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MISSION STATEMENT: Environmental Illness Network Minnesota is a community that provides environmentally sensitive Minnesotans, and people (and organizations) that care about them, with opportunities to:

  • form connections,
  • share information,
  • learn,
  • identify local resources
, and
  • cooperatively overcome obstacles.

HISTORY:  In November of 2011, two environmentally sensitive women had a conversation while at a Minneapolis natural foods’ grocery store. One of them had been struggling with multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, and chronic pain issues for years; and the other had become so disabled by her sensitivities that she could not find affordable housing that she could tolerate. Lacking adequate options, the latter woman had started sleeping in her car. The former woman understood how hard it could be for someone who is chemically sensitive to find healthy housing and accessible local resources and had often wished that there was a local organization where she could find practical advice and support. Although she felt ill-equipped to manage many of her own everyday challenges, no less help someone else; she realized after that conversation that something had to change. So soon after, she started contacting her friends, family, and fellow canaries to ask for their help in creating this on-line community. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

The initial community website was on a Ning platform. Ning, which then underwent some major changes, did not prove to be an optimal platform for fostering Environmental Illness Network Minnesota community interactions. While some very nice connections were made, the number of people connecting with Environmental Illness Network Minnesota on a variety of other social media platforms (including on Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter) grew much more quickly. In the fall of 2016, the process of migration away from a Ning platform to a group commenced, with the hope that even more positive Minnesota community interactions would follow.

PHILOSOPHY:  One of the beautiful things about on-line social networking is that it provides a platform for individuals—even severely health-challenged individuals—to pool their resources. Mother Teresa once said:  “I can do things you cannot; you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” No single person—whether healthy or health-challenged—can overcome modern day environmental health obstacles completely on his or her own. It takes a community. It takes a state. It takes a nation. And it takes a world.

Environmental Illness Network Minnesota was not created to promote one particular member's story alone, or focus on any single type of environmental health issue, whether mild or severe. This community was created to bring people and organizations together to form connections, share information, learn from each other, and find practical solutions to environmental health challenges.

Environmental Illness Network Minnesota also supports the "precautionary principle" and believes that potentially toxic or immunologically stressful chemicals and technologies should be safety-tested 
before the public is exposed to them. Eleanor Roosevelt noted: "Life is like a parachute jump; you've got to get it right the first time."

  Environmental Illness Network Minnesota is not being operated as a commercial enterprise. It is operating on a tiny budget that falls well below state reporting requirements for charitable organizations. Environmental Illness Network Minnesota does not have commercial relationships with any advertisers, but it does use some free services that may display ads. Additionally, Environmental Illness Network Minnesota may share some ads/content that contains ads for informational purposes. This does not mean, however, that Environmental Illness Network Minnesota endorses or recommends any specific organization, product, or approach.

THANKS:  Thank you to the volunteers who helped to get this community network up and running. Special thanks to the Hennepin County Library system for stocking simple books about how to use social media! And extra special thanks to all the free and low cost social media service providers who made this community possible!