Samantha Garcia/Staff Writer
Suicide prevention month just passed, and the annual Out of the Darkness 5K walk took place on Sunday, October 6.
Together we united to fight against one thing: hate.
In a world full of opportunity—opportunity for love, good fortune, and success—there should be no room for contempt.
I decided to volunteer and support an empowering cause, arriving at Tropical Park at 6 a.m. to help set up for the walk. Once the event started, my job was to manage the ribbons table.
Different colored ribbons represented each participant’s relationship to suicide prevention. Green represented personal attempts and struggles with suicide, whereas teal represented support to those struggling. I wore blue in support of suicide prevention as a whole.
Participants would write the name of who they were supporting or walking in memory of on the color-coded ribbon. There were also decorable pins with the phrase “I walk for” at our table; I finished my phrase with “you.”
It was astonishing to hear so many heartbreaking stories from the families of the victims. The words they shared were so wholesome and full of love. Strangers would come up to the table and just ask if I was okay with such genuine sentiments and assure me that I was loved.
Speaking of feeling loved, one of my favorite parts of the walk was the dogs. There were dogs everywhere.
Nothing in the world can make a person feel better than an adorable dog jumping to play with them, staring back with sweet and innocent eyes. If a stranger’s dog can instantly love us, then we have a lot to live for.
The walk was truly an eyeopener; sometimes we’re so caught up with our busy lives, focusing on clocking out, or stressing about the upcoming midterms, that we forget to take a step back and smell the roses. It’s the little things that make life worth living.
I was in Tropical Park from 6 in the morning until midday, but I wasn’t even upset that I could have been sleeping. I was complacent with my actions; I felt the sun kiss my shoulders and I heard the wind whisper, “isn’t it a beautiful day?” That’s when I took a step back and realized how beautiful the world that we live in truly is.
I would definitely recommend attending and volunteering in community walks. If you’re looking for a sense of belonging or just looking to be more involved, definitely try them out.
And if you’re struggling, remember the Out of the Darkness mantra and “breathe.”
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Featured photo from Wikicommons.