Leslie Unger via Crowdrise
May 16, 2013
In middle school, a neighbor just older than me committed suicide, and later in college, someone close to me attempted. I have other friends who also grapple with depression, and I have gone through challenging times of loneliness and isolation. All of these things have shown me the personal side to the struggles people face, and as a volunteer at Samaritans, I have seen that there are so many people out there who need support and compassion as they try to navigate life’s stumbling blocks.
Nearly a year ago, I started volunteering on the Samaritans suicide prevention helpline. Samaritans, Inc, is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of suicide. They offer 24/7 crisis helplines (which also field calls from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and answered over 125,000 calls last year alone!), provide Grief Support Services, offer Community Education and Outreach workshops, and have a Lifeline program for prisoners. Volunteering with Samaritans has been an eye-opening and incredible experience.
Running in the Boston Marathon has long been a dream of mine; I am SO excited to have a bib number and get to run on behalf of Samaritans this year! I am required to raise a minimum of $5000, but my goal is $7000. I'm calling my training and fundraising efforts "Team Muscles". :) Team Muscles represents unity and strength of all kinds: the strength of exercising, the strength of stepping out of your comfort zone, the strength of trying something new, the strength of reaching out and of finding hope, the strength of knowing that you are not alone. Your support not only makes a difference for Samaritans and the people who use their services, but it means so much to me and really motivates me to work hard and do my best.
ANY and EVERY donation is 100% tax-deductible and is very much appreciated! If you would to like mail a check, please make it payable to "Samaritans" and note on the check that your donation is in support of my marathon efforts. Send it to:
Attn: Garrett Owen
41 West Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
You can also send donations to me, and I will submit them on your behalf. Thank you so much for your support, and check back for updates on my progress and training!
ANOTHER WAY TO SUPPORT:
-Team Muscles T-shirts: Super stylish, soft and comfy tees available in Espresso heather and Indigo heather (a blue-green-grey), $26 each (paid to me). Shirts have logo that reads "Team Muscles supports suicide prevention" with the Samaritans logo underneath, actual colors may vary slightly from images. Check them out in my photos above! Place orders here.