecki’s portrait. It was such a tremendous success, exceeding its goal by leaps and bounds. It surpassed the initial goal of 1,000 shirts within only the first two hours. By the end of the campaign on March 17, 2015 they sold 46,429 shirts at $27.99 per shirt. The shirts were available in both black and navy blue as well as in a variety of styles including a crewneck sweatshirt, 3/4 sleeve tee, women’s fitted short sleeve, unisex fitted tee, and unisex regular tee.
The charity Padalecki partnered with was To Write Love On Her Arms, an American non-profit organization which strives to give those hope who struggle with depression, anxiety, suicide, self-harm, and addiction. The charity aims at directing people to treatment centers, websites, books, support groups, and any other outlet to encourage them to speak openly and honestly about their issues alongside others dealing with the same demons. TWLOHA appears at music festivals, tours, schools, and universities. They also have set up a booth on the Vans Warped Tour each year for 5 consecutive years. Padalecki posted his full story behind the shirt on https://represent.com/jared and concludes it with this inspiring message: “Everybody has either dealt with these issues themselves, or had a loved one who deal with them. It’s time for us to put these issues front and center and not be ashamed of the path we are walking. If you’re out there and need help, please seek it. Be proud of your valiant day-to-day struggle. There is no shame in needing support. I hope this campaign will help you be vocal about your own struggles, or vocal in your support of those who might need a helping hand. Most of all, when life seems to want to beat you down, I hope you Always Keep Fighting.”