Join us on October 3, 2020
Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Loudoun Experience
While the Loudoun 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, support those who have lost loved ones, and support those with lived experience. We use our voices and share our stories to provide hope, and we are working hard to deliver an abundance of diverse, meaningful OOTD experiences. These will take place both in-person and online all OOTD season long to connect and inspire us during this incredible time of need. We also want to elevate and share your story with our community, including the lifesaving awareness-raising and fundraising work you are doing as AFSP allies! Because we are and always will be #TogetherToFightSuicide.
We want to keep you up-to-date with the most current information so be sure to sign up and join us here!
Time: 12:00 pm New Date & Time
For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Brittany Lang, Chair / Sarah Kurtz, Deputy Chair (DeputyChair.LoudounWalk@gmail.com)
Contact Phone: 646-632-5189
Contact Email: Chair.LoudounWalk@gmail.com
Registration is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted until December 31st.
What is an Out of the Darkness Experience?
See our What is an OOTD Experience? one-pager to learn more about what is happening and how you can support!
OOTD Season-long Experiences Calendar
We will be updating this calendar regularly with new and exciting experiences for you. Please check back often and check your emails from us, as there's lots more to come!
September National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
- 12/31 Last Day to Turn in OOTD Funds
All posted AFSP National Capital Area Chapter events and programs can be found at afsp.org/NCAC.
More About Walk Day (Oct. 3)
See Walk Day Opening Ceremony & Program Here
The Walk is still happening, just in a new and creative way! While we may not be able to gather all together this year, participants and their teams will be safely walking throughout neighborhoods and parks all across our community on the same day, at the same time in honor of the person(s) for whom they walk and in commemoration of the 2020 Loudoun of the Darkness Experience. This is an opportunity to bring our messages of hope and awareness to the places we call home, so carry your Honor & Remembrance signs, wear your OOTD walk t-shirts and beads with pride, and share your experiences on social media using our hashtag #StopSuicideNCAC!
The Opening Ceremony will begin here at afsp.org/Loudoun or @AFSP.NCAC on Facebook at 12:00 pm. Join us from your computer or phone while you walk as we remember the impact of suicide during the annual Honor Beads Ceremony, share stories of hope and healing, and take time to recognize all of our wonderful top participants, teams, and sponsors furthering our mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.
*Tune in early (around 11:30 AM) to see our pre-program slideshow featuring participant and volunteer pictures and videos from throuhgout OOTD Season.
The Livestream Program will kick off just after the Opening Ceremony. We will be checking in LIVE with participants and teams across the area as we walk #TogetherToFightSuicide!
Throughout Walk Day and all OOTD-season long, we are asking our participants to not only tune in, but to also share what you are doing on social media with the hashtag #StopSuicideNCAC. Make your post public and we will highlight stories on our page. And please be sure to follow the AFSP National Capital Area Chapter on social media: @AFSP.NCAC on Facebook and @AFSP_NCAC on Instagram and Twitter. See more under the "Hope & Healing" section below.
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).
Our community has always been the heart of the Out of the Darkness Walks. Your safety and well-being will always be our top priority, and we are closely monitoring CDC and local guidelines as we map out our options for bringing you an experience of hope and healing this fall.
Though there are many unknowns, there are a few things we know for sure:
- You belong to a strong community united in an effort to fight suicide while showing up for yourself, recognizing and honoring those you love, raising awareness, educating communities, supporting one another, and sharing hope.
- We remain dedicated to providing you with opportunities to connect, heal, share stories, create impact, and show you that you are not alone.
- Mental Health and suicide prevention are more important than ever, and we’re confident that with your help we can reach more people than ever before.
We realize that nothing can substitute the experience of coming together in person, and we will continue to seek ways in which we can do that safely, if possible. We welcome your ideas for gathering online and/or in-person this fall. Please contact your local chapter for more information. In the meantime, we look forward to connecting in new ways, and we invite you to join us on this journey.
Help Spread the Word: #StopSuicideNCAC
Share a picture or video and why you support Out of the Darkness using the hashtag #StopSuicideNCAC. Make your post public and we will highlight stories on our page. And please be sure to follow the AFSP National Capital Area Chapter on social media: @AFSP.NCAC on Facebook and @AFSP_NCAC on Instagram and Twitter.
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 #StopSuicideNCAC and #outofthedarkness to your tweets!
Follow us on Instagram! Share and tag your photos with #StopSuicideNCAC and #outofthedarkness! Spread the word and ask for support by sharing the videos and social shares in the participant hub.
There are many more social media outlets, please use any and all to help promote the event. Tell your story!
Become a Sponsor
Download the 2020 Loudoun Experience Sponsor Packet to learn more about our various sponsorship opportunities. With sponsorship levels starting at just $250, this is a perfect way for large and small businesses to play a role in making suicide prevention a priority in the community. All sponsors will receive marketing benefits and the sooner you sponsor, the more benefits you’ll receive!
T-shirt Deadline: August 28, 2020 (to get your logo on the back of the Loudoun OOTD t-shirts)
Sponsor Deadline: September 18, 2020
Questions? Contact AFSP-NCAC Development Chair Jessica Lincoln at email@example.com.
Raise $150 by October 2, 2020 and receive your official Out of the Darkness T-shirt in time for Walk Day! We will be hosting OOTD T-Shirt Pickup events (see details below) for participants to come and get their t-shirts so they can have them to wear on Walk Day (10/3). We hope that on Walk Day our participants will safely walk with their teams in their communities while wearing their OOTD t-shirts and holding signs of HOPE to help raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention all across Loudoun County and beyond!
• #StopSuicideNCAC Share a picture or video and why you support Out of the Darkness using the hashtag #StopSuicideNCAC. Make your post public and we will highlight stories on our page. And please be sure to follow us on social media: @AFSP.NCAC on Facebook and @AFSP_NCAC on Instagram and Twitter .
• Doodle for Dollars Did you know that doodling and coloring is great exercise for your mind? Create your own original doodle or color in one of AFSP’s Mental Health Coloring Pages and post your masterpiece to social media along with a positive message and the link to your online fundraising page.
• Tag, You're It! Step 1: Make a donation to your OOTD participant page. Step 2: Tag a friend on social media and challenge them to also donate to your page in support of suicide prevention and keep it going... Step 3: After people give, don't forget to do a "thank you" post and tag everyone who supported!
• Laughs for Life Everyone needs more positivity in their social media feeds, right? So let’s make that happen! Step 1: Set a fundraising or team recruitment goal along with a deadline to reach that goal. Step 2: Post to social media share your goal, deadline and how they can support (your fundraising or team page link) with your friends/followers and let them know that, if you reach your goal, you will post a photo or video of yourself doing something totally silly. Step 3: After you reach your goal, thank everyone who supported and post your photo or video to social media. Need silly ideas? You can cut or dye your hair or beard, sing a song from a Broadway musical, dance a funky dance, take a pie to the face, let your toddler give you a makeover.... whatever you want! Just keep it fun and bring on the smiles :-)
• Chalk It Up You never know who will be following in your footsteps... Use chalk to decorate your driveway, the sidewalks in your neighborhood, or the route where you will be walking with messages of hope for others to see!
Hope & Healing
Losing someone to suicide or caring for someone struggling with a mental illness can feel like no one understands what you are going through. The Loudoun Out of the Darkness Experience is a journey of hope and healing that unites our community and acknowledges the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and our loved ones. We will have many opportunities and activities for you to share your own story (see AFSP’s Speaking Out About Suicide Recommendations) and honor a loved one all throughout Out of the Darkness season. Some of these will include:
• Digital Quilt Available to all National Capital Area participants here. Post why you walk, how you're participating in the experience, share your fundraising successes, and participate in the social media activities all on our digital quilt! This is a great way to connect with the AFSP community across our community and beyond!
• Stay Connected Just because we may be physically distancing, doesn't mean we need to be socially isolated. It is so important for us to stay connected during this time, even if we can't do so in-person. Take this opportunity to reach out to family, friends and loved ones via phone, text, email, social media, etc. to say hello, check in to see how they are doing, and invite them to join your team for the Loudoun Out of the Darkness Experience.
• Share Your Story Share a picture (or video) and why you support Out of the Darkness using the hashtag #StopSuicideNCAC. Make your post public and we will highlight stories on our page. And please be sure to follow us on social media: @AFSP.NCAC on Facebook and @AFSP_NCAC on Instagram and Twitter.
Also, don't forget to personalize your team and fundraising pages. This is another great way to let people know why you support suicide prevention and why they should too.
• Honor & Remembrance Signs (order your sign by 9/10/20) With a $50 gift to this page, receive an 18" x 24" sign in honor or remembrance of the person(s) for whom you walk (just click the "Donate" button). Your sign will be virtually displayed during the online program for the Loudoun Out of the Darkness Experience on Walk Day (10/3). We will also ship you the printed sign so you can display it outside your home, hold it as you walk it in your community on Walk Day, and cherish always.
• Luminaria Display We will be hosting a display of luminaria made by our participants at Mervin Jackson Park from 7 - 9 PM on September 19th and live streaming video footage of the display on our social media acounts: @AFSP.NCAC on Facebook and @AFSP_NCAC on Instagram. Footage from this display will also be featured as part of the Loudoun OOTD Walk Day program (10/3). To have your luminaria included as part of this experience, you can:
will bring our experience to a close as we stream footage of our 2020 participants’ luminaria on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in memory of those we have lost to suicide and in honor of those who struggle. Visit our "Hope & Healing" section below to learn more.
1) Pick up your luminaria materials & pre-addressed return envelope at any of our Participant Packet Pickup events (see OOTD Season-long Experiences Calendar above)
2) Use your own luminaria materails: Decoratge a white paper bag (9.8 x 2.5 x 5") with special messages, photos, etc. Be sure to write your name and mailing address on the bottom of the decorated bag. Then, drop you bag off with a volunteer at the Participant Packet Pickup event that will also be held at Mervin Jackson Park earlier that day (9/19) between 3 - 5 PM.
3) Fill out the Luminaria Request Form to have a member of our Loss & Healing Committee create a luminaria for you to be displayed.
*all mailed luminaria and online requests must be recieved by 9/10/20 to guarantee inclusion in the Luminairia Display.
Questions? Contact NCAC Loss & Healing Chair Meredith Glaze at firstname.lastname@example.org
• "I'm Walking For" Buttons We will be giving these away at our Participant Packet Pickup and OOTD T-shirt Pickup events so you can personalize your own button and wear it when you walk. See details about these on our events calendar above.
• Honor Beads 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. We will be distributing honor beads at our various in-person events throughout OOTD season. If you are unable to connect with us to pick up your beads, you can always wear the color(s) that represent your connection(s) to the cause on Walk Day (10/3).
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.
See What's Going on in the AFSP National Capital Area
Thanks to the support of our incredible volunteers and supporters, the AFSP National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) is making a difference in our community year-round through research, education, advocacy, and community support. Check out the NCAC website to learn about our impact and some of the exciting things we are doing throughout Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
National Capital Area Presenting Sponsor
Thank you for your support!