The 2019 Out of the Darkness Overnight Walks will be in San Francisco on June 8, and Boston on June 22.
Each participant is assigned to a Walker Coach who supports and helps them with any questions they might have along the way.
How long have you worked for AFSP?
A little over two years. This will be my third season as a Walker Coach and my first as Senior Walker Coach. San Francisco will be my 5th Overnight Walk, which is super exciting to me.
How do you describe your job to other people?
I tell them that I help our Walkers fundraise for the two Overnight Walks every year. I give fundraising ideas, training tips and answer questions my Walkers have.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Any time I get to meet one of my Walkers in person or make a connection with them — I love being able to help them fundraise, hearing their stories and sharing in their triumphs and struggles.
Tell us about a favorite moment on the job.
After my second Overnight Walk, I came in to work and I was really exhausted, and I had a bunch of emails waiting in my inbox. One of the emails was from one of my first-time Walkers, who I had really connected with over-the-phone and met at the VIP Reception. He was telling me about how powerful and beautiful his experience at the Overnight Walks was, and thanking me for making a difference in both his experience and his life. It really made my week, and I still carry his email around in my purse when I need a reminder of the difference our Walks — and myself — make here.
Why should people do the Overnight Walk?
It is going to be one of the most beautiful and powerful experiences of your life. You’re surrounded by thousands of people who just get “it” — they’ve been thorough a loss, have personally struggled, know someone who struggles, and/or are passionate about suicide prevention. It’s truly beautiful. There’s nothing like looking around at the Honor Beads or the luminaria and seeing the ways we’ve all been touched by suicide. It’s an experience you won’t forget.
Fun fact about you!
I’m originally from Nebraska, and moved to New York six years ago to pursue my master’s degree in social work.
What are your honor bead colors?
Purple, blue, teal, green, and silver.