To redefine beauty and health by empowering individuals, families, and communities impacted by eating disorders, disordered eating, and body dissatisfaction.
To change culture and to empower individuals, families, and communities to embrace health, beauty, and happiness. The message of body celebration applies to every body, which means every person, of every shape and size.
We resolve to; Make a difference through the offering of love and acceptance. Lead with faith to demonstrate integrity and show respect. Promote a sense of community and live with passion while encouraging personal growth.
Ophelia is the Greek word for "help."
She was a female character in the Shakespearean play,
“Hamlet,” who tragically died by suicide.
Our founder believed that if Ophelia were alive today,
we would have the resources to help her.
It was out of hope that we named it Ophelia’s Place.
Ophelia's Place began on a wing and a prayer,
and a napkin in a local coffee shop.
It started because of one family’s response to the overwhelming need for services in their community.
Because they were unsure of the need they held an open house and invited others to join them. 75 people came that night, including a reporter that encouraged them to share their story.
That was just the beginning.
They put up a billboard (with their home phone number on it) the same day their story was told in the local newspaper. It kicked off National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, they then drove to Washington DC to lobby for mental health parity with The Eating Disorders Coalition. They returned to find their answering machine filled with messages of stories of others seeking help and support.
So they gathered a community.
Decided on a name, Ophelia’s Place.
Asked their lawyer friend and accountant friend to help them fill out the paperwork to become a 501c3.
CREATED A BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
& opened an office in a donated class room.
Moved to a bigger place – a 900 sq ft. 150-year-old home
Partnered with ClearChannel Radio and Blue Cross Blue Shield to create a Caring For The Community Initiative to raise awareness. Created award winning public service announcements.
Hosted a National Conference in Syracuse, 350 in attendance over 2 days with 27 national experts.
Their little home was sold, torn down, and turned into a parking lot.
Received a grant from Senator DeFrancisco to buy a bigger building. They found a new home just a few blocks from the "parking lot". It was 5 x's bigger. A 4500 sq. ft.building that needed A LOT of work. It became a labor of love and with the help of grants, family, friends, volunteers they would completely renovate their new home in the upcoming years.
Collaborated with Upstate New York Eating Disorder Service to provide outpatient and intensive outpatient services in the big building.
Opened a café in that big building as a creative way to fund the non-profit and invited the community to be part of the healing journey.
Created Circles of Change - an extension of Ophelia’s Place offering a product line and ways to empower others to create change.
Began to explore expanding the non-profit to Arizona.
Opened an office in Gilbert, Arizona
Renamed and revisioned Circles of Change to The Every Body Is Beautiful Project … to help every body believe they are beautiful as is.
Ophelia’s Place has become a comprehensive model of support, education and community. 65% of our budget is sustainable through our cafe and The Every Body Is Beautiful Project and the loose change we find in our couches.
Meet our team
Chief Financial Officer
Education and Communications Director
Dena Larsen Gazeley