Join us on October 2, 2021
Welcome to the Out of the Darkness Fairfax 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.
Location: Veterans Amphitheater
Registration: 11:00 am
Event Time: 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
See Event Program w. Walk Route Here
For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Andrea "Hobbit" Brown
Contact Phone: 646-632-5189
Contact Email: Chair.FairfaxWalk@gmail.com
Registration is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted until December 31st.
Important Dates & Upcoming Engagement Opportunities
8/21 Picnic for Prevention (Fairfax Walk Kickoff Party at Kutner Park)
8/27 Sponsor T-Shirt Deadline & Team Name / Walker Name on T-Shirt Deadline
9/17 Sponsor Deadline / Team & Walker Rewards Deadline / last day to purchase Honor & Remembrance Signs
9/18 Fairfax Luminaria Display (at Vienna Town Green)
9/24 Resources Fair Application Deadline
10/2 Fairfax Out of the Darkness Walk Day!!! To help make this event possible, please Sign Up to Volunteer at the Walk Here.
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
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).
Join Our 2021 Fairfax 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.
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 email@example.com.
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).
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:
- 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.
- We remain dedicated to providing you with opportunities to connect, heal, share stories, create impact, and show you that you are not alone.
- 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??
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 Twitter. You 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.
Earn a Free Tee! Raise $150 by 10/02/2021 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 Fairfax Out of the Darkness Walk t-shirts. See Sponsor Packet and Team & Walker Rewards for details. Deadline: August 27, 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 Rewards. Deadline: September 17, 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).
This event would not be possible without the help of our amazing volunteers! To help us on the day of the Walk (10/2/21), 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 Fairfax 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 27, 2021
Overall Sponsor Deadline: September 17, 2021
Sponsorship Questions? Contact NCAC Development Chair Jessica Lincoln at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 the 2021 Fairfax 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 24, 2021
#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/Fairfax in your drawings, so people know to register and support the Walk!
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 Fairfax 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 Fairfax 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 17, 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 Vienna Town Square on September 18, 2021. Please check out the Fairfax 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!
"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.
The walk route is approximately 1.9 miles long, paved, and relatively flat. Walkers can absolutely bring strollers on the walk with them as this event is for the whole family. See Fairfax's Walk Route Map.
Attendees may park in the lot behind City Hall and overflow street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhoods (east of George Mason Blvd. and west of Chain Bridge Rd.). There are also several public parking lots and garages throughout Historic Fairfax and the Courthouse complex. We do recommend you arrive early to ensure you get a space at / close to the event.
Welcome Lisa Berigan & BIG100
You know her from her nationally-syndicated radio program 'Live in Concert," and popular BIG 100 segments like the BIG Workforce Block, 11 o'clock LIVE, and Lisa's Animal Tales. Lisa Berigan has been a trusted voice in Washington, D.C. for years and, as emcee of the 2021 Fairfax Out of the Darkness Walk’s opening ceremony, she has joined the AFSP once again this year to #BeTheVoice for suicide prevention!
Q: What if it rains?
A: The event is rain or shine.
Q: Where will I be able to park?
A: There will be on-site parking at Veterans Amphitheater located in the lot behind City Hall. For additional overflow parking, there are several parking garages available between the Fairfax County Courthouse (closest overflow option) and Historic Fairfax.
Q: Is the route kid-friendly?
A: Yes! The route is paved and stroller-friendly. See the Walk Route Map for more detail. However, the pre-walk event is in a shaded, grassy field. Therefore, if it rains in the days leading up to the event, the field may be muddy and difficult to navigate with a stroller.
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 Fairfax 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.
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 with handwashing stations on-site for our guests and volunteers.
Q: Any must-have items I should bring?
A: We recommend bringing comfy shoes, bug spray, sunscreen, water, donations, and money (cash or credit card) to purchase raffle tickets and your AFSP swag!.
Q: Will there be food & drink available?
A: We will have water and light snacks available to participants and volunteers. We strongly encourage guests to bring their own refillable water bottles to minimize waste.
Q: Where do I go if I need First Aid assistance?
A: Fairfax County CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) will be on-site to assist anyone who may need first-aid assistance. Their command post vehicle, the "CERT Green Machine," will be located in front of City Hall. On the Walk Route, you will also be able to find CERT volunteers riding their bikes, ready to help. In addition, we will have police officers on-site and along the Walk Route. And, of course, if there is an emergency or you need immediate care while out on the Walk Route, you can always 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" or you can find them inside the Volunteer Check-in Tent.
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: Who may I contact for additional questions?
A: Fairfax Walk Chair Andrea "Hobbit" Brown Chair.FairfaxWalk@gmail.com or Fairfax Deputy Chair Leslie Washington at DeputyChair.FairfaxWalk@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.
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!