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I Have A Problem With Elaina, Jason, and Mikey from Knockin' Doorz Down Podcast
Episode 797th June 2021 • Causepods • The Podcast Consultant
00:00:00 00:29:58

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Do you have a problem?

Anyone that has walked the road with an addiction knows that those first few words can be the most challenging words spoken. But as they highlight on the Knockin' Doorz Down Podcast, there is hope to share the stories of others who have been where you are. 

It's been said that one person's story is another person's door, and in this episode, we talk a lot about how a group of people with a focused mission and an open heart can make an impact and help others say those four words "I have a problem."

Key Topics:

  • What is the Carlos Vieira Foundation (2:00)
  • What does it mean ending stigmas within the focus of the foundation (3:20)
  • What was the genesis for adding a podcast to the work the foundation was already doing (5:35)
  • How did the format of the show come about (7:30)
  • What has been the impact on the community from the work of the foundation (9:30)
  • How has the medium of podcasting made the impact unique (14:13)
  • What advice do you have for a foundation looking to add a podcast (15:14)
  • What are the lessons learned that a similar podcast to yours just getting started can learn from (16:40)
  • How has being a podcaster impacted your life (18:18)

Website link: KDDMediaCompany.com

Podcast Links:

Charity: Carlos Viera Foundation

Donation: Link

Social Links

Thanks for Listening!

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And if you would like to be a guest on Causepods, please fill out this form and schedule your chat here.

Transcripts

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Hi and welcome to CausePods, I'm your host, Mathew Passy. Here at CausePods, we have one simple mission to highlight the amazing folks who are using podcast as a way to raise awareness for good causes and make the world a better place, whether it's in their own local community or their taking on global issues. Please visit us at CausePods.org where you can learn about our guests, show their favorite charitable cause. Join our Facebook group of resources for CausePods podcasters and find a link where you yourself could be a guest here on CausePods.

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Again, that's all at CausePods.org. All right, we are going to take you out to the West Coast, Central Valley, California, and have not one, not two, but three guests on the show. Today, we are chatting with Jason the Chance and director of media, Mikie NeuroSky, co-host and assistant media director, also insanely handsome, and Elena Vieira, president of the Carlos Vieira Foundation, all here for me, knocking Doors Down podcast and Carlos Vieira Foundation.

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It is a pleasure to chat with all three of you here on CausePods today.

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Thanks, Mathew. It's an honor and I love the podcast and what you're doing with this platform.

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Love the introduction to things. Mathew. Good to be here.

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You just like that. I called you and we. I do. I'm good.

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That's all I needed to say. Have a good one everyone.

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Before we get too deep into it, I should disclose to everybody that I've had the pleasure of working with knocking doors down as a consultant. So not total strangers here, but just like to put that out there in case anybody thinks I'm being nefarious and hiding something from you. But let's get started back up all the way, because the foundation in this case and the show are totally intertwined. So instead of starting with where the show started, let's start back with where the foundation, the Carlos Veera Foundation, started.

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Alayna, as the president, you were probably the most qualified to answer that. What is the Carlos Veera Foundation and what is its main mission out there?

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So the Crosier Foundation kind of started back in about 2007, 2008 when Carlos started racing. And when he was racing, he decided to start raising money for a good cause and he chose autism for his good cause. And so he would raise money through his racing and host fundraisers and start donating to organizations that helped kids with autism. And so once he started doing that, he realized that he could do even more. And so in 2010 is when the organization was officially founded as a five one three.

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And he created his own campaign called Race for Autism, where he continued doing that good work for the autism community. And since then, it's kind of just grown and expanded. It just started right here in our hometown, which is Livingston and the surrounding county. But now we've expanded to twenty one different counties across central California and we also have three campaigns. So like I mentioned, that race for autism one. And then we have race to be drug free and race to end the stigma.

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And so all this is kind of stemmed from his passion for giving back. And then, of course, some of it relates to his own life story, which is discussed on the Knocking Doors Down podcast in his book as well.

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We get the raising money for autism, great cause, great community that could, you know, always appreciate good support. We're going to get into the drug and addiction piece of it. But you mentioned ending stigma. What does that in relation to?

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Yeah, so that's all about mental health there. Carlos is race team is called fifty one fifty. And so a while back some people had questions about the name and what it was all about. And we wanted to help in the stigma around mental health in general and the negative connotations that might have been associated with the name fifty one fifty. And so Carlos decided to start this campaign to kind of raise that awareness and help start the conversation because of the negative connotations and stereotypes that have to do with mental health.

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And certainly that's a topic we have talked about a number of times here on CausePods. Not that there are too many times that we could talk about it. I'll be happy to talk about again with anybody else. But, you know, certainly that is an important cause and I think underlies a lot of problems and struggles that we have out there. So glad to see you also, you know, raising awareness for that, too. But let's talk about that middle column, the one about drug addiction and abuse and how that led to knocking doors down.

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So before getting to the podcast, what's the back story on why this is so important to the foundation?

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So this all stemmed from Carloss own story. It wasn't really made apparent until he released his book last year, but Carlos had his own struggles with drug addiction and recognized growing up in this community that there needed to be more resources for student or for kids or students who are at risk. And so that's where the race to be drug free campaign came about. And through that, he started the clubs not drugs program, which is a way for kids to get off the streets and away from drugs and keep them in a safe area to where they can grow and just basically stay on the right path while they're going through their youth.

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Did you say it was gloves, not drugs?

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Yes, gloves, not drugs and gloves.

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Referring to, like, sports. Boxing.

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Yeah. So it's an after school boxing program completely free for youth to join. And they they learn about boxing, of course, but then also just respect, camaraderie. They have to keep their grades up, things like that. So we're just trying to develop them overall.

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The idea for launching a podcast that start with the foundation or where did that idea come from? Did did Mikey and Jason approach you or the. No way around, no, it was a chance meeting with Carlos in target, of all places. Yeah, no is it was the time his poor wife was laid up with some back issues. And so he was doing the shopping, which is probably rare among the guests for Carlos because he's incredibly busy, man.

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But we bumped into each other and I was doing some podcasts for fun at the time on the side while I worked in radio. He knew I was in recovery and he just said, Hey, I'm working on something. I'll call you in about a month concerning a podcast with about two hours later, he called and said, All right, here's what it is. I'm writing my autobiography about my drug addiction. I wanted to help people. You know, the proceeds are going to benefit the foundation 100 percent.

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You're always talk about this podcast. Can you get a podcast going, talking with people that have struggled with addiction, which eventually we've clearly branched out to mental health and things of that nature. So it really spawned from his autobiography called Knocking Doors Down. We couldn't think of what to call the podcast. And he went called the same thing as my book. OK, so we'll go with it. So that's really how it started, was just, you know, we saw it as another way to spread that word of letting people know you're not alone.

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Of course, me being in recovery, I'm do my AA meetings. And so it's kind of wanted almost like a companion piece.

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And two hours later, we're still walking around Target.

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I was going to say it's not that I'm going to run into anybody at Target, but to run into Carlos a little. And I can't go that without running interview the same same. That's why I love the masks. I wear a mask and I wear a low hat. You can't see me. Yeah.

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Oh, yeah.

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So, Jason, so now you talk to Carlos. Carlos says, yeah, let's do this podcast. And how did you hook up with Mikey? And, you know, what was the early thoughts for what was going to shape this project?

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It was kind of more thrown on me. The interesting thing, if people were to go back in the archives, you'll hear the first two or three, maybe four episodes. I'm by myself and Mikey had worked for the energy drink line 51 50 that Carlos also had in conjunction with everything. And he closed that down. And basically Carlos asked me if there's anybody that works for me right now that you could work with. Who is it? Mikey and I had been friends for a long time, and so I said, Mikey.

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Plus, he went through some substance abuse issues with someone that could relate to any of our guests, not only struggling with any sort of addiction or but mental health ties deeply into addiction. And so, yeah, it's kind of lucky enough that he said, sure, you get Mikey.

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I was like, OK, sweet, let's do it, as you say. What was that like to be told? All right, you're going on microphone.

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So I took a week off when this whole thing started. The pandemic first started. I was just like, OK, because I was out on the road. I was a salesman. So I was like, I'm going to take a week off, just kind of, you know, get away from everything and everybody let this all cool out. And I get a call the day before I come back. Hey, you're on a podcast now with Jason La Chance.

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And I was like, oh, I love Jason. What's a podcast? And, you know, here we are. What is it, 15 months later, 15 months later, and we're rocking and rolling now. Just kind of hit the ground running.

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So what has been the biggest impact, do you think, for the foundation or for the community of this podcast? Right. Like so many people talk about this topic and podcasting form, but you take a different approach by trying to bring on big name celebrities, folks who have a little bit of a reputation, names who people will recognize to tell their stories, talk about their adversity, how they overcame it, and we're still able to be successful. But what have you noticed has been the impact on your community and your target market?

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I think the neat thing is that we're myself. I'm not sure. I can't speak for Laina. We haven't talked about. But Mikey and I will get someone that'll just reach out and go, oh, that's cool. You spoke with Charlie Sheen or whoever it could be, they'll actually listen and they go, wow. And so even if it's not someone that is struggling with addiction or mental health themselves, we all know someone that has so many of us.

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I'm one of those people that addiction is and mental health is a lineage thing in my family. It's really neat when our local community and people that we know directly or have found us by chance through social media have just said it's, you know, become like a companion piece. We got an amazing email the other day from a lady who was really struggling and feeling so isolated, lonely. And it made she stated that it made her not feel so lonely and alone, and she was looking more into getting back into a 12 step program.

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So it's amazing to see that kind of impact happen. I've known people where they'll reach out and let you know that you're making a difference, you know, it's it's not like live theater or if you're a live musician where people applaud. So when someone actually takes the time to be vulnerable, it's it's incredibly moving. And it validates that while we are making an impact, even if it's one person at a time, and that was our goal when we set out, you know, we'd want to just help one person at a time.

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One of the cool things about the podcast is it kind of bridges a gap between, like we mentioned, there's big names on the podcast, but then there's other people who come on, who I guess are just ordinary people, are not even just ordinary people, but, you know, some other people who go through some of the same type of issues. For example, we just had bonus episodes come out of our scholarship recipients from the race to end the stigma scholarship from the foundation and its high school students graduating, going into college, who are came on and talked about their own struggles or their own approach to ending the stigma about mental health and to have these students come on and share their story on the same kind of podcast that has big names like Charlie Sheen, Caitlyn Jenner, whoever else it may be, I think it's really important because it shows those kids and anyone else listening that there's the same issues across all types of socioeconomic status or whether you're famous, whether you're not.

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And I think that's really important for people to realize, you know, even though people have different experiences on substances, getting into substances, access to substances, everybody has the same experience trying to get off it. Right. Jason, you mentioned, you know, a and my understanding is that everybody. Right, you're you're anonymous in there. Everybody is on the same level when you walk into a meeting and you're trying to, you know, work on addiction.

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So it's it's very encouraging that that's how you approach and how you approach your guests and you know, how the audience feels that it's being approached.

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Personally, that's awesome thing when, as Mathew said, he's definitely listened to a few of our episodes, but when we do sit down with someone like Kelly Osborn was just amazing. We spoke to her just after her recent relapse and she was so vulnerable and just an awesome person that she doesn't put herself on a pedestal. And certainly with mental health and addiction, it doesn't put you on a pedestal either. We're all affected by it. Like Elena said so eloquently, it doesn't matter.

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Your socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, all this stuff can affect us. And I think it just brings so much humanity to it all. And during some crazy times, we could definitely use that. So it's been a real honor and a privilege to do this.

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It normally with these conversations, I would always ask people like, why did you decide to do a podcast over other things? But, you know, you have a more unique introductory into this medium because you were already doing it. And Carlos, you know, attacked you at a target and hosted the show and then just, you know, Ropen, Jason Michy into it as well without permission or consent. So, I mean, so you're not like the question about like why why podcasting.

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It doesn't really seem to fit. So my question instead, I guess, Elena, you might be better suited is. Versus all the other media that is out there, what do you think the impact of having this podcast, putting out this particular type of content has been in advancing the mission of the foundation that might not have happened with a different form of media?

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Well, first of all, I just think podcasts are like up and coming. I know I kind of like Mikey. I didn't know what podcasts were either. And then they started becoming more popular. And now I listen to them all the time. And I think that I hear people from like a wide range of demographics who listen to a podcast like it's youth. Like I said, we had high school students come on here and they listen to podcasts up to other ages as well.

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And so I think it reaches a wide demographic and provides people the opportunity to to find the things they're interested in. Honestly, I have like a select few podcasts I listen to, of course, including knocking doors down. But I think that it's a great way to kind of reach the masses.

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So as a foundation and anybody can jump in on this one. But what would your what would be your advice to other foundations, other charities, other five Wannsee 3s who are established are doing their thing about why they should look specifically into podcasting as a potential part of their storytelling versus maybe some other forms of media.

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Yeah, I mean, I know for for me in particular, I think it's just important to align with other people who have similar missions. And so, of course, knocking doors down is that for me in terms of doing it, I mean, instead of other forms, I'm not quite sure. I just this is the best option for for the foundation. I think that other non-profits can reach a different audience and can align with other podcasts that share similar missions and just reach reach their audience and make them know that they're a resource for people who are listening to, I guess, that particular podcast, for example, knocking doors down, talks about substance abuse and addiction and talks about mental health.

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And we have the resources that align with that, say, missions. I hope that they're knocking doors down. Followers will recognize that and look into our foundation and know that we're here to help when it comes to issues like that.

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And Jason, because you already had experience in podcasting, I'm curious, coming from the radio background, having done a couple of podcasts, I'm curious what advice you would give to somebody else who, you know, is thinking about this based on everything you know about the effectiveness or but more so than maybe they already know they want to do podcasting, but maybe some lessons you've learned or things that you've taken away so you can help the next person do a little bit better.

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First, I would say you've got to be passionate about what your niche is, what your subject matter is. Obviously, for me, having had personal experience, I helped out stuff with the foundation and 51 50 well, prior to this being the organization I work for. So it was something I was already passionate about. And my son is on the autism spectrum. So that was a very near and dear to my heart, part of the foundation. I would say you just have to be incredibly passionate about what you're doing.

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You know, people have a lot of perceptions that the podcast, it's a hot girl and thing. I'm going to make millions of dollars. Not really understanding that when you're getting into it, you better do it because you love doing it. That's got to be the sole reason. Of course, like anything, if you work hard at it, you know, it can turn into a business. And we have such a rare, unique opportunity that it was already a business prior.

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You know, this wasn't a hobby thing. This is all that Mike and I do for a living. And we're incredibly blessed with that rare opportunity. So I would say make sure you're passionate about what you're doing. First and foremost, do your research wink, wink, get yourself a good podcast consultant. It does help tremendously.

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Make sure they're also insanely handsome, right?

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Well, that's where my handsome co-host is. Once I came on, we skyrocketed.

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Skyrocket just. Well, I mean, other than bringing those insanely handsome looks to the show, Mikey, I'm curious, as someone who didn't even know what a podcast is, what has been your biggest lesson or take away or maybe said better? Like, how has this changed your life, you know, being thrown into this and now doing this as a full time job?

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This changed me because I had been in rehabs before, gotten in trouble with drugs, substance abuse, all that kind of stuff. I've always had anxiety, but at a young age, I didn't really know what it was. I thought I was just dying. And turns out that it's very common, it's manageable, not necessarily curable, but manageable. And being able to speak about that to people who want to listen because podcast isn't mandatory, you don't have to listen to others.

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But if you do, you hear what we have to say about mental health and all that. So I kind of feel like everything that I was going through, younger kind of lives up to where I'm at now so we can actually talk about it and explain it. And people can relate and be like, dude, I've had the same thing. Ah, oh my gosh. I went through the same thing as that. And it helps having these celebrities on there because, you know, the followers of Bam Margera may have mental health issues and they're heard about us thanks to Bam.

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So now they will continue to listen to us, even when it's somebody who's not famous, you know, somebody who just has a normal nine to five and isn't on TV. So my biggest thing is I love being able to talk about the stuff that I thought was wrong with me back then and being able to express it through here when nothing's wrong with you. It's just the cards you were dealt in. It's how you manage it.

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I'm also curious, what is it been like to chat with celebrities, right? To talk to Carmen Electra, Charlie Sheen, Gary Busey? I mean, you know, did you ever imagine that you'd be relating and having just real deep conversations with folks like that?

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Never in my life have I thought we would. I mean, me and Charlie Sheen are pretty much best friends now. Right. But he's got got his name tattooed.

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I got a tattoo. I was told, Charlie, it's a little tattoo, but we did. I said, hey, I feel like you and I are best friends sarcastically. Speaking, obviously, and I was like, I feel like we should get, you know, names tattooed, obviously he wasn't down, but I did it, so I wrote his name on my leg and I got that's it. And it's cool because we still have these covers.

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I still talk to BMR Jared to this day, you know, and it's just it's to answer your question, no, I never would have thought this would be happening, like flying to go, you know, see Caitlyn Jenner or flying to go see Mike the situation or something like that. It was just it was a trip in summer. They're all interesting, but some really kind of catch you off guard.

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I think for me, you know, Mathew, I came from a 20 year background in radio. And so I had done some interviews primarily with in the area of rock. So that wasn't so much the unusual to sit and talk with a quote unquote celebrity. But I think coming into this type of subject matter is what is really interesting, because you don't know what you're going to get. Obviously, you have someone you know, you mentioned Gary Busey, which, you know, he had the severe head trauma.

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And so it was an interesting situation to manage because of that head trauma. You know, some of his control mechanisms weren't there. So you would kind of get a different guy, you know, 30 seconds later at points, you know, someone like Charlie Sheen, obviously all the stuff in the papers and out there in the press and couldn't have been the nicest man. I mean, we've spoken with them twice. I mean, he owns all of his stuff.

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So it's really weird to see when that egos kind of shed by some of these people. Kelly Osborne was the same way. He was the sweetest woman. We went ended up going and having dinner with or after we sat and talked with her, you know, and some of these people, like Mike said, you know, we get text conversations going with Bam Margera and check in with Edward Furlong. We'll check in with him from time to time.

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So there's some people that the after the podcast is over, that relationship is kind of continued and checking in on one another. So it's that I think has been really an intriguing part because these people genuinely care and support and champion what we're trying to do.

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And just around this all out, I think going especially on your experience, Jason, like you said, you had the chance to talk to celebrities at the radio station. I'm imagining that a lot of those were very surface conversations and very promotional conversations. Right. One, because, you know, they were in there to promote something, too, because of the format of being on radio. Right. Like, it has to be short and quick and punchy and you can't really get a deep dove.

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I imagine that the podcast format itself just gives you that ability to really get way more intimate, way more close to someone. And that's really a benefit both to your content, your cause in particular, but also to to the listeners.

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Absolutely. It is. I know for myself and I'm sure I could speak for Mike, even for us as individuals. I mean, there's some episodes where people over, at least for me, because I'm a little more sensitive than Mike, but I've cried right along with them when they're sitting and sharing their story because you can just relate. It's incredibly moving to be a part of that. Sometimes it can drive your anxiety because, you know, someone hits or talks about something that also you can relate to it.

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It gives you a bit of a flashback, be it if it's something trauma related. But it's just wonderfully endearing how vulnerable these people are and how, like you said, really deep. They're willing to go and just lay everything out on the table. But that's a big part of not only what the foundation does is that vulnerability, but, you know, what we want to set out to do, too, is if you're not being open and honest, it's not going to help anyone.

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So before we go, I'll start with you, Jason Namiki. Give us a good pitch for why we should listen to Knocking Doors Down podcast, which, by the way, everyone, there's going to be a link to the show, the website, Apple, Google, Spotify, their social, all that stuff will be in the show notes and I CausePods.org. So you'll be able to find it. But otherwise, knocking doors down doors with a Z knocking Noge at the end.

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Easy enough to find, but Jason Namiki, give us a pitch for a show and then Elena will we'll have you give us the pitch on the foundation, how we can help you out there.

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Well, not only are you going to get celebrities quote unquote everyday folks, we also have some experts in the areas of addiction and mental health on. Plus, we have a lot of fun. I know that when people hear, oh, you're talking about addiction or mental health or really dark times, how are you having fun is that we want to bring our humor to the table and that of the guest and allow them to have fun, too, because just because we all struggle with these things doesn't mean that life isn't fun, that it doesn't improve.

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You know, anybody that maybe starts listening, we've had several that it's like I'm a week sober. This is miserable. And it's like, look, it gets better. A new kind of fun is coming. A new kind of life is. Or people that are, you know, starting to get help if it's a mental health matter, the same thing is that we want to have fun. It's a big part of what we do within and laughter because life does improve.

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It can get better, it can change. And, you know, we want that message to come across and vulnerability and within that, that there's a lot of joy.

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And what I wanted to add on to is, like Jason said it, yes, it's about, you know, addiction. But if you're not in recovery, that doesn't mean it won't apply to you. It's therapeutic. You know, it could just be something to listen to while you're on your way to work and you don't realize how much you like it. It's not all just really deep, dark stories like we do have fun with it, too.

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And, you know, here in episode, give it a shot, you might like it. Just kind of wait and see what happens, I guess.

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And if nothing else, watch the videos on YouTube. Extremely handsome like you, the Rocky and very, very importantly, Carlos Vieira Foundation. We will have a link to it. Carlos Vieira Foundation dot org. But Elena, tell us real quickly for folks who are hearing about all the great work that you're doing on autism and mental health, on addiction and all that related to youth ensuring that they have a better life, how can folks in this get involved and help out with your cause?

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Yeah, absolutely. So we are very family based, community based. I mean, when I say family based, I don't just mean the very family. I mean our partners like knocking doors down and the people we serve, we help people directly. And I think that that's something that kind of sets us apart and makes it important for people to get involved because we help children one on one. We give grants, we give scholarships, we have afterschool programs, and we remain within the Central Valley of California, our twenty 21 counties.

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And so people can get involved in so many ways and they can even choose whatever causes close to their hearts. Because of course we do have our three causes and we try to help youth across all those different arenas. And so we just, first of all, as people to raise awareness about the causes and help us raise awareness about our programs, because these are things that youth across these twenty one counties can take advantage of. And of course, not all of them do.

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And so that's the number one thing, is just making sure that the community is aware of what we offer and so that they can benefit from it. And then, of course, we're always looking for volunteers for people who are passionate to come out and help us, whether it's fundraising events or, like I said, just raising awareness within the community. Of course, people can make donations to our causes if they feel passionate and want to help out in that way.

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And that can also be done on our website that you mentioned.

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And once again, I'm going to give all these Web sites out one more time. CD media company, dot com. That's where you find the show and videos and social will have links to Apple, Google, Spotify, if you want to connect to them right there. Carlos Fiera, Foundation dog. If you want to go right to the organization and see all the amazing things that they're doing. Jason, the chance, Mike Young Iraqi of knocking doors down.

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Thank you for what it is that you do. Thanks for joining me here on CausePods. And Alan Evere, president of the Carlos Fiora Foundation, who I did not know is going to be here. But I'm so glad that you were able to join us and share what is going on and give us some of that insight. Thank you all for joining me here on CausePods today. Thank you.

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It's going to be. Thanks for listening to this episode of CausePods, if you've been inspired by the work of our guest, please check out the show notes of this episode in your podcasting app or at CausePods.org. There you will find links to their show, their website, their podcast, links on Apple, Google, Spotify, as well as a link to support the charity that they highlighted here in this episode. You will also find a CausePods.org way to subscribe to this show on your favorite podcasting app, How to sign up to be a guest on this show and a link to our Facebook group, which is going to have special resources just for the folks who are podcasting for a good cause.

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And I can tell you right now, we've got one great deal from our friends at Pod Page, but you're only going to learn about it and get that special deal if you are a member of the Facebook group for CausePods. And before I go, I should say thank you in particular. The show is edited and produced by Ben Killoy of the Military Veteran Dad podcast and what a great job he has done. And all this is made possible because of the great support that I received from Shannon Rojas here at the podcast, consulted Dotcom once again.

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If you want to learn more, go to CausePods.org. Thank you so much. And we will see you next time on CausePods.