40th logo
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn View our videos on YouTube View our photos on flickr
Collective Moment of Grief
"Whenever a public figure dies, particularly one who brought as much joy and laughter to us as Robin Williams did, we grieve. We are not only shocked by the suddenness of his death, but by the apparent circumstances of it, as well. It is human to try and make sense of it all..." Read more of Samaritans' Executive Director Roberta Hurtig's thoughts on the loss of Robin Williams and helping others in need on WBUR...
Lessthan7The 5K is Less Than Seven Weeks Away - Help Us Spread the Word!
Have you spotted a 5K Car Card on the T? Tweet us a picture @SamaritansHope!
The 16th Annual Samaritans "Run for Someone Else's Life" 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Festival is less than seven weeks away! Join our community  to celebrate the lives of those lost to suicide, and raise funds and awareness for Samaritans' services. Participants find support in being with others who have suffered a similar loss, and comfort in honoring the life of their loves ones. On this day, we come together as a community  that none of us asked to join but are grateful to have. 

100% of the proceeds from the 5K help fund our life-saving services, including our 24/7 helplines, Community Education and Outreach, and Grief Support Services for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Your support helps to provide vital services are available to the families, friends and neighbors that live in our community, free of charge.

Want to do more to help raise awareness for Samaritans 5K? Email us to have an 11' by 30' poster and/or Save the Date cards sent you way, and hang them in your local businesses. Many coffee shops, gyms, dry cleaners, and other small businesses are more than willing to post information on local events!

A big thank you goes out to our major sponsors Sunovion, The Red Sox Foundation and Keolis Commuter Services, without whom this event would not be possible. There are still sponsorship opportunities available - talk to your employer today!

If you are interested in sponsoring the 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Festival or have any questions, please contact Samaritans' Development Manager, Eve Rabinowitz at 5k@samaritanshope.org or call 617-536-2460.
LeslieWhy I 5K: Returning Team Captain Leslie
The Flanagan Family at the
2013 5K
This is the fourth time John's Team, led by team captain Leslie Flanagan, will be taking part in the 5K in memory of Leslie's brother John Francis Fowler, Jr.

Leslie sat down with Samaritans' Development Manager, Eve, to discuss this year's 5K and shed some light as to why the event is important to her and her family:

John was a typical 21-year-old kid who loved everyone and was dedicated to his friends and family. He was hard-working and would do anything for anyone. The 5K allows us to raise awareness and keep John's memory alive while stopping another family from being in the same situation. It gives us the ability to go and take part, and know that we are not the only one who is dealing with this; that there are people out there who will help you and want to help you and it isn't anything to be ashamed of.  It is important for people to understand suicide and in general we get a positive response from people when they find out we are participating in an event dedicated to suicide prevention. My husband works as a corrections officer [a profession with a high suicide rate], so his colleagues in particular understand the importance of the event and we usually run into a few of them participating on other teams or on their own while we are there.

My children, who are 11 and 7, get excited about the 5K as well. Though they do not quite
John F's Team at the 2013 5K
understand what happened to their uncle, they know about him and I am glad they can connect to him by participating in a day we dedicate to his memory. Last year, my son ran the entire 5K and we were so proud of him when he came in third in his age group, and my daughter sold lollipops to help with fundraising. Our team always tries to get to Artesani right at the beginning of the day and sticks together throughout the whole event, and then we go out for lunch after the 5K is over.

My advice to new teams would be to start as early as you can, and don't be embarrassed to tell people why you are raising money. At first, it was hard for us, especially my mom, to talk to other people about our connection to suicide but it has gotten easier as the years have gone on, and seeing how much support we have from our community has helped our healing process.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Leslie! John's Team is already 40% of the way to their goal - check on their progress by clicking here. If you have participated in the 5K before and plan on doing so again, email us to be featured in our next snapshot!
MicheleWhy I 5K: New Team Captain Michele
Tom at one of his many musical performances
New team captain Michele Kelly started Tom Lazinski's Band in memory of her son, Tom, whom she describes as "a wonderful person and an amazing musician." In talking with Samaritans' Development Manager, Eve, Michele expanded on his incredible talent which brought him to the Berklee School of Music for Jazz Violin, "Many people knew him for his talent: he had been paid to play violin with me at weddings and other events since he was only seven years old. Those who knew him personally remember him especially for his easygoing nature, kindness, and humility."



As she prepares for the upcoming 5K, Michele shares, "Fundraising is going better than I thought it would; people have been amazing. Tom's death touched a lot of people in our community - I am pleased and humbled by everyone's generosity."


Tom Lazinski's Band has already exceeded their fundraising expectations, and has a new goal of raising $1,500 in Tom's memory. Much of that support came from Tom's church community, the First Unitarian Universalist Society in Franklin. In the coming weeks, Michele may organize a fundraising concert with her performance trio, Dear Prudence, as well as asking her teacher colleagues in Grafton to support the team.


Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Michele! To check on Tom Lazinski's Band progress, clicking here. If you are new to the 5K and are passionate about your involvement, email us to be featured in our next snapshot!
TextingOur First Year of Texting Support
Last July, we were thrilled to announced that we were chosen as one of only three crisis centers in the country to participate in a new Crisis Text Line, a subsidiary of DoSomething.org dedicated to serving young people in crisis through their preferred method of communication - texting. Our Crisis Services team has really stepped up to the plate with this new service, and every new volunteer now learns how to use our core principles of befriending via text.

We are working to bring this wonderful program to Massachusetts - will you help us? donate_now_blue.gif
OutreachOut & About: Community Outreach and Education
With school out for the summer, Director of Community Education and Outreach Program Kelley Cunningham met with 65 people for seminars in July at:
    • Community Resources for Justice
    • ASIST Training
    • Health & Long Term Care Task Force 
    • ACBD West End
    • ACBD North End
    • Cambridge Family & Children's Services
Suicide Prevention training at middle schools and high schools is an essential need.  If your school or community group is interested in learning more about these training opportunities please contact Samaritans Director of Community Education and Outreach, Kelley Cunningham.
GSSVolunteerBecome a Grief Support Services Volunteer
Training for new Grief Support Services volunteers will be on October 4th, October 25th
and November 15th.  All three days are required.  If you have lost a loved one to suicide and are now in a place where you feel you can help others who are experiencing this loss by facilitating SafePlace and supporting new survivors through the Survivor-to-Survivor Network, please contact Samaritans Grief Support Services Manager, Emily Britt
Find Our New Bridge Signsbridge2
Many people first learn about Samaritans from spotting billboards as they drive around the Commonwealth. Thanks to MassDOT, we are so pleased to announce there will now be promoting Samaritans' toll-free state-wide helpline on the French King Bridge located in Erving, and the North End Bridge located in West Springfield, alerting those who may be feeling suicidal of our crisis services.
UncomplicatinggriefUncomplicating Grief
Riverside Trauma Center and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Suicide Prevention Program  will be hosting a conference entitled Uncomplicating Grief: Pathways to Hope and Healing on typical and complicated grief following sudden loss and trauma on Friday, September 12th in Natick. The conference will feature a keynote address from Dr. George A. Bonanno on "Beyond Resilience and PTSD: Flexibility and Heterogeneity Following Potential Trauma," as well as presentations from Dr. Jack Jordan and Dr. Larry Berkowitz, and a multicultural panel involving four individuals from different cultural backgrounds, representing mental health, clergy, and public health professions, who will discuss cultural considerations in responding to loss and promoting healing. Register today or contact Riverside at 781-433-0672, ext. 5738.
UpcomingeventsUpcoming Events
Please join us for these upcoming events to support Samaritans:
  • Alex and Ani will be hosting "Charms for a Cause" at their 115 Newbury Street location in Boston on Tuesday, August 19th from 6 - 9PM. 15% of every purchase made during this time will go towards Samaritans! RSVP today, and please share the event to help us spread the word!
  • Grief Support Services Manager Emily Britt will be the guest burrito roller at Anna's Taqueria 446 Harvard Street location in Brookline on Monday, September 8th from 6 - 8PM.  100% of the proceeds from every burrito Emily rolls will go towards Samaritans!
  • Of course, we hope to see you all at the 16th Annual "Run for Someone Else's Life" 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Festival on September 27th in Artesani Park

Hosting a fundraiser to support Samaritans? Email us to include it in next month's snapshot!  

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn View our videos on YouTube View our photos on flickr