Central Iowa Experience

Join us on September 20, 2020


Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Central Iowa Experience

While the Central Iowa 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 use our voices and share our stories to provide hope.

We invite you to join us this Fall for an Out of the Darkness Experience. We’re working hard to plan meaningful opportunities to connect and inspire you, and we will share more details about our exciting plans in the coming weeks.

We want to keep you up-to-date with the most current information so be sure to sign up and join us here!

We are always #TogetherToFightSuicide

Event Details

Date: 09/20/2020
Location: Online 
Time: 2:00 pm 

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Joni Thornton & Nicole Mortenson 
Contact Phone: 515-210-0476 
Contact Email: centraliowaOOTD@gmail.com

Registration is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted until December 31st.

Event Details

Please join us for the 2020 American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Experience!

While an in person event is not possible this year, there will be a week long digital event with information, uplifting stories, and ending on September 20th with our online walk program where you can join us from your community taking a walk, run, bike ride, or any activity to support the cause and honor your loved ones.

Please register for the experience here.

All online events will be streamed on our Facebook Page- Out of the Darkness Walk-Central Iowa

One of our committee members will be working with our sponsors to provide a short video highlighting the sponsor and information about suicide prevention.

Monday, September 14th sponsored by ITC Midwest – the shocking truth about suicide

Tuesday, September 15th sponsored by Nebraska Furniture Mart - Its okay to not be okay.

Wednesday, September 16th sponsored by Graham Construction-  building resiliency.

Thursday, September 17th sponsored by UnityPoint Health - wellness and coping during community unrest.  Blank Children’s Hospital -  helping children through a difficult time.  

Friday, September 18th sponsored by Uptown Garage - stay connected while social distancing and the importance of community.

Sunday September 20th- Greeting from the Out of the Darkness committee, guest speakers, and message from our Iowa Director to kick off your own walk experience in your community!

We are constructing a virtual Memory Board to highlight pictures and messages of your loved ones. Please fill out the google form to submit.

Also, new this year are tribute signs that are able to be purchased or earned by fundraising to your walk page. If you have raised $250 OR donate $100 yourself, please fill out this form BY SEPTEMBER 12th to get a virtual tribute sign created for you by the walk day. We will be printing yard signs as well to be picked up with t-shirts in October. 

We are planning a T-shirt pick up day in October at Uptown Garage in Ankeny. Bruce Day will be playing and donations will be made to the walk. Stay tuned for a date as soon as it gets scheduled!

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!

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 Instagram! Share and tag your photos with #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!



Raise $150 by 09/20/2020 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt!


Activities of Hope and Healing

Tribute Signs

New this year: We will be having tribute signs available for walkers to earn or purchase to place along the walk route for their loved one. In order to earn or purchase a tribute sign, first make sure to register for the walk! Make a personal donation of $100 or more or fundraise $250 or more to your personal page. Then, please fill out *this* Google document with a photo and personal message to be placed on the sign. These signs will be available to the donor immediately after the walk to take home. 

Virtual Memory Wall

Please email us a picture and a short message of your loved one for our virtual memory wall to CentraliowaOOTD@gmail.com

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.


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!