LCCC and Happy Thoughts teamed up to bring awareness to the Lorain County Community!
Josh Ruminski is trying to change Northeast Ohio’s stigma on mental health in a big way. His latest partner in this journey is Lorain County Community College where he will speak at the walk for suicide prevention and where his Happy Thoughts Candle Co. candles are sold at Commodore Books and More. Each candle lists a national suicide prevention hotline and text line and 20 percent of proceeds are donated to suicide prevention charities.
“I want to show people there is a light in the world,” Ruminski said. “I want to show them they aren’t alone.” His candle company’s mission is to help fight the stigma of mental illness and to promote suicide prevention. All of his candles are handcrafted at his Cleveland home, with his parents. Ruminski is an 18-year-old high school senior.
“I wanted to be part of the new concept of a social entrepreneurship, tying a business to a social cause to gain profit for a cause,” the Saint Martin De Porres student said. That’s why he founded the company in December, 2016, with the help of $1,000 in award funds after winning the Pitch St. Clair competition for Cleveland high school students.
Happy Thoughts Candle Co. is Commodore Books and More’s latest “Locally Focused” partner, after Fresh Brewed Tees and GV Art & Design. The candles come in more than 100 scents with numerous unique labels. Each candle has a positive phrase on the label meant to inspire calmness and happiness. All the candles are made inside of a tomato sauce can, after the tomato sauce is emptied and donated to local charity.
All of the candles are designed to invoke positive thoughts and to promote mental wellbeing. Some label designs have some tie-ins to Ruminski’s own life, with his best friend featured on the “best friend” candle. Others share mantras for mental wellbeing like “The best things in life aren’t things” or “Don’t lose yourself in your fears.” Fun candles like the “What’s this beverage?” candle feature one of three different scents. His products are sold in about a dozen local shops.
“We are proud to bring another local partner to the college bookstore, especially one that is supporting a cause that’s so important to the community,” Commodore Books and More’s general manager Patty Clark, said.
In addition to donating a portion of proceeds and listing a suicide hotline on his candles, Ruminski supports suicide awareness through attending suicide awareness walks, like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness walk for suicide prevention at LCCC at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 28. For more information, contact Debra DiCillo at (440) 865-9387 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ruminski will also speak on campus at NEO LaunchNET, LCCC’s local community business resources for launching and growing businesses, on social entrepreneurship this fall.
In addition to running the candle company and going to high school, Ruminski also works part-time at a local restaurant and a bank. In the future he plans to raise awareness and also help organize efforts educate teachers in mental health first aid through his new endeavor, the Hope Campaign.
After high school, he plans to attend John Carrol University and double major in international business with language and culture and psychology, and later earn a doctorate in psychology.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 18 to 24 years old.
For more information,
visit http://www.happythoughtscandlesco.com or http://www.lorainccc.edu/bookstore.
Commodore Books and More is located on the first floor of College Center at 1005 North Abbe Road, Elyria, Ohio.