Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm going for a walk. Perhaps you'd like to help.

Hello friends.

A little break from comedic programming here for a pledge drive of sorts.

It's been almost a year since I lost my brother Rick to suicide. It's been a year of walking in darkness and searching for light. Fitting then that I should be participating in the annual Out of the Darkness Overnight, a walk to raise money for suicide prevention and to raise awareness of one of the leading causes of death in this country. Every 16 minutes in America someone dies by suicide.

Since I first heard about this walk, I've found it absolutely fascinating. It's in Seattle on June 21st (New York has one on June 7th) and the idea is that you start walking around sunset then walk about 20 miles, ending at sunrise the next morning. You walk through the darkness into the sunlight, hopefully bringing some attention to the cause with you into that light. Most of the people walking have been affected by suicide in some way, either within their families or circle of friends. I'm coming back to Seattle, however briefly, to be in that crowd and to walk those long miles. I've never been one for causes but I am now.

And oh yes: the fund raising part of it all. It's organized by the American Society for Suicide Prevention. The money goes to research and prevention programs, specifics of which are described here. All participants are asked to raise at least $1000 for the cause. I've set a tentative goal of $2000 since I think I may know a few more people than the average participant.

I would like your support at whatever level you feel comfortable with. In return, you will receive gratitude, some photos later on, and knowledge that you helped spread some sunlight on this terrible darkness. It's not about me, it's not my therapy, it's a chance to help other people.

The event's website is here. To donate, please go here. I've also included an ongoing link in the upper right hand corner of the blog up there.

Thanks,
John

UPDATE: $355 in so far! 17% of the way there according to the thermometer with dorky sound effects on the web site. Thanks a million to all.

5 comments:

Scott Chicken said...

Good for you! Although really, to be truly poignant (and wet) it should be held on December 21st, the darkest day of the year. 'cause isn't dawn sweeter after walking for 16 hours in the dark?

Oh, and load in an extra $25 in the "offline donations" for the WaMu match - I'll mail in the form today.

wsb said...

Glad to see more publicity for this. We wrote about it a few weeks back after hearing it would be in Seattle and asking the AFSP if they could put us in touch with someone for a West Seattle angle.

john said...

Hey West Seattle Blog! We still read the blog often even though we're now 1600+ miles away. I would be happy to talk to you about it.

Tina Rowley said...

This is a beautiful endeavor.

Glenn Fleishman said...

I love the effort. The sound effect on the donation page is just...uh...strange. Not entirely the right juxtaposition. Not sure the walk's organizers gave that sound the right amount of thought.