University of Maryland-College Park Brothers Join in Fight for Suicide Prevention
“It stays in the dark, hidden, secret. We can change that.” – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
According to the AFSP, suicide is the third leading cause of death in people ages 15 to 24. Because of this staggering fact, Out of Darkness Walks have popped up all over the country, receiving immense support. Any one walk will see thousands of people walking for loved ones in an effort to fight for suicide prevention. Part of this movement involves campus walks across the nation. In previous years, the University of Maryland-College Park has been at the top of this list.
One of the main players in the donation process for the College Park campus’s Out of Darkness Walk remains the Epsilon-Pi chapter. The brothers recently partnered with the AFSP, adding the organization’s cause to their philanthropy endeavors. High Alpha Ryan Goldberg describes the partnership with the AFSP as one which members are very passionate about, especially senior CJ Pendleton. Pendleton is a victim of suicide loss and gives a powerful speech to participants before the walk begins.
“Unfortunately, suicide is something I have seen firsthand in my life and prevention is something that means a lot to me, it means a lot to the chapter, especially since one of our guys [Pendleton] has been through it,” said Goldberg. “I know it is something that really affects people and this program does what it can to help those families who have fallen victim to it. The money that we are raising is going towards a great cause and it is being used properly.”
Last year, Lambda Chi members aided in the university’s efforts to raise over 40,000 dollars for the cause, supporting the largest grossing walk on a college campus across the United States. This year is no different. Already, the Epsilon-Pi chapter has doubled what they raised last year and is still going.
To raise as much money as they can for the walk, Goldberg has introduced weekly raffles. He hopes to increase the motivation by drawing from the top ten fundraisers each week, the winner receiving a gift card of some sort.
While the Out of Darkness Walk serves as a wonderful bonding experience for Lambda Chi members, it is the cause that they are most excited about. Funds that the chapter raises will go towards research, creating educational programs about suicide prevention, and supporting survivors of suicide loss.
“What I really want our members to get out of this is that this cause is something that we really care about, we want to show our support for our brother, show support for the cause,” said Goldberg. “We are just trying to leave a positive impact.”
The 2017 University of Maryland-College Park Out of Darkness Walk is set to take place on April 9.
To support the brothers of Epsilon-Pi in their walk, please click here.