September is Suicide Prevention Month – the month when mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. Each year my team, the Jay Walkers, get together to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and put a spotlight on this cause, and we’re doing it again this year. But our ultimate success relies on the generosity of people like you who believe mental health is as important as physical health. People who want to remove the stigma that is oftentimes associated with admitting to a mental illness and that can become an obstacle to getting necessary treatment.
Normally, I’d write a pitch about why this cause is important to me, but instead mixing it up this year.
Let’s Talk Incentives
When you donate to the Jay Walkers for this year’s Out of the Darkness Walk (link below)… https://supporting.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=2422339
…you get to choose from one of these many fine incentives:
- $5 – A “thank you” shoutout on my social media accounts letting everyone know how awesome you are, because you are!
- $10 – Your choice of:
- A watercolor portrait of you or your pet. DISCLAIMER: I don’t know how to paint. Seriously, think of it as a disaster-piece, but hey it’s from the heart.
- An original haiku. DISCLAIMER: I’m also rubbish at poetry, but again… from the heart!
- $15 – Your choice of:
- An AFSP Out of the Darkness Wristband (yellow band with blue lettering)
- An AFSP You Are Not Alone button
- $25 – A bad recap of your favorite movie/book on TikTok featuring my friend Anna and me! There may be props! There may be costumes!!! Who knows? The only thing I can guarantee is that it will be terrible! Think Siskel and Ebert, but like if they were really bad at their jobs – then imagine something 10x worse.
- $50 – One entry to win a gift bundle – each additional $50 up to $250 will give you additional entries. Must be in the Greater Austin area or able to come to Austin to get this incentive. Here’s what’s included:
- Gift certificate for Georgetown Pie Co. – donated in memory of Erika DeBrabander (1996-2021)
- A Hand Crafted Candle by Bug Makes Candles – wine inspired scents donated by Bug, a crafty 17 year old
- A Batch of Cookies – donated by my lovely and talented cousin, Kimberly – one of the best bakers I know
- Gift Certificate for Lark & Owl Booksellers – a really cool independent book store and bistro founded by women in Georgetown
- Gift Certificate for a Massage at Round Rock Health & Wellness
- $75 – A batch of cookies – cookies made by Kimberly – (must be in the Greater Austin area for delivery/pick-up – trust me)
- $150 – Hangout w/ Beth: Nerd Style Options!
- Ever wanted to try D&D? Now’s your chance! Guest Star in a D&D Campaign – Homemade BBQ by Jim (Friends/Family Only)
- D&D not your thing but board games are? Come play board games with a pack of board game lovin’ nerds? Now’s your chance! You, me, and a bunch of my friends will go to Emerald Tavern, play games, and I’ll buy you a pint. I’m really terrible. You’ll likely win. Who doesn’t like winning?
- $200 – The “Let’s Get Serious” Options:
- Axe Throwing at High Five – you, me and some axes
- VR Sandbox – You pick the adventure and let’s go play a VR game!
- Archery at Central Texas Archery – Grab your bow or borrow theirs, and let’s go shoot arrows (you must have completed the First Time class at CTA)
All donations come with the warm fuzzies of knowing you did something awesome. Whether you donated $1 or $200, you’ve made a statement that mental health is important and making an important impact on your community.
Do it for Erika and Austin (my close friend’s partner), who we lost in 2021.
Do it for those who struggle.
Do it for those who impacted by those deaths.
Do it for Jay.
Do it for me.
Choose to make a difference.
I want that wristband! I’ve got into wearing affimation wristbands lately, with things like “You matter” in the inside. I figure it can be mailed in a little envelope without costing much in postage.
David, send me your address and I will get you a couple. When we can all get together here in Austin, I want to paint rocks as a group project with affirmative messages on them and then leave them around various parks and paths for people to stumble upon. You never know who needs that message.