The Samaritans 2018 Boston Marathon Team is off to a great start, with more than $26,400 raised toward our team goal of $145,000! The 12 dedicated individuals on this team are loss survivors, volunteers, and callers that have benefited from our Helpline. They are taking on 26.2 miles to raise funds and support Samaritans’ life saving services.
Each month, we’ll be highlighting three members of our outstanding team to share their stories. This month, meet Rachael, Brian, and Julia:
“I’ve personally leaned on the life saving services Samaritans offers (Hey, they work!)”
I’m very excited to be running the Boston Marathon in April as a part of the 2018 Samaritans team. That’s right! Come Marathon Monday, instead of a leisurely brunch followed by standing in the crowd along Boylston St. cheering on the runners, I WILL BE a runner. I’ll be slogging down Gatorade and gel packs for 26.2 miles and probably slipping on all the Body Glide I use.
Best of all, I’ll be supporting Samaritans, Inc. Samaritans is a Boston-based organization that works to prevent suicide by operating a 24/7 Helpline and offering suicide prevention workshops at schools, businesses and community events. They also provide grief services to survivors who have lost someone to suicide through support groups, in-home visits and special events throughout the year. All free of charge. Suicide has touched my family, friends, classmates and myself, as I’ve personally leaned on the life saving services Samaritans offers (Hey, they work!) In short they are the greatest and save people’s lives in more ways than one.
My goal is to raise $7,000, 100% of which goes right to Samaritans to support their life saving services (also tax deductible). I made the first donation in memory of my uncle, who died by suicide as a teenager.
“Our mother, Nancy Andersen, took her own life in 2010…I knew after speaking with Eric that I was going to find a way to run for Samaritans.”
I am honored to be running my 2nd Boston Marathon, this time with the Samaritans team. I have been a charity runner on two other occasions, running the NYC marathon for Project ALS, and the 2017 Boston Marathon for the Alzheimer’s Association of MA/NH. Both of these opportunities allowed me to support causes that had directly impacted people around me, and the feeling of giving back both time and money for those causes was very fulfilling.
I remember speaking to my brother shortly after last year’s race and he said, ‘I think it is great that you are doing so much to support those causes, maybe the next one can be supporting an organization that provides funding for suicide awareness and prevention.’
Our mother, Nancy Andersen, took her own life in 2010; an act that had an immeasurable impact on all of those close to her. I knew after speaking with Eric that I was going to find a way to run for Samaritans. I reached out to the organization and a few months later, I now am a team member and cannot wait to honor the life of our late mother. I know that the money raised will not change what has happened, but I know that if I can help one person reconsider their decision to take their own life by supporting an organization that provides as much as Samaritans does, then I am moving the cause in the right direction.
Brian lives in Milford, MA with his wife and new baby. Support Brian’s $10,000 goal at Brian Andersen.
“In our society where people are so eager to give advice and we are taught to hide our emotions, what Samaritans does is invaluable.”
I am excited to be on Samaritans’ 2018 Boston Marathon team! I have struggled with various mental illnesses including eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. The support of mental health care providers, my friends, and family help me cope with the lows of mental illness so I can experience all the joys life has to offer. I believe everyone deserves such a caring support system.
Samaritans creates a space where people can truly talk about whatever is on their minds and feel validated in their feelings. In our society where people are so eager to give advice and we are taught to hide our emotions, what Samaritans does is invaluable. No one deserves to face suicidal feelings or any mental health struggle alone. This is why I have been volunteering on Samaritans hotline for two and a half years. This is why I helped found a chapter of the Lean On Me text line for college students in my area. And this is why I can’t wait to run the Boston Marathon with Samaritans!!! All funds I raise will benefit Samaritans’ suicide prevention services. Thank you for supporting me on this journey!!