Austin Walk

Join us on October 23, 2021

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Welcome to the 15th Annual Out of the Darkness Austin Walk

 

Event Details

Date: 10/23/2021
Location: Texas State Capitol 
Drive Through Opens: 8:00 am
Event Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Jayne Whisnant & Vicki Saldanha (469-450-6086) 
Contact Phone: 512-529-9622 
Contact Email: centraltx@afsp.org

 

Will you help save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide?

The Out of the Darkness Austin Walk is a special event that provides community, connection, healing, and hope for survivors of suicide loss and those with lived experience.

We are moving forward with plans to host the walk in-person on Saturday, October 23rd. The health and safety of our participants, staff and volunteers will be our top priorities as we work with local authorities to make decisions about event details, and we'll continue to offer options to participate online and in your neighborhood. 

 

Click to see the Guide to the Austin Walk

Click to download and print the Austin Walk Event Program (bingo card scavenger hunt inside)

 

 

Join Us Today

Now, more than ever, it's important to be there for one another and take steps to safeguard our mental health and prevent suicide.

By registering, you are joining 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. Register today to stay up to date on the latest news and announcements. 

Every dollar you raise through the Austin Walk allows AFSP to invest in life-saving research, education, advocacy, and support for those impacted by suicide.

#TogetherToFightSuicide

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

Did you know that 2021 is the 15th year Out of the Darkness Walks have been in Texas?! In 2006 when the Out of the Darkness Walks came to Texas, only a couple hundred people showed up. This fall we are proud to say that we expect well over 10,000 walkers to join us across the state who are walking to fight suicide. 

To celebrate 15 years of Texans Together to Fight Suicide, we've created a one of a kind sticker (pictured to the left). Want to get your hands on one of these stickers? Every registered walker who raises $25 by October 23rd can pick up their Texas Together to Fight Suicide sticker at the Austin Out of the Darkness Walk. 

 

Day of Event: What to Expect


In Person Activities and Expectations

Pre-registered participants will no longer need to check-in at the walk, so we encourage you to register, invite friends, fundraise, and donate in advance to make your day-of event experience as safe and streamlined as possible. However, you can still register at the event and you can still make donations in person.

We will be moving to a staggered arrival format for this walk due to COVID concerns. Registered teams will arrive at their leisure throughout the morning, be provided a map for a self-guided walk route, and can enjoy our various event activities. There will not be a formal Opening Ceremony.

You select your own start time. You and your team can arrive at any time between 9am and 12pm to start your self-guided walk.  

 Additional In Person Activities:

  • Community Resource Booths

  • AFSP Merchandise

  • Team Photo Station

  • Message of Hope in Texas

  • Memory Wall

  • Luminaria Bags

  • Music

  • Children's Read Along of Gizmo's Pawsome Guide to Mental Health

  • Scavenger Hunt

The walls are a place to remember a loved one with a message or photo as well as honor yourself or a loved one.

 
Children's Activities

Gizmo's Pawsome Guide to Mental Health is a children's book that teaches kids about their emotions and how to identify a trusted adult. Join us for our read along in the children's area at 10am, October 23rd. 

The Austin Fire Department is joining us this year! Engine 1 will be at the walk and available for tours from 9:30am - 11:00am

Austin Raffle

Every year we have a raffle and this year we're letting you purchase tickets online! We will draw raffle items on November 8th. A live stream of the drawing will take place on Facebook. There is an opportunity to get free raffle entries by participating in our onsite bingo card scavenger hunt. 

Purchase raffle tickets and view our prizes here

Route Map and Drive Through Map

If you are walking the route at the Capitol, it is about 1.5 miles long. If you are coming for the drive through, you will come south San Jacinto, turn right on 13th street, you'll see the drive through. Click here to see a visual of both routes. 

Out of the Darkness Mosaic

Show how our communities across the country are working #TogetherToFightSuicide by uploading your photos to our digital photo mosaic.

 
 
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.

Walking Virtually?

If you can’t make it on Saturday, we invite walkers and teams to safely walk in their neighborhoods and parks across our community! This is an opportunity to bring our messages of hope and awareness to the places we call home and share your experiences on social media! Use #HopeWalksinATX and #TogetherToFightSuicide when posting your pictures.

For those walking virtually, we will have a drive through pick-up option the day of the walk outside the East Gate of the Capitol. This is an opportunity for you to pick-up honor beads, t-shirts**, and make donations. 

**Event shirts are for those who have raised $150**

Visit this link to listen to Audacy's EXCLUSIVE Out of the Darkness playlist this fall, to provide an inspirational soundtrack no matter where you walk to help #stopsuicide

Here’s how you access the AFSP Out of the Darkness station: 

  1.  Download the Audacy App
  2.  Search AFSP, click on the "AFSP Out of the Darkness" station & listen!
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.

How You Can Help

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. The global pandemic has impacted the emotional and economic well-being of many individuals and families, and left many of us to manage a variety of emotions, including feelings of uncertainty. We also know increases in suicide are not a foregone conclusion if we act now to mitigate risk and support the mental health of our friends, families, and neighbors. But we need your help. Every dollar you raise through the Out of the Darkness Walks allows AFSP to invest in life-saving research, education, advocacy, and support for those impacted by suicide. 

It’s more important than ever for us to stay connected. 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.

Register Today and help save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.


Volunteer at the Event

We need over 75 volunteers to help before, during and after the walk. Please review the available time slots from this link and  sign up to volunteer. Thank you in advance for considering this important volunteer opportunity. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. Please share to help spread the word. Thank you again for helping make this another great walk!

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!  Spread the word and ask for support by sharing the videos and social shares in the participant hub.

Be sure to use #afsptexas, #TexasTogether, #TogetherToFightSuicide, and #HOPELivesinATX. Don't forget to follow us, too! @AFSPCTX  (Instagram & Twitter), @AFSPCentralTX (Facebook)

There are many more social media outlets, please use any and all to help promote the event.  Tell your story about why you walk.

 
Fundraise to Help #StopSuicide

Individual Incentives

$150+ - Walk t-shirt. Raise $150 by October 23rd and receive the official Out of the Darkness Walk t-shirt!

$500-$999 - Red Ribbon Walker. Receive a red ribbon on-site.

$1,000+ - Blue Ribbon Walker. Receive a blue ribbon on-site.

Team Incentives

$1,500: Team Sign. Raise $1,500 as a team by October 21st and look for a hand decorated sign with your teams name on the walk route.

$2,000: Team Spotlight: Raise $2,000 and get a spotlight for your team on social media. 

$5,000: Team Banner. Raise $5,000 by October 17th and receive a banner for your team at the event. 

Top 5 Teams: We will have a tent for our top 5 teams the day of the event. 

Promote the Walk in Your Community! 

Download the walk flyer here to share with businesses, apartment buildings, etc. in your community.

 
Team Captain Toolkit

Team Captain Toolkit: Being on a team enhances the experience of each and every one of your team members, providing a built-in support system and a goal towards which you will all strive (and stride) together. A team captain's role is vital to the success of the Out of the Darkness Walks. Click here to access our Team Captain Toolkit and access some tips, tricks, and resources. 

 

Once you’ve registered, set up a Facebook
fundraiser to raise awareness and donations for
the event! Follow these quick and easy steps! Prefer the video tutorial? Find it here

In addition to fundraising online, you will be able to turn in additional cash or check donations on-site.

Become a Sponsor

Sponsoring the Austin Walk shows the community and your employees that your business cares about mental health and suicide prevention. Become a partner to help stop this leading cause of death.

 

Austin Walk FAQs


Is there a registration fee?
No, there is no registration fee to participate.

 

If I raise enough money, will my whole team get a shirt?
No. The event shirts are only given to individuals who raise $150. If your whole team wants a shirt, each member should raise $150. 

 

How do I make an offline donation?
To send a donation by check, please complete this form and send it with your check to the address provided.

Is there a fundraising minimum?
No, but we strongly encourage each participant to set a $150 fundraising goal to help support AFSP's work to stop suicide and receive the official walk t-shirt!

 

Are pets allowed?
Sure, as long as they are leashed and well behaved. 

 

For additional questions, please email centraltx@afsp.org.

 

Thank you for your support!