Welcome to Allison Backman's Fundraising Page
Welcome to my personal fundraising webpage in support of the Samaritans 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention on Saturday, September 23! I am participating in the 5K to raise funds and awareness for Samaritans, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of suicide in our community.
This will be my third year running the Samaritans 5k, and I am so excited to do so. For the past two years, I ran the race together with my beloved chocolate lab, Oakley. Our first year, we raised almost $1,200, one of the highest amounts for an individual fund-raiser within the Samaritans, and our second year, we raised over $1,800! Crossing the finish line with him both years has been such an emotional moment, as not only had I succeeded at running the entire race without stopping (a personal goal both times!), but because I knew that I was part of a community of individuals working for an important and valuable cause. I will be honest that I really, truly hate running, and the fact that I have run this race before does NOT make it any easier or more enjoyable to do it again. However, I also know that there are plenty of people out there in all kinds of unbearable mental anguish. Surely my 35 minutes of physical pain during a 5k is worth it, if it means that I can raise some money for those who benefit from the Samaritans and all that we do. Maybe my fundraising money will help save even one life- I would certainly consider that worth running for!
As many of you may already know, I have faced my own struggles with mental illness from a young age. Luckily for me, I have had incredible family, friends, and treatment that have gotten me through some really tough times. I am so lucky to be here today, advocating for the mental health of others in my community, especially those for whom the Samaritans is their main life-line. I have had the opportunity to work for the Samaritans twice now- once back in college, and now once more during my crazy graduate school years. I continue with them because I value the work that Samaritans does, and it is my honor to run for someone else's life in the 5k.
In my time studying social work and public health, I have learned that my work in suicide prevention goes so much further than just helping privileged white suburban individuals like myself. In fact, suicide affects marginalized communities even more than it affects people who look like me. Here are some facts that are particularly distressing to me:
- Statistics indicate that about 40% of adults who identify as transgender have made a suicide attempt (compared to about 2% of all people),
- That lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning youth are four times as likely as straight youth to attempt suicide,
- That the rate of suicide for black boys has doubled between 1993 and 2012,
- That rates for suicide among Native American youth are considered to be at crisis-levels far above national averages,
- That individuals involved in the criminal justice system are three times as likely to have suicidal thoughts than those not involved,
- And that people living at or below the poverty level are twice as likely to die by suicide as individuals living above it.
All proceeds help fund Samaritans' life saving services, including the 24/7 Helplines, Community Education and Outreach, and Grief Support Services for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. These vital services are available locally to families, friends and neighbors, free of charge. Samaritans answers calls from Greater Boston, MetroWest, the State Wide toll free number, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
You can help me prevent suicide by clicking the Donate Now button to sponsor my efforts in meeting my fundraising goal of $2000, and join me in raising funds and awareness for this organization's amazing cause!
Thank you so much for your support, as you are helping to save lives and to make our communities safer!
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