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Take a Beautiful Walk, Prevent Suicide

Have you ever walked into a place and simply felt welcome there? An invisible stamp you all seem to share. That's what SPS is about. A place where you are not alone.

On September 8th, Suicide Prevention Services of America (SPS) will be hosting it's annual HERE FOR LIFE! Walk. This will be the fifth year I have walked.

We walk eight miles. Beginning at the large Pavillion in Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles and walking to the Windmill across from Fabyan Park in Geneva.
 
The walk begins with a balloon launch to memorialize our loved ones. Each loved one's name is read out loud. It's touching. Each year, I write my Grandma's name on a balloon and release it after her name is said.

After, we begin our walk. My brother Michael walks with me, sort of. He's so social and quick that he ends up way ahead of where I am. We make friends along the way. It's scenic and lovely along the river. There are stations for water and snacks along the way.

Here is a video I made about the walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQA_K9gvY14
 
The sidewalks have words of encouragement: Keep going. You can do it. HERE FOR LIFE. Each mile is marked with a Mile Marker. Mile Markers often have pictures of loved ones. My Grandma has a mile marker each year.
 
The walk ends with a big picnic. We celebrate life.
 
My Grandma's picture is on our family shirts this year. The walk is also on my son Ryan's 6th birthday. We'll have a special family balloon launch just for him.

To make a donation to the walk via my personal page, please click here: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/peeka/Here4Life2012
All donations go to SPS, a non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.

It's our largest yearly SPS event. We count on the fundraising and donations from this event to keep SPS alive and offering services. My mom founded SPS. It was first the Crisis Line of the Fox Valley. It evolved to become Suicide Prevention Services on May 29th, 1998.

SPS is one of seven agencies in the nation that offer all of the services that it does: training, counseling, a telephone hotline, depression screening, support groups for both attempters and for survivors (people who have lost someone they loved to suicide) and more.

The dedication of the employees and volunteers is amazing.
 
I have been the SPS volunteer Webmaster and Internet Marketer since 2008.
I can honestly say it's the most rewarding work I have ever done. 

This year is the 30th anniversary of the support group my mom began: Survivors of Suicide. The group meets in both Aurora and Sandwich, once a month. For more information: www.spsamerica.org

There is still time to register to walk: http://www.firstgiving.com/spsamerica/Here4Life2012  
Click the GREEN Register Now button to sign up.

Rain or shine, we'll be walking. Remembering. And doing our best to raise money to prevent suicide.

www.spsamerica.org    www.facebook.com/suicidepreventionservices  www.twitter.com/spsfv  www.youtube.com/spsfvillinois

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Megghun Redmon August 29, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Thank you Jen, for all the hard work you do for the agency! YOU ROCK!!! I hope all the readers are able to attend the walk.

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