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AFSP’s Secret Sauce: Our Volunteers

2 Apr 2019 — 1 min read

BY Mike Lamma, AFSP Senior Vice President of Development and Field Management

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Apr. 2, 2019 - It is no secret that over the past 10 years AFSP has experienced remarkable growth. Whether you measure by the number of people involved, programs delivered, individuals reached, increased awareness, dollars raised, research funded or mental health legislation passed, AFSP has experienced incredible success.

This success has not gone unnoticed. We are constantly asked, “What is the secret to your success?  How does such a relatively small organization accomplish so much?”

The answer is simple. Our volunteers! Every day you can find thousands of volunteers all across the country carrying out the work of the Foundation: organizing state capitol days, comforting fellow survivors, sharing our research findings with their local communities, conducting education programs, promoting suicide prevention through social media, organizing Out of the Darkness Walks and other fundraising events, reaching out to help those who are struggling, and so much more.

While there are hundreds of thousands of volunteers supporting the noble work of many great organizations, there is something different about AFSP volunteers. They bring an incredible level of passion and commitment to our cause that you just don’t see everywhere.

Most them have been able to channel the loss of a friend or loved one, or their own personal struggles, into a fierce determination to fight suicide. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the words, “We want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen to other families.” Yet they bring a sense of optimism and hope to this battle. They are also warm and welcoming – quick to give a hug and share a laugh.

As staff, we are so humbled and honored to stand beside our volunteers in these efforts. It makes all of us excited to come to work every day.

During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, we say thank you to these remarkable volunteers and celebrate the impact of their service in working to save lives by preventing suicide.

If you want to say thank you to a volunteer you appreciate, click here to create a custom social graphic to share!

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