Salem-Roanoke Experience

Join us on October 10, 2020


Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Salem-Roanoke Experience


Event Details

Date: 10/10/2020

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Jacob Milton 
Contact Phone: 540-819-7861 
Contact Email:

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


Why do you walk?  Add your reason to our Virginia Why I Walk page!

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YES! The Salem-Roanoke Out of the Darkness Experience is a real walk, but on your terms: you get to choose your own course, what time you start, and who walks next to you (within safe distancing guidelines)! The walking is real—it's the community that's virtual this year.

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. We welcome your ideas for gathering online and in-person this fall. Please contact the AFSP Virginia Chapter at for more information. In the meantime, we look forward to connecting in new ways, and we invite you to join us on this journey.

Why Register?

  • By registering for the Salem-Roanoke Out of the Darkness Experience, you join 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.
  • All participants can create and join teams. This is a great way to motivate family, friends, and co-workers to join you!
  • Registered walkers will be emailed updates and invites to e-vents in the upcoming months, as well as given the opportunity to participate for incentive prizes
  • Individuals who raise $150 or more by October 10th will receive our exclusive 2020 Out of the Darkness t-shirt!
  • You can connect with our new virtual community by joining our Participant Facebook Group! You'll meet other participants from across the community.

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.  Question that isn't answered? Reach out to us at

Schedule of Activities

Stay tuned for detailed information on upcoming activities.  We look forward to sharing many ways you can participate, both online and in person.  We are excited to share the following ways to participate with you.  Watch your email and social media for details on these and more experiences as our plans continue to develop.

Ongoing through 9/7 - Hope Lives Here Decorating Contest

Have YOU entered Virginia's Hope Lives Here contest? There are prizes to be had, but the best reward is knowing you're spreading HOPE in your neighborhood! Contest runs through September 7th.   Visit to get started.

Ongoing through 9/12 - Wellness Challenge

The Out of the Darkness Wellness Challenge runs through Sunday, September 13th.  By joining the challenge, you'll take action for suicide prevention by tracking your daily activities using the Kilter Rewards app.  It's not too late to join us and show the world that we're #TogetherToFightSuicide.  Sign up for our East Central Division Team here.  

Ongoing - Hope in the Mailbox

Brighten someone's day by sending them a free postcard.  Each year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Walks bring communities across the country together to fight suicide and deliver hope to all who may be struggling with a mental health condition or loss of a loved one. While there may be some limitations on how we can gather in person this year, we can still send hope and let people know that they are not alone.  Complete the form below and we’ll drop a postcard in the mail to bring a smile to someone's face by letting them know they’re on your mind.  Get started at

Ongoing September 1st - 30th - Facebook for a Face Mask Challenge

Registered participants who set up a Facebook fundraiser THROUGH THEIR EXPERIENCE PARTICIPANT PAGE (cannot be set up directly on Facebook) that raises at least $50 will receive our AFSP Virginia face mask, featuring our HOPE logo. Mask is navy with white print. See your email and our social media for details.


September 10, 2020:  Lights of Hope: A World Suicide Prevention Day Candle Lighting

On September 10th, World Suicide Prevention Day, we light a candle near a window at 8 PM to show support for suicide prevention, remember a lost loved one, and honor survivors. Join the East Central Division of AFSP at 8 PM EST as we go live on Facebook for a virtual candle lighting ceremony, featuring volunteers from across the country.  Click here for details.

Saturday, September 19, 2020 - Market Square

On September 19th, we will be at Market Square in Downtown Roanoke from 10AM to 2PM collecting photos, inspirational quotes, or any other tributes to lost loved ones that will be displayed during our virtual ceremony on October 10th.   Walk flyers will also be available for pickup if you can help distribute some in the community.

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 - Bead Pick-Up

Visit us at Starbucks, 1499 W Main Street, Salem, between 11AM and 1PM.  We will have honor beads normally obtained at the walk available.  We know how much wearing the beads means to all of us, and we want to make sure you have the opportunity to get them!

Saturday, October 10th, 2020 - Online Ceremony & Virtual Walk Day

Information is coming soon on how to participate in our online ceremony!

Stay tuned for details on upcoming activities as we continue to plan ways our community can come #TogetherToFightSuicide.

Help Spread the Word!

Please help promote the event through your social media outlets! #OutoftheDarkness #TogetherToFightSuicide

  Follow us on Facebook! Post to your Facebook page and add the direct link to your fundraising page. We also invite you to join our  Salem-Roanoke Participant Facebook Group to stay up to receive our newest information and updates.
  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 10/10/2020 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt!

EXCLUSIVE FOR 2020:  Teams who raise $1,000 prior to our print deadline of August 31st will have their team name appear on the back of our official event T-shirt!


Activities of Hope and Healing

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


Thank you for your support!