'Hope for the Holidays' spreads cheer, raises awareness about teen suicide

Here's a chance for you to enjoy a magical holiday performance and help others battle depression and suicide. It's a true sense of Hope for the Holidays in The Woodlands!

The performance called just that, "Hope for the Holidays" and it's coming to the Houston area this weekend in the form of spectacular performances from professionals and students, alike.

"Oh yes, we will have professional vocalists, and this year we have about 14 schools represented in this show, kids from local schools, and then we've got another professional act that's coming in from Houston, very similar to Cirque du Soleil," explains Jodie Schrier.


It's all taking place at The Woodlands College Park High School. The event has deep meaning for a local family, who converts their pain into helping prevent others from facing a similar tragedy.

"It's something to just bring hope to so many people who are struggling during the holidays because the holiday season is a difficult time for so many, and especially our family, since we lost our daughter Cassidy to suicide on Dec. 20, 2015.

Christmas is always a difficult time for our family, so when Jodie brought this idea to us that we would do this, this time of year it just lifted my family's spirits and I know we've lifted so many other family spirits because hope is needed," states Kim Hess.

The dream of this Christmas program came alive several years ago and came about naturally because Kim and Jodie have been close friends for years. Jodie is a dancer and choreographer who produces the show.

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"The show popped into my head while I was jogging and the minute I was literally ready to just go, ‘get out, delete’, I literally heard Cassidy J. Hess. And I just came to a screeching halt and it was just like the floodgates opened, and one thought led to another, which led to each other, it's like, whatever. I turn around I sprinted back home and I told my husband and you know he said, ‘Well, you probably need to pay attention to that.' So I sent a text to Kim and all I said was, hey, you got a call me, I've got an idea for funding," explains Jodie.

Perfect timing!

Kim was looking for ways to build her foundation "Cassidy Joined for Hope." It's an outreach to students, educating them about the dangers of suicidal thoughts and then offering hope and help when needed.

"The effort is to try to get into schools, we let the students be the voices of hope for each other and spread awareness of teen suicide prevention in their own schools. And we fund programs, bring in speakers to the community. We fund equine therapy for students. We work with schools that have identified at-risk students that need therapy so we've sponsored them. And we sponsor therapy for families who, who need funding to send their child to private counselors, private therapists because we don't want funding to be any reason why a child doesn't get help," says Kim.

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The fundraisers pave the way for the help they provide. You can also benefit by donning some of their swag, all while helping their life-changing program.

"We've got some t-shirts. Kim has hers on and we've got a volunteer who's very creative, who is creating some ornaments, so we're going to be having ornaments and tumblers for sale," says Jodie.

Tickets are still available to add a touch of magic to your holiday season.

The event is taking place on Saturday, December 4 at 2 p.m. and again at 6 p.m.

Click here to purchase tickets.  
For more information, you can visit their website or Facebook.

If you, your child, or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line)

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.

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