Montgomery County MD Experience
Join us on October 17, 2020
Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Montgomery County MD Experience
While the Montgomery County Out of the Darkness Walk is going to look different this year, our mission to Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide has not changed. We are a strong and resilient community, united in our effort to fight suicide, raise awareness, educate our communities, support those who have lost loved ones, and support those with lived experience. We invite you to join the Montgomery County Out of the Darkness Experience and to walk with us to fight suicide on October 17 and 18. Walk with friends and family (following CDC guidelines) in your neighborhood, a park, etc. Wear AFSP gear or an Out of the Darkness t-shirt and create signs in honor of a loved one or to spread hope in your community. Then in the evening of October 17 we will host a Drive-Thru Luminary Ceremony at FCF Church in Frederick. For more details, please continue to read. We want to keep you up-to-date with the most current information so be sure to register and like our Facebook Event!
What you need to know about the Montgomery County Out of the Darkness Experience this weekend, October 17 and 18:
- If you are not registered for the Out of the Darkness Experience yet, please take two minutes to sign up at afsp.org/montgomeryco
- We will not gather as a big group; instead we ask you to walk to fight suicide with friends and family in your community. Wear an AFSP or old Out of the Darkness shirt and make signs to raise awareness about suicide prevention in your neighborhood.
- If you can't participate this weekend, walk whenever you and your family/friends are available.
- You have until October 25 at midnight to raise $150 to receive an official Out of the Darkness t-shirt. Shirts will ship before the end of the year at the latest.
- We are not mailing beads to you.
- Donations are being accepted until December 31. You can submit them online or mail checks and money orders (no cash) to AFSP Maryland, PO BOX 169, Annapolis, MD 21404.
- On October 17th we will email you a video including the honor bead ceremony. The video will also live on this website.
- In the evening of October 17 we will host a Drive-Thru Luminary Ceremony from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm at FCF Church (10142 Hansonville Road, Frederick, MD 21702). For this one evening, we will light up the area around the church with hundreds of luminaries to show you that HOPE IS NOT CANCELLED and that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This is a free event, but we kindly ask you to register for the Montgomery County Out of the Darkness Experience. Everyone participating, not just the driver, has to be registered. You can arrive at any time between 6.30 and 8.30 pm. During the ceremony, we ask you to stay in your car at all times and wear a face mask when interacting with event staff. Our event staff is required to wear face masks and protective gear at all times. This event will be supported by WFRE 99.9 with a special program from 6.00-8.00 pm on October 17. So make sure to tune in!
- Our mission to saves lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide has not changed. As a matter of fact, our programs and resources are now more important than ever. Thank you for your continued support as We are always #TogetherToFightSuicide.
Raise $150 by October 25 at midnight and receive and Out of the Darkness Shirt in the mail by early December!
Checks made out to AFSP and money orders (no cash) can be mailed to AFSP Maryland, PO Box 169, Annapolis, MD 21404 - please include an offline donation form.
SHARE your Out of the Darkness Experience using #MDTogetherToFightSuicide and tagging @afspmaryland
MEMORIAL WALL - post a picture and stories of a loved one lost to suicide
MY OUT OF THE DARKNESS EXPERIENCE WALL - post pictures and stories of YOUR Out of the Darkness Experience
Walk Date: October 17, 2020
For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Michael & Tammi Ginsberg
Contact Phone: 301-529-6871
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is free and open to the public. Walk donations are accepted until December 31st.
Having trouble registering? Click here to view a step-by-step guide. Refer to page 1 if you’re registering yourself or page 5 if you’re registering someone else through your own account. Be sure to also check out some of the Frequently Asked Questions on page 10.
If you’ve already registered and would like to either create a new team or join an existing one, log into your AFSP account and click on the “change team membership” option on the right hand side of your dashboard tab (on mobile you’ll need to click “dashboard” first).
Wait ... are we still walking to fight suicide?
YES! The Montgomery County Out the Darkness Experience is focused on your self-care and creating your own experience. You get to choose the activity, it can be walking, running, reading or cooking - it is your experience . During October 17 and 18 you choose what time you start, what you do and who joins you (within safe distancing guidelines)!
If you do go for a walk in your community, make sure to wear and AFSP or Out of the Darkness shirt and bring a sign in honor of a loved one or to spread hope in your community. Take a picture and share it on social media using #MDTogetherToFightSuicide and tagging @afspmaryland. You can also share your pictures on our "My Out of the Darkness Experience" virtual wall.
Drive-Thru Luminary Ceremony
While we can't gather for an Out of the Darkness Walk this year, we still want to bring light into the darkness and invite you to the very first Frederick Drive-Thru Luminary Ceremony on October 17 from 6.30 to 8.30 pm at FCF Church (10142 Hansonville Road, Frederick, MD 21702). For this one evening, we will light up the area around the church with hundreds of luminaries to show you that HOPE IS NOT CANCELLED and that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Whether you lost a loved one to suicide, struggle personally, support a friend and/or family member, simply care about the cause, we hope you will be part of this evening.
This is a free event. You can arrive at any time between 6.30 and 8.30 pm. During the ceremony, we ask you to stay in your car at all times and wear a face mask when interacting with event staff. Our event staff is required to wear face masks and protective gear at all times.
This event will be supported by WFRE 99.9 with a special program from 6.30-8.30 pm on October 17. So make sure to tune in, even if you can't join us!
We hope you will join us for this special evening.
Although fundraising is optional and there is no minimum fundraising requirement (and no fee to walk), each dollar raised helps us deliver suicide prevention programs both in Maryland and nationally. With last year's Walk fundraising, the AFSP Maryland Chapter was able to educate over 3,500 Marylanders on suicide prevention and mental health. We
- spoke to middle/high school students, their parents and educators
- presented to active duty military members, veterans and first responders
- spoke at churches, community centers, libraries, and senior homes
- hosted our fourth annual State Capitol Day in Annapolis and talked to over 30 legislators about how suicide affects Marylanders and how we can start reducing the annual suicide rate by 20 percent by 2025.
- organized 9 Survivor Day events and continue to facilitate Healing Conversations, a peer support program for loss survivors.
There are 3 small things you can do to kick-start your fundraising work:
- Personalize your walker page online. Telling your story will make those who see your page feel more emotionally connected to you and the cause. If you're a team captain, be sure to personalize your team page!
- Donate to yourself, even just a modest sum of $20, to show others you are committed to the cause. It's easier to ask others for money if they see you have also donated.
- Share your page and story with others. It's OK to ask for donations! And you may have to ask several times – that’s OK too!
You can also hold your own third-party fundraiser (i.e. paint night, restaurant fundraiser, bake sale etc.) and use those funds raised toward your individual or team goal. Contact us if you need some guidance for your private fundraiser: email@example.com.
This website is designed for online donations. You can mail checks and money orders to AFSP Maryland, PO Box 169, Annapolis, MD 21404 . When you mail checks and money orders, please make sure checks are made out to “American Foundation for Suicide Prevention” or "AFSP" and to include an offline donation form, so funds can be applied correctly. Once registered, be on the lookout for occasional emails from our walk chairs with walk updates, fundraising tips and suicide prevention training opportunities.
Sponsorship levels starts at only $250 and your support is 100% tax-deductible. All sponsors receive brand visibility and recognition of their support. For more details, please download and review our sponsorship packet.
If you are a business that would like to support your community by helping save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide, please consider sponsoring the Montgomery County Out of the Darkness Experience. We know that many businesses are struggling because of the pandemic, so any support for this year’s walk would mean a lot to us. Please make sure to also check out our toolkit for workplaces on how to enhance mental health during uncertain times. Know that we have resources to support you and your staff and that we would be more than happy to schedule a virtual or in-person (once possible) mental health and suicide prevention training with your team. To schedule a training, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an employee, let your employer know that you will be walking in the Montgomery County Out of the Darkness Experience and encourage them to form a corporate walk team. Share with them our sponsorship package and let them know that we are offering free suicide prevention trainings for workplaces. To schedule a training, contact us at email@example.com
Help Spread the Word!
Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! #OutoftheDarkness
Follow us on Facebook! Post to your Facebook page and add the direct link to your fundraising page.
Follow us on Twitter! If you are on Twitter, Tweet about the event. Don’t forget to add #outofthedarkness to your tweets!
Follow us on
! Share and tag your photos with #outofthedarkness! Spread the word and ask for support by sharing the videos and social shares in
There are many more social media outlets, please use any and all to help promote the event. Tell your story about why you walk!
Raise $150 or more by October 25 @ midnight and we will mail you an official Out of the Darkness Walk T-shirt!
Remember, in addition to fundraising online, you can mail checks or money orders (no cash) to AFSP Maryland, PO Box 169, Annapolis, MD 21404.
Activities of Hope and Healing
Make sure to upload a picture of a loved one with a note to our virtual "Memorial Wall". When you upload your content, please make sure to follow these safe language guidelines. We will have to approve every single post to make sure all images and texts are safe, therefore it might take a few hours to show on the wall. Thank you for understanding!
Shine a light on suicide prevention and bring HOPE to your home. Order 2 luminaries for $25 and 4 for $45. Proceeds will benefit the AFSP Maryland Chapter. This is a limited edition of 250 luminaries. Don't forget to share your luminary with us on social media using #MDTogetherToFightSuicide and tagging @afspmaryland. The luminaries can be purchased here and we will ship them to you.
Losing someone to suicide or struggling with a mental illness can feel like no one understands what you are going through. Unlike other illnesses, it is difficult to look at someone and know their connection. There is an honor bead for everyone, whether you have lost a loved one, struggle personally, support a friend and/or family member, or all of the above. Learn more by watching our honor bead video.
The Out of the Darkness Experience is a journey of remembrance, hope, and support. It unites our communities and provides an opportunity to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.
If you're looking for resources, please visit www.afsp.org/resources.
Thank you for your support!