April 18, 2018 – what would have been Carrie’s golden birthday (18 on the 18th). We ate tacos with lots of cheese and her favorite cupcakes and then released 18 red balloons on this day.
April 21, 2018 – Out of the Darkness Campus Walk at Baylor University, Waco, TX – Our very own James coordinated with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (the national organization) and the Active Minds chapter at Baylor, as well as other staff members at Baylor to host an “Out of the Darkness” walk on campus. This event will raise awareness about suicide and help others with mental health concerns know they are not alone and that there is HOPE!
June 2-3, 2018 – Larry and I will be doing The Overnight Out of the Darkness Walk in Dallas. Each year the AFSP has 2 Overnight walks in rotating cities that last from about 7pm – 5am (17 miles). It is a very moving event and we are fortunate to be a part of it this year. We finished at 3:02 a.m.
September 10, 2018 – Worldwide (anywhere you are!) – September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day each year. This is the day that Larry and I have chosen to be our own call to action day where we will solicit donations to the Carrie Cotter Memorial Fund (find link on this page). We plan to do this each year in conjunction with a Red Balloon release. Like our Family Day at the Lake 2017, we will be encouraging friends across the country to participate in releasing red balloons for Carrie on this day. We believe helping others find Hope is what Carrie would want us to do. All donations to the Carrie Cotter Memorial Fund go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
September 29, 2018 – Austin, TX – This is the day of the NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) walk in Austin. Because it all starts with helping those with Mental Illness. In 2015 I took a class by NAMI which was very informative and helpful. At the time I was too overwhelmed to think about advocacy…still am, but I want to support them too. Here is a link to join my Carrying on for Carrie team: team: https://www.namiwalks.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=20322
September 29, 2018 – Waco, TX – Yes! Same day! I am also going to the Waco Out of the Darkness walk in the evening on this day. Because I can’t do much, but I CAN walk! Again, I believe raising awareness about mental health issues will reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and more people will get the help they need. Here is a link to join my Carrying on for Carrie team: https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.team&teamID=182619
October 26, 2018 – Austin / Waco, TX – Low key plans to be determined to mark the first “angelversary”.
November 10, 2018 – Austin, TX – This is the Austin Out of the Darkness Walk day. It will be held at the Capitol beginning at 10am. I have created a team in the hopes that others will join us. It is called “Carrying on for Carrie.” This should be about a 3 mile walk during the day! It is free to register and join us. Here is a link to sign up: https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=166225
We want to help all those suffering from mental illness realize what God has promised: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. This Bible verse was still hanging in Carrie’s dorm room on 10/26/17.