April 26 – People ask me all the time, “What is the secret to AFSP’s success?” That answer is easy. It is our wonderful volunteers. As we celebrate National Volunteer Appreciation Week, I would like to salute the thousands of volunteers who are the backbone of our organization.
I am so honored to work with such an outstanding group of people from all walks of life who come together for one purpose – to save lives. Many of you have lost someone to suicide or have a loved one with lived experience. Yet you find the strength, energy and passion to work to help others. You organize Out of the Darkness Walks in our communities and schools, participate in the twice-yearly Overnight Walks, you hold annual Survivor Day events, you advocate in your state and in Washington, D.C., and you educate the public. One community at a time you are changing the conversation, changing attitudes and helping others. You do this in addition to your “paying jobs,” supporting your families and meeting the demands of everyday life. You exemplify what we mean when we talk about our AFSP family.
It’s thanks to our AFSP volunteers that we have achieved exponential growth in the last 12 years. Today, AFSP has become the largest non-profit organization in suicide prevention – delivering hundreds of programs and reaching hundreds of thousands of people. And, it’s thanks to our volunteers that AFSP has grown from an organization with a total budget of $2 million, with 15 chapters and a handful of programs, to an organization with a budget of nearly $25 million with 85 chapters in all 50 states.
With the help of our volunteers, AFSP is reaching more people who need our support, making a positive difference in people’s lives, spreading hope and paving the way for a world without suicide.
Today I want to say thanks to each of you for everything you do each and every day to carry out AFSP’s mission. I want you to know how much we appreciate you. We know we couldn’t do what we do without you.
So here’s a toast to the best volunteers there are…AFSP volunteers!
Vice President of Development and Field Management
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