Manassas Experience

Join us on October 3, 2020


Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Manassas Experience

See Walk Day Opening Ceremony & Program Here!

While the Manassas 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!

Event Details

Date: 10/03/2020
Time: 12:00 pm New Date & Time

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Michael Pappas 
Contact Phone: 732-397-9442 
Contact Email:

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


  • 10/3 Manassas Out of the Darkness Walk Day
  • Online Walk Day Program Watch Here at or @AFSP.NCAC on Facebook
    • 11:00 AM: Countdown Begins
    • 11:30 AM: Pre-Program Slideshow Beings
    • 12:00 PM: Opening Ceremony
    • 12:30 PM: Livestream Program & Participants Walk in their Communities



  • 12/31 Last Day to Turn in OOTD Funds

All posted AFSP National Capital Area Chapter events and programs can be found at

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 at Harris Pavilion, 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 Manassas 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 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 volunteer and participant 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. 

More details coming soon.

Get Registered

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).

Why Register?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. We remain dedicated to providing you with opportunities to connect, heal, share stories, create impact, and show you that you are not alone.
  3. 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 Manassas 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 Manassas OOTD t-shirts)

Sponsor Deadline: September 18, 2020

Questions? Contact AFSP-NCAC Development Chair Jessica Lincoln at


Raise $150 by September 26, 2020 and receive your official Out of the Darkness T-shirt in time for Walk Day! We will be hosting a T-Shirt Pickup event on 9/26 for participants to come and get their OOTD 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 Mananssas, Prince WIlliam Co., and beyond!

Creative Cultivation

• #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 Manassas 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!

Made with Padlet
Made with Padlet

• 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 Manassas 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 above). Your sign will be virtually displayed during the online program for the Manassas 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 Harris Pavilion from 7 - 9 PM on September 13th and live streaming video footage of the display on our social media accounts: @AFSP.NCAC on Facebook and @AFSP_NCAC on Instagram. Footage from this display will also be featured as part of the Manassas OOTD Walk Day program (10/3). To have your luminaria included as part of this experience, you can:

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 Harris Pavilion earlier that day (9/13) 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 my be recieved by 9/4/20 to guarantee inclusion in the display.

Questions? Contact NCAC Loss & Healing Chair Meredith Glaze at

• "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  Pick Up Your Honor Beads on 9/26 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

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!