WALK OUT OF DARKNESS – SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION (AFSP)
This past Saturday, December 2, 2017, we were invited to attend the Walk Out of Darkness, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, held in Upland, CA. Donations supported research, education & prevention, advocacy & public policy, and support for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk to help spread the awareness and prevention of suicide.
It was a great experience for us personally and a tremendous recognition for our foundation. We even got our own booth, as you can see in our picture.
It was their 8th year of hosting the walk, and the purpose of it was not only to raise money for suicide prevention and awareness strategies, but to also honor a loved one lost from suicide. Every single walker had experienced some loss from suicide, or greatly supported suicide prevention efforts. It was very sad, but also beautiful to see so many people affected by suicide all together and the ability to connect and share our experiences together, as well as explain our foundation and what we do.
It was a great turnout; we ran out of our patchwork bears within the first hour, gave away tons of pens and cards. We also reached out to many people and shared with them what our foundation does and when to come to our support groups if needed. Our booth featured two paintings done by us representing suicide awareness and our foundation, and a collage of Jewels.
On a personal level, it was sad to see so many people hurting over something we know is extremely painful. It was an emotionally exhausting day, to say the least; however it is all worth it in the end. The goal and recognition to spread awareness about suicide, and provide our own services through the Jewels’ Angels Foundation makes all the emotions worth it; if we only save one life, it was worth it!
The top sponsor spotlight was the Loma Linda University Behavioral Medical Center. Their goal is in recognizing the complex needs of patients facing mental illness and chemical dependency.
The next walk is schedule for Saturday March 24, 2018 at Palm Desert Civic Center Park, in Coachella Valley, CA – and yes we will be there with a booth giving away Patchwork Bears with the suicide awareness ribbon and pens.
Register at afsp.org/inlandempiredc
If someone you know is in crisis, call the 24-hour hotline at The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255