In This Issue
Out and About
Annual Memorial Event
Thank You, Beth!
2014 Marathon Team
SafePlace is Coming to South Boston!
Comfort Zone Camp

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September 28th was
A Great Day to Be Alive!
Out and About
Our Community Outreach and Education team was busy in November! They met with over 1,000 people through seminars at:
  • Algonquin High School
  • Brown Middle School
  • Dorcester Community Academy
  • Edward Devotion School
  • Galvin Middle School
  • Goodwill 
  • Hopkinton High School
  • Lawrence School
  • MA School of Professional Psychology
  • PACE Elder Service Plans for MA Seniors
  • Roosevelt Apartments
  • Suffolk University
  • Walden Behavioral Care 

If you would like our Community Outreach and Education team to speak at your school or event, contact Kelley Cunningham

Join us for the Annual Memorial Event
As you make your plans for the beginning of the new year, please mark Sunday, January 5th on your calendar to join us for Samaritans' Annual Memorial Event.

Each year, we meet at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington Center to remember those lost to suicide - whether through a song, poem, writing that captures our thoughts and feelings or through silent observance. Please note that this year's event will be held earlier than in previous years. The program will run from 3-5 p.m. and following the program we will gather for coffee and the chance to reconnect and build upon the community of support we have created at Samaritans.


For more information, to RSVP, and to submit a piece of writing or your loved one's name to be included in the program, please visit the Annual Memorial webpage or contact

Thank You, Beth!
Beth's open house
After dedicating 12 years to Samaritans, we were all sad to say goodbye to our friend and Chief Development Officer, Beth. Of course it is not really goodbye, since Beth will always be a part of Samaritans' community, but we're all going to miss seeing her on a regular basis! We're still working to fill Beth's shoes, so if you or someone you know has experience in nonprofit development and is committed to Samaritans' mission, contact Tracy Marshall
Celebrating the Holiday Season!

Last week, Samaritans staff and volunteers gathered to celebrate the holiday season. Over dinner, we conversed about shared  experiences within the organization. Sharing stories, advice, and inspiration made this event truly spectacular.  Thank you volunteers for your dedication and compassion to Samaritans!



41 West St., 4th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02111
Roberta at finish

2013 has been a year of unanticipated challenges and triumphs. No one expected the tragedy that impacted our city and increased the volume of calls to our crisis lines following the bombings at the Boston Marathon. We have been amazed at how offering crisis services via texting to young people has resulted in more than 3,000 exchanges since its launch in August with teens who are struggling and are at great risk for suicide. Surprised is an understatement when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, helping cap a season of healing for all of their fans. We have been thankful for the 20 years of governance that Thomas Menino has provided as Mayor of Boston and for his leadership in making our communities healthier and happier places to live.


We are grateful that our Happier Boston campaign received so much media attention and engaged so many members of the community in unexpected and fun ways. Whether being greeted at a train station, receiving free ice cream on one of the hottest days of summer, or being handed flowers - Samaritans loved creating smiles and  changing the conversation about suicide prevention to focus on human connection and its power to create hope and make a positive impact in people's lives. At Samaritans we are no strangers to pain and suffering, yet we know the transformation that comes from sharing difficult emotions, tragic stories and deep sorrow. We are here, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen when no one else will - and we've learned that, in doing so, we change lives, we build bridges and we give hope - both to the people we serve, and to ourselves.


We want to do more. In addition to the thousands of lives we make better through our crises services, education workshops, and grief support services, we want more people to know the power that comes from bringing compassion and kindness to your everyday life. You can help us make a difference in someone's life, and you can help Samaritans in our efforts to increase our community's health and happiness: consider volunteering, help us identify sponsors for our marathon team or other events, make your own donation to share your happiness and hope with others.


Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season,





Roberta's signature
Roberta Hurtig, Executive Director
Meet our 2014 Marathon Team! 

We're so excited to announce our 2014 Marathon Team, who will be Running the Distance for Suicide Prevention in the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014! Thanks to the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program, this is  the seventh consecutive year that Samaritans has received bib numbers for our marathon team. After starting out with two runners in 2007, we are thrilled to have 22 amazing people participating on our behalf this year. To learn more about what inspires them to raise awareness and funds for Samaritans, visit the team's Crowdrise pages.      


Interested in Running the Distance for Suicide Prevention? 
Even if you are not running the Boston Marathon this year, you can still raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention by participating in the Samaritans' Running Club. Select an athletic event of your choosing, and Samaritans will work with you on determining a fundraising goal and developing a fundraising and training plan. Contact Eve Rabinowitz for more information on Samaritans' Running Club.
SafePlace is Coming to South Boston! 

Beginning January 15, Samaritans' Grief Support Services will launch South Boston SafePlace - a support group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.


"Our goal is to provide a caring atmosphere for those who've been affected by suicide to talk, Debbie listen, grieve, be understood, find others to relate to and hopefully
experience some healing in the process," said Debbie DiMasi, Director of Grief Support Services for Samaritans.


SafePlace meetings are free, confidential, ongoing, and open to anyone in who has experienced suicide loss. There is no registration necessary. Staff and trained volunteers, most of whom have experienced suicide loss themselves, facilitate the meetings and all participants are survivors as well.

"Participating in groups like this was a huge help in my coming to terms with my mother's sudden and complicated passing," said Jennifer Matoney, a Samaritans volunteer who lost her mother to suicide in 2007.


In South Boston, SafePlace will meet the first and third Wednesday of each month at The Labouré Center located at 275 W Broadway, South Boston. The meetings will take place in Room 200 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


SafePlace currently operates in Amherst, Boston, Framingham, Medford, Quincy and Worcester. For location information please visit the SafePlace webpage or contact

Free Camp for Youth Survivors of Suicide

On Saturday, March 8, the Comfort Zone Camp - a wonderful organization that offers camp to grieving children and teens - is hosting a day for children and teens who have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling or primary caretaker to suicide. This all-day event is co-sponsored by the Department of Public Health, Samaritans, and Comfort Zone Camp and will run from 9:30am - 4pm at Collicot/Cunningham Elementary School in Milton.  


A separate parent/guardian program is held simultaneously. Led by Comfort Zone Camp clinicians, this session offers parents and guardians the opportunity to ask grief-related questions and model how to talk about the death. A free follow up parent program will also be offered on March 20 and registrants will receive details.

To register a camper or for more information, visit the ComfortZone Camp Registration. Campers must register by January 31.


Want to volunteer at Comfort Zone Camp?

This very important camp would not be possible without the help of volunteers. To volunteer at this event, participants must attend a six hour training class conducted by Comfort Zone Camp and agree to state and national criminal background checks. The training session will be held Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 9:30am-3:30pm in Jamaica Plain. To register for the volunteer training and for more information, visit ComfortZone Camp Volunteer Training Registration.