Loudoun Walk

Join us on September 26, 2021

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Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Loudoun Walk

Congratulations to the National Capital Area Chapter, winner of the following 2021 AFSP Chapter Leadership Awards recognizing their 2020 Outstanding Achievements:

Chapter of the Year! Large Market

Outstanding Chapter Public Relations

#8 Top-Fundraising Out of the Darkness Walk: Washington, D.C.

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Walk Pictures Are Here!!!

See Photos from Walk Day on Facebook
See Event Program Here

Date: 09/26/2021
Location: Ida Lee Park 
Registration: 12:00 pm
Event Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Brittany Lang & Sarah Kurtz (DeputyChair.LoudounWalk@gmail.com) 
Contact Phone: 646-632-5189 
Contact Email: Chair.LoudounWalk@gmail.com

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

#TogetherToFightSuicide

Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

8/14 Zumba & Bollywood Jam for Suicide Prevention (fundraiser for Loudoun Walk)

8/20 Sponsor T-Shirt Deadline & Team Name / Walker Name on T-Shirt Deadline

9/10 Sponsor Deadline Team & Walker Rewards Deadline / last day to purchase Honor & Remembrance Signs 

9/12 Lost Rhino's BBQ with Benefits (proceeds benefit Loudoun Walk)

9/17 Resources Fair Application Deadline

9/24 NEW DATE Luminaria Display Throughout Walk Season, participants will be able to create a luminaria(s) in honor or remembrance of the person(s) for whom they walk. We will be displaying these luminarias at a special pre-Walk display event at Mervin Jackson Park on September 24, 2021.  Please check out the Loudoun OOTD Luminaira Display website for more details. 

9/26 Loudoun Out of the Darkness Walk Day!!! To help make this event possible, please Sign Up to Volunteer at the Walk Here. Please note that for the safety of your fellow volunteers and guests, all Loudoun OOTD Walk day-of-event volunteers are required to wear a mask. 

11/20 Survivor Day Mark your calendar for November 20th as this year's International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (aka Survivor Day). The AFSP-NCAC will be hosting local Survivor Day events throughout Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Please stay tuned for more information to come. 

12/31 Last day of Fundraising

Ongoing:

Join Our 2021 Loudoun OOTD Planning Committee! Right now, we are striving to build a dedicated team of volunteers who are passionate about prevention and have a diverse set of talents and areas of interest to plan/coordinate this year’s Walk and make 2021 the best year yet! To learn how you can join our team or volunteer with AFSP-NCAC in another way, please complete the AFSP-NCAC online Volunteer Application

Attend an AFSP Program or NCAC Event See all our upcoming program presentations and AFSP National Capital Area Chapter events at afsp.org/NCAC (under the events section).

Interested in Hosting One of AFSP's FREE Evidence-based Educational Programs? We will work with you and your office/organization/community group/etc. to schedule and organize a presentation. To learn more, please contact AFSP-NCAC Education Chair Hannah Menzner at afsp.ncac.education@gmail.com.

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 while we remain hopeful that we'll be able to gather in person once again this fall, we are closely monitoring CDC and local guidelines and will continue to share updates in the coming weeks and months.

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.
Registered and Don't Know What to Do Next?
Start right here by checking out the Top 10 Tips & To-Dos!
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 TwitterYou can also use  hashtags #OutoftheDarkness and #TogetherToFightSuicide


  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.  One of the best ways to raise awareness and increase understanding is by sharing your story.

T-Shirts

Earn a Free Tee!

Raise $150 by 09/26/2021 and receive an official Out of the Darkness T-shirt!

Get Your Logo or Name on the Official Walk T-Shirt! 

$500+ Sponsors, $1,000 Fundraising Walkers, and $2,500+ Fundraising Teams all have the opportunity to get their logo or name on the back of the official 2021 Loudoun Out of the Darkness Walk t-shirts. See Sponsor Packet and Team & Walker Rewards for details. Deadline: August 20, 2021

More Team & Walker Rewards!
Earn Recognition, Team Table or Tent at Walk, Invitations to VIP events, AFSP Swag, and More!
 

To recognize, reward and show our sincere appreciation for our walkers and teams who have exhibited outstanding achievements in fundraising, we are happy and honored to provide the following Team & Walker RewardsDeadlineSeptember 10, 2021

Note:  These rewards are provided in addition to AFSP's Out of the Darkness Fundraising Recognition Gifts offered at the national level (not fulfilled by our local National Capital Area Chapter).

Volunteers Needed!
 

This event would not be possible without the help of our amazing volunteers! To help us on the day of the Walk (9/26/21), please sign up to volunteer at the Walk here.

*We have opportunities for youth and adults. Great for filling community service hours too!

Become a Sponsor!

Download the 2021 Loudoun OOTD Walk 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! 

Sponsor T-Shirt Deadline: August 20, 2021

Overall Sponsor Deadline: September 10, 2021 

Sponsorship Questions? Contact NCAC Development Chair Jessica Lincoln at afsp.ncac.development@gmail.com

Resources Fair

Be sure to arrive early to allow time to explore the Resources Fair where you can find information tables with resources hosted by local organizations. This will be an opportunity for you to gather literature, hear about upcoming events, and connect with others who are dedicated to raising awareness about mental illness and suicide, strengthening prevention efforts, and providing support for survivors of suicide loss and those with lived experience.

If you are with an organization that is interested in participating in the 2021 Loudoun Out of the Darkness Walk’s Resources Fair, please fill out this Resources Fair Application and we will be in touch with you soon with more information.  Resources Fair Application Deadline: September 17, 2021

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 is a 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, the link to your online fundraising page, and #StopSuicideNCAC.  

Chalk It Up You never know who will be following in your footsteps... Use chalk to decorate your driveway or the sidewalks in your neighborhood with messages of hope for others to see! Don't forget to include the link afsp.org/Loudoun in your drawings, so people know to register and support the Walk!

Family Activities

Family Art Activities We will have an area with art supplies on-site near the Gazebo for children and their families to get creative and enjoy!

Fire Engines & Safety Lessons! The Leesburg Volunteer Fire Department will have a fire engine on display for children to enjoy! Also, the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office will provide a fire safety display with information on home fire safety for the whole family. They will have handouts and will answer questions about safety in or around your home. 

Activities of Hope and 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 Loudoun Out of the Darkness Walk 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:

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 With a $50 gift via this website, receive an 18" x 24" sign in honor or remembrance of the person(s) for whom you walk. Your sign will be displayed on the walk route at the 2021 Loudoun Out of the Darkness Walk and you will be able to take it with you after the event so you may cherish it always. Purchase/Print Deadline: September 10, 2021

Luminaria Display Throughout Walk Season, participants will be able to create a luminaria(s) in honor or remembrance of the person(s) for whom they walk. We will be displaying these luminarias at a special pre-Walk display event at Mervin Jackson Park on September 24, 2021 NEW DATE. (rescheduled from 9/17 due to inclement weather).  Please check out the Loudoun OOTD Luminaira Display website for more details. 

Digital Quilt 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

"I'm Walking For" Buttons So you may personalize your own button and wear it proudly as you walk, we will be giving these away at OOTD participant events throughout Walk Season as well as on Walk Day.

 

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

 

Walk Route

The walk route is approximately 2.8 miles and is mostly paved and relatively flat. Walkers can absolutely bring strollers on the walk with them as this event is for the whole family. See Loudoun's Walk Route Map 

FAQs

Q: Where can I share and connect with our community on social media? 

A:  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

Q: What if it rains?

A: The event is rain or shine.

Q: Where do I park?

A: See Parking Map Here. Enter the parking lot in the field directly from N King St. The entrance to the field parking is NOT accessible via Ida Lee Dr NW. Instead, you will want to enter it directly from N. King St just north of Ida Lee Dr. NW and across the street/west of Bridgette Pl NE.   

Q: Is the route kid-friendly?

A: Yes! The route is mostly paved and stroller-friendly. However, it can be challenging to navigate a stroller in the grassy field where the event is located (especially if it has rained). 

Q: Is there a mask requirement to attend?

A: While event participants are strongly encouraged to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, masks are not required to attend as a walker. However, all Loudoun Out of the Darkness Walk day-of-event volunteers and Resources Fair exhibitors will be required to wear a mask to protect all our guests and volunteers.  *Subject to change based on local ordinances. 

Q: Can I bring and set up my own tent/table/chairs for my team?

A: No. We have very limited space at the event and need to ensure that we have enough room for all our event areas that require tents, tables, chairs, etc. while also allowing for adequate social distancing for our guests and volunteers. However, you do have the opportunity to have AFSP provide you with a team tent and/or table at the Walk by earning them through our Team & Walker Rewards!  

Q: Can I bring my dog?

A: Yes! Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome.

Q: Will there be restrooms on-site?

A: Yes, we will have porta-potties at the event site near the Gazebo.
 

Q: Where do I go if I need First Aid assistance?

A: First Aid Assitance is available at Volunteer Check-in. We will also have police officers on-site who can help as well. And, of course, if there is an emergency or you need immediate care while out on the Walk Route, please dial 911.

Q: What is the Care Team?

A: Care Team members are volunteer mental health professionals who will be on-site to talk to anyone who may need support at the Walk. You will be able to identify them by their purple t-shirts that say "Care Team."

Q: If I come alone, will there be anyone for me to walk with?

A: Yes! Volunteer Walk Buddies will be on-site to walk with anyone who does not want to walk alone. You will be able to identify volunteer Walk Buddies by their orange t-shirts that say "Walk Buddy."

Q: Any must-have items I should bring?

A: We recommend bringing comfy shoes, bug spray, sunscreen, water, donations, and money to purchase raffle tickets and your AFSP swag!

Q: Will there be food & drink available?

A: We will have light snacks and water available to participants and volunteers. 

Q: Who may I contact for additional questions?

A: Loudoun Walk Chair Brittany Lang Chair.LoudounWalk@gmail.com or Loudoun Walk Deputy Chair Sarah Kurtz at DeputyChair.LoudounWalk@gmail.com.

Connect with the AFSP National Capital Area Chapter!

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.

AFSP Resources

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 to Our NCAC Out of the Darkness Presenting Sponsor!

 

Thank you for your support!