Sunday, February 26, 2012

Out of the Darkness

Alright, folks, I've got some big news. I've been kind of secretive for the last year, but I've been looking for a cause. Yes, yes, I'm a Free Hugger, but that's not really a "cause" so much as it's a movement and I don't feel about getting into the discussion of those differences. What I'm saying is, I've found it, and I'm stunned at how perfect it is.

As someone who's been living with diagnosed depression for over 2 years now (not to mention living with it undiagnosed for almost 12 years) and gone through the hospitalization and medication and therapy and blah blah blah, I'm kind of shocked how long it took me to find this organization - especially when I've been directly & indirectly benefiting from their influence for the duration of my treatment.

May I introduce: Out of the Darkness: The Overnight. 18 miles through the streets of San Francisco in one night. We're walking for the people we love who struggle with depression, the ones we've lost to suicide, and every single soul that resists the temptation to give up every day. I cried when I found this, because it reminded me that I am not the only one who struggles and that there is an army of people out there who come together to offer each other support.

SO! I'm taking donations. It costs $1000 to participate as a walker (I even joined a team! Team Death is No Parenthesis - from the e.e. cummings poem) plus the registration fee and airfare to get up to San Francisco in the first place. That said, I've been using my position as the Free Hugs Girl to further my cause. I'm there every Sunday anyway, and I have a modest following already, so I might as well commandeer their assistance. Drumroll!

Day 1 in Claremont and the conclusion of my first week of fundraising has elicited a total of: $54.52!!! I've committed myself to $20 a week and all the change I collect to this project, so the total donations I've received from strangers comes to $30.98, which is still awesome! As soon as I register I'll have an online donor page, and I know some of you have already made pledges to my cause, but every little bit helps! This cause has become so important to me in the last couple of weeks... It's put on by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which is an organization that supports programs like the Trevor Project, clinics and early-diagnosis centers at universities across America, and various other programs that save lives every single day.

I'll be posting more next week, with an update on my fundraising status and all the ways I'm getting ready for this. I have 14 weeks until the walk, which is June 9-10. Until then, anyone have any fundraising ideas for me???

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