Join us on October 3, 2020
Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Waco Experience
While the Out of the Darkness Walks in Central Texas are going to be different this year, our mission to Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide has not changed. Mental health and suicide prevention are more important than ever. 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.
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, in honor of the person(s) for whom they walk and in commemoration of the 2020 Waco Out of the Darkness Experience. This is an opportunity to bring our messages of hope and awareness to the places we call home! So wear your OOTD walk t-shirts and beads with pride and share your experiences in our HOPE Hub or on social media using our hashtag #TexasTogether.
We would still like to connect with you in person in a way that keeps you and our volunteers safe while following the CDC and local guidelines. As a result, we've been working hard to transition to the Drive to Fight Suicide Waco Out of the Darkness Event. At this event you will be able to pick up T-shirts and resources, participate in a memorial event, drop off donations, and purchase merchandise - entirely from your car. (*pending CDC and local guidelines)
We are always #TogethertoFightSuicide.
Click the Register Now button at the top of the page to get started right away.
Join the #TexasTogether Initiative
By registering for the Waco Out of the Darkness Experience, you get a two for one deal. When you register you will also get access to our Texas Together Campaign. On October 17th, AFSP Texas is hosting an Out of the Darkness online experience, featuring suicide prevention and volunteer trainings, opportunities to share your story while honoring our loved ones, actionable awareness activities that you can be a part of, as well as virtual platforms for participants across the state to connect with other teams and individuals passionate about suicide prevention and mental health. Learn more at afsp.org/texas.
Drive Through Details:
Location: Calvary Baptist Church
Time: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Where you are! Your neighborhood, a park, or your backyard!
For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Jennifer Warnick
Contact Phone: 512-661-9335
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is free and open to the public. Walk donations are accepted until December 31st.
5 Ways You Can Raise Awareness and #StopSuicide
- Download this Hope Lives in Texas sign. Snap a picture of you in your favorite Texas location.
- Check out the social sharing images and let people know that together, we can #keepgoing.
- Make a Facebook fundraiser. Be sure to start your fundraiser through your dashboard to have the donations go toward your fundraising. Learn how here.
- Share a photo of who you are walking for to the HOPE Hub or to social media using #TexasTogether and #keepgoing
- Get out and walk! Take a walk in your neighborhood or favorite community park. To make things more fun, you can chalk your walk by decorating the sidewalk with words or encouragement. Be sure to let us know how many miles you walked so that we can calculate how many miles we walked together to fight suicide.
Calendar of upcoming experience events
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!
How You Can Help
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).
Join the HOPE Hub
Our walks typically provide opportunities to share “Why I Walk” or a message of HOPE. This year the we are bringing this opportunity to you digitally. Click HERE to submit a video (30-45 seconds long) or picture with text for why you walk.
Consider a message that speaks to one or more of these three themes:
- You’ve lost someone and you want to share about them.
- You have a message of hope to others that have lost loved ones.
- You have a message of hope for those that struggle or who have survived an attempt.
Share on Social Media
Share your story, post photos, invite others to join and donate towards your fundraising efforts. Social media is a powerful tool!
Be sure to use #afsptexas, #TexasTogether, #TogetherToFightSuicide. Don't forget to follow us, too!
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 $25 and receive the limited edition HOPE mask!
Raise $150 by October 3rd and receive the official 2020 Out of the Darkness t-shirt!
Shirts are being mailed this year. To get your shirt by October 3rd raise $150 by September 4th. If you raise $150 after September 4th you will get your shirt after October 3rd.
Once you’ve registered, set up a Facebook
fundraiser to raise awareness and donations for
the event! Follow these quick and easy steps!
Become a Sponsor
Download the Waco Walk Sponsorship Packet. With sponsorship opportunities starting at only $250, this is a perfect opportunity for large and small businesses to play a role in making suicide prevention a priority in the community. All sponsors will receive marketing and publicity benefits!
Upload agreement and logo online
Activities of Hope and Healing
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.
Waco Experience FAQ's
When and where Is the drive through event?
Saturday, October 3rd at Brazos Park East. Drop in anytime between 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Is there a registration fee?
No, there is no registration fee to participate.
How do I register for the Waco Out of the Darkness Event?
View a step-by-step registration guide here.
Is there a fundraising minimum?
No, but we encourage each participant to set a
$150 fundraising goal to help support AFSP's
work to stop suicide and receive the official event shirt!
Are pets allowed at the drive through?
Sure, as long as they stay in the car with you at all times.
Where do I drive?
We will update the website and send out an e-mail as soon as the route is confirmed. Be sure to sign up for the Waco Experience today to receive the more up-to-date information as it becomes available.
Are we still walking?
We encourage you to take a walk with your team on October 3rd. To make your walk unique and fun, we encourage you to chalk your walk, decorate sidewalks with words of HOPE, or rock your walk, decorate rocks to leave on your walk route. Share with us your miles walks so we can calculate how many miles we walked together to fight suicide. Take pictures and add them to the HOPE Hub or post them to social media using #TexasTogether and #TogethertoFightSuicide.
Why participate in the Waco Experience?
When you participate in the Out of the Darkness Experience, you join the effort of hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.
Thanks to Participants and Donors like you, AFSP has been able to set a bold goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025
The Out of the Darkness Walk 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! We look forward to seeing you at the Waco Experience!