There are very popular causes that are well known across the country that host community events or large-scale efforts to bring awareness to local and global efforts. You’ve probably hosted a friend or a loved one in the Susan B Komen Walk for the Cure, a Cystic Fibrosis Run, or even dropped your pocket change in a bucket at the checkout line to help end world hunger. For the second consecutive year, Everett is hosting the Out Of The Darkness walk, a unique opportunity to bring awareness to and reduce the rate of suicides in our country, and locally.
A lot of myths about suicide are perpetrated by the media, knowingly or not, and there is more than one stigma associated with it. Perhaps that it’s an attention seeking action, or a cry for help, or something that only ‘crazy’ or wanton people do. However, suicide isn’t relegated to class, color, creed or religion. Everybody can be touched by it.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is working, hard, to reduce that. They have five core strategies outlined on the website, which your enrollment or donation to Out Of The Darkness will help target: Fund scientific research, offer education programs for professionals, educate the public about mood disorders and prevention, promote policies and legislation that impact suicide/prevention, and to provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, to involve them in the work of/ the Foundation.
Carolyn Buerk, the point of contact for Everett’s efforts, has been buoyed by the response so far. Last year’s walk, which was postponed by an entire month due to the weather last summer, was a huge hit.
It was also the very first Out of The Darkness walk in Everett. A “conservative” goal of $20,000.00 was set, and even with the weather delay, managed to raise $45,896, and 510 dedicated walkers showed up to do their small part in changing the world. Because of the success of its first year, the dollar amount for this year was raised up $53,000.00.
Monies raised go to the AFSP, and unlike many organizations, .80 of each dollar is funneled directly to AFSP cause, the remaining amount to go to administrative costs. Of that, half is designated for the local area and half goes to their headquarters.
Cities are selected for walks by the AFSP, but it begins with the community reaching out, when they can be added to an existing chapter or potentially fire up a new one.
Carolyn shared that they have a wide-scale approach to tackling the cause, and that “the more we’re able to talk about it, the easier it is to get support.”
Because of the rise of teen suicides related to social media, bullying, and the unique challenges of raising kids in a technology-centric world, education and outreach can be tailored to that group, as well as any other- and, as stated before, all groups can benefit from additional outreach. “Suicidality impacts different groups differently,” she went on to say.
If you’d like to join in on the efforts, to raise money for the cause and/or join in because you’ve been personally affected, the event details are below, including a contact for Ms. Carolyn herself.
To date, 273 participants have registered, and the dollar amount raised is $23,969.00
Walk Date: 9/23/17
Where Legion Park, 145 Alverson Blvd, Everett, WA
Check in/Registration: 10:00 am
Walk Begins: 11:00 am
Contact Name: Carolyn Buerk
Contact Phone: 425-346-7742
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Per the website, “online registration closes at noon the proceeding Friday. Anyone who would like to participate can register in person at the walk from the time check-in begins until the walk starts. Walk donations are accepted until December 31st.”
For more information, visit: https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=4614