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Love & Compassion

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, a day that celebrates romantic love and the affection that egraphic-heart.gifxists between family members or friends. At Samaritans, it is also a day for displaying extra love and compassion to those who are strong enough to reach out for help. We want to remind as many as we can that "you are not alone". People can become estranged from their families, can have recently left a relationship, may have moved to a new location or are suffering from conditions or feelings that keep them from connecting with others. But Samaritans is always here. Always with an open heart, with great care and attention, listening to the stories that are shared. We listen for and assess the risk of those who are troubled. We create a safe place for the voices that describe sometimes painful circumstances. Hope is found in the connection that is made and the planning that is done to get someone through a difficult time. We feel great love and appreciation to all of you who help us do this work each and every day. Thank you.  

Crisis Text Line in the News
NYTimes logo As many of you already know, Samaritans was one of only three crisis centers in the country to partner with Crisis Text Line, a subsidiary of DoSomething.org, to bring confidential, compassionate listening to text messaging in order to work with youth who may not feel comfortable reaching out for help over the phone. Since launching the program this past August, our Text/Chat Coordinators, along with our volunteers who were newly-trained in compassionate listening via text, have already answered over 5,000 chats from youth in need. Even without the recognition we were already very proud to be part of this exciting new program, but it was still a thrill to see an article on Crisis Text Line on the front page of The New York Times last week! If you haven't had a chance to read the article yet, with quotes from our Chief Program Officer, Ron White, and one of our wonderful Text/Chat Coordinators, Beata Momtaz, click here.
South Boston SafePlace
January was an exciting month for our Grief Support Services as it marked the laGSS logounch of our South  Boston SafePlace group. We're honored to establish a presence within this community and hopeful that our services will help to support those who have lost someone to suicide. The first meeting was held at South Boston's Laboure Center following four Grief After Loss workshops in which attendees communicated the need for further and on-going support. We're grateful to the Laboure Center and Catholic Charities for lending their space and support to the South Boston community and particularly to those who are looking for a space to heal following a suicide loss. The South Boston SafePlace group meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 6:00 - 7:30 P.M. at the Laboure Center, located at 275 W Broadway, South Boston. For more information, please contact Grief Support Services Director, Debbie DiMasi.
MCSP's 15th Annual State House Event
MCSP logo This past Monday, we walked up the hill to the Massachusetts State House and gathered with others dedicated to suicide prevention to honor those chosen for the 15th Annual Leadership in Suicide Prevention Awards at the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention (MCSP) State House Event. This year's winners were: Senator John F. Keenan, Live Out Loud Youth Project founders Sara Shuff and Kelly Heck, Heywood Hospital, Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands, Western Mass Recovery Learning Community, and Sgt. Esther Gonsalves of the Department of Corrections. The program included moving speeches on the importance of suicide prevention, with speakers sharing personal stories of becoming survivors of suicide and examples of those helped by suicide prevention. Samaritans is proud of its membership and involvement in the MCSP and the Greater Boston Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition. We also applaud those legislative leaders who recognize suicide as a public health issue that can be prevented when we work together.
2014 Marathon Team Updates
We could not be more excited about the 23 dedicated people running in the 2014 Boston Marathon on April 21st for suicide prevention! Each month through April, we will be introducing you to a few of the members of our outstanding team. Our marathon team members have a lot of fun fundraisers coming up, so don't forget to check out the upcoming events section below.
  • Kate Skidmore is originally from New Hampshire and now lives in Virginia, where she works for the NFL Player's Association. This will be her third time running the Boston Marathon, and first time running for Samaritans. To learn more about Kate, head over to her crowdrise page
  • Kevin Quinlan is a trained helpline volunteer who has been involved with Samaritans' 5K for many years both as a volunteer and member of Christian's Team. This is his eighth marathon and fifth Boston Marathon on behalf of Samaritans. To learn more about Kevin, head over to his crowdrise page.  
  • Tricia Pierson is running in memory of a family friend lost to suicide, and also hopes to raise awareness about military suicides. An avid runner, this is Tricia's second Boston Marathon and first time running for Samaritans. To learn more about Tricia and the impressive Boston Strong Quilt she and her sister created, head over to her crowdrise page.   
  • Whitney Leonard is running in memory of her college roommate, Katie, who ran the Boston Marathon herself in 2006. She is training for her first marathon while in law school to become an environmental lawyer. To learn more about Whitney, head over to her crowdrise page.   
  • Robert Christo is running in memory of his brother, Eric. Originally from Cambridge, Robert is currently working as an architect in Chicago but will be moving back to the Boston area in April. To learn more about Robert, head over to his crowdrise page.  
  • Kim Gagnon is running her sixth consecutive Boston Marathon on behalf of Samaritans and in memory of her sister, Jodi Ann. Kim is a member of Samaritans' Board of Directors and has been the captain of Jodi Ann's Team at the 5K for seven years. To learn more about Kim, head over to her crowdrise page.  

To learn more about the whole team, check out the marathon section of our website, and to track the team's fundraising progress towards their collective goal of $150,000 towards our life-saving services, visit the team's crowdrise page. We still have one alternate runner for our team waiting to receive a bib number, if you have any leads for additional numbers, we would love to hear from you. If you are participating in another physical challenge and would like to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention at the same time, contact us about joining Samaritans' Running Community.  

Welcome Amy
amy We are so excited to welcome Amy Killory, our new Development Manager, Special Events, to Samaritans! Amy is originally from Brockton and has recently moved back to the area to be closer to her family after living and working in Chicago as an Events Manager at Merchandise Mart for almost fourteen years. Amy will be responsible for the Samaritans' signature events including the 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Festival, and the Breakfast for Hope. Coming from the corporate world, Amy is looking forward to transitioning into the nonprofit sector. She also looks forward to meeting our marathon team runners and learning how to best support the team in 2015.
Out and About: Community Outreach and Education
In December, Community Education and Outreach Manager Kelley Cunningham, along with Commonwealth Corps member Lynda Wallack, met with over 500 people for workshops at:

jan outreach 2014
If you would like our Community Outreach and Education team to speak at your school or event, contact Kelley Cunningham.
Still have your Boston GlobeGRANT?
The Boston Globe announced a few weeks ago that they are supporting non-profits through a promotion, only to subscribers, to get them to designate a non-profit as a beneficiary for what they are calling GRANT vouchers for advertising in The Boston Globe. If you are a subscriber, you should have received a silver envelope in the mail (or an e-mail if you are an online subscriber) from The Boston Globe as part of your subscription. Could you take a minute to designate Samaritans as the beneficiary, and ask others to do the same? All you need to do is:
  1. Write Samaritans, Inc. as the Name of Certified 501(c)(3)
  2. 41 West Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02111
  3. Return the GRANT check in the envelope provided by March 1, 2014 

Seven-day newspaper subscribers' will have received vouchers valued at $100; all other subscribers (including website-only readers) have been sent vouchers valued at $50. On top of the donations, the organizations that receive the largest number of donations from subscribers will be able to advertise free of charge in The Boston Globe, which would help Samaritans spread the word about our life-saving services. To subscribe to The Boston Globe or read more about GRANT vouchers, click here.  

Upcoming Eventsevents
In addition to our regular events, several of our marathon team members are hosting awesome fundraising events in the coming months. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Samaritans unless otherwise noted. If you would like to host an event to benefit Samaritans, contact us!
  • Need a haircut? Foley's Barbershop is hosting Haircuts for a Cause this Saturday, February 15th with marathon team member Nicole, click here for more info.
  • Marathon team member Kacy is hosting a fundraiser at The Baseball Tavern on Friday, February 28th at 7:00PM. Join her for a $20 entrance fee for a night of mingling and dancing, with a variety of drawings to take part in. 
  • Marathon team member Michelle is hosting a swimathon for her birthday on March 2nd from 3:00 - 5:00PM at the Boston Sports Club in Waltham ($10 registration fee). Donate a flat rate to swim as much as you want, or find sponsors who will donate per lap! Michelle is also hosting a bar night at The Hawthorne on March 10th.  Email Michelle for more information on either event.
  • Mark May 14th in your calendar for our Breakfast For Hope at the Sheraton Hotel in Back Bay, Boston! If you are interested in volunteering, attending or hosting a table, contact us!
  • The 16th Annual Samaritans "Run/Walk for Someone Else's Life" 5K will be held on September 27th at Artesani Park - updates to come! 
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