2020 Calendar

2020 Calendar of Events

March 2, 2020

James’ Birthday – Because James was always able to make the best out of any situation, please look on the bright side of every situation you find yourself in today and enjoy a slice of cheesecake to remember how much light James brought into this world. I donated a birthday cake for a foster child today.

April 18, 2020

Carrie’s Birthday – Ephesians 4:32 Day (Carrie’s favorite Bible verse – Be Kind to One Another). Perform a random act of kindness for someone today and then enjoy a cupcake to celebrate the fun that Carrie brought in to this world. I will donate a birthday cake for a foster child today.  I am also walking in the Virtual Round Rock ISD Campus Out of the Darkness walk this morning in my neighborhood. You can sign up to be on my virtual team and walk in the location of your choice here: Carrying On .  Send me a picture from your walk!

June 20, 2020 

The Overnight walk in New York City has gone virtual.  The traditional Overnight Out of the Darkness walk was designed to start at sunset and end around sunrise, so participants were literally walking (16-18 miles) out of the darkness to shed light on the issue of suicide. These walks raise awareness for suicide prevention, provide a sense of community for those recovering from a loss due to suicide, and inspire Hope in those struggling right now. We can still do this virtually. And, because it is a virtual event now, they have waived the fundraising minimum and anyone can participate anywhere. They are strongly discouraging people from walking all night long. We are currently planning to walk approximately 3 miles at 8pm on 6/20/20 and again at 8am on 6/21/20, roughly sunset and (a little after) sunrise. If you think you might take a walk on one of these days, please Sign up and join the Carrying On team. You can start/continue a conversation about suicide prevention and walk in your own neighborhood. Then send me a picture of you walking! You can register to virtually walk with us or support our team here:  Carrying On

September 10, 2019

World Suicide Prevention Day – To help spread awareness about suicide prevention, please share our story, say a prayer, release a balloon, light a candle, and make a donation to the Carrie Cotter Memorial Fund (www.CarrieCotter.com). 100% of donations go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to help those who are struggling find Hope and choose to Live. We believe raising awareness will reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and then more people will seek help.

October 10, 2020 – World Mental Health Day

NAMIwalks Austin – Because it all starts with mental health.  This is now a virtual event also. You can join our team and walk wherever you are on this day. I have a 2 mile walk planned for those who want to join me in Austin; time 9am.  Route provided when you sign up. Sign up to virtually walk with us or support our team here:  Carrying On 

October 17, 2020 – Texas Together

“Join the Texas Together to Fight Suicide Movement This Fall! On October 17, join us for an Out of the Darkness experience with activities and opportunities to engage with us throughout the day. This will be a statewide initiative for Texans, featuring suicide prevention and volunteer trainings, opportunities to share your story while honoring our loved ones, actionable awareness activities that you can be a part of, as well as virtual platforms for participants across the state to connect with other teams and individuals passionate about suicide prevention and mental health.” More info to come. You can participate by joining our Austin team, Carrying On, by clicking on this link:  Carrying On

October 24, 2019

Austin Out of the Darkness walk – “WAIT … ARE WE STILL WALKING TO FIGHT SUICIDE?  YES! The Out of the Darkness Austin Experience is a real walk, but on your terms: you get to choose your own course, what time you start, and who walks next to you (within social distancing guidelines)! The walking is real—it’s the community that’s virtual this year. While the Austin Out of the Darkness Walk is going to look different this year, the mission to Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide has not changed. We are a strong and resilient community, united in our effort to fight suicide, raise awareness, educate our communities, support those who have lost loved ones, and support those with lived experience. We use our voices and share our stories to provide Hope.”  There will be a drive-thru event at Barton Creek Square Mall from 9-1 that day and teams are encouraged to walk together in their own communities either before or after the drive-thru portion.

My plan for Carrying On is that we go through the drive-thru on our own at the beginning of the event. Then we will meet at 11am to walk together and bring the uncomfortable topic of suicide Out of the Darkness and into our local community.  Route information to be provided when you register.  You can join our team, Carrying On, by clicking on this link:  Carrying On

2019 recap

It is a new year. I am so grateful to everyone who has supported us in so many ways during this past year. Your cards, texts, phone calls, messages, and prayers mean so much to us and always lift us up. Thank you for loving on our family so generously. Your financial support of The Carrie Cotter Memorial Fund, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness also mean a lot to us as we do what we can to reduce the suicide rate and improve mental healthcare. As people set goals and resolutions for the new year, I’d like to give you an update on what we (the Carrying On community) accomplished in 2019. Carrying On raised more than $60,000 for better mental healthcare and suicide prevention in 2019 and I’m so amazed and grateful for You. (Details are below because it got so long and not everyone appreciates numbers like I do🤷🏼‍♀️, but if you like numbers check it out.) Thank you for your generosity to causes close to my heart. 2020 – Let’s continue to make the world a better place so people don’t take their own lives.
#CarryingOn❤️🎈💚🐻 #800273talk #text741741 #suicideisnotanoption #stayconnectedtoothers #YOUmatter #iloveYou #theworldneedsYOUhere #takecareofYourself #Hope #moveforward #YOUareagiftfromGod #cheeringforClemsonisaNewYearstradition #FaithHopeLove #dojustlyNow #lovemercyNow #walkhumblyNow

As we mourned the loss of James, we asked that donations be made in his memory to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 23 donations were made that we know of; they did not include all of the amounts donated, but we do know it was well in excess of $26,000. In June, our mighty team of 4 walked 16 miles, overnight, all over the city of Boston and raised $5500 for the AFSP. For World Suicide Prevention Day in September, many of you joined us in releasing a balloon, lighting a candle, sharing our story, and/or donating to The Carrie Cotter Memorial Fund. The total donated to Carrie’s fund in 2019 was $18,300. Expenses imposed on the fund are covered by a generous friend of ours and are not included in that number. $18,200 was donated to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2019 and the remaining $100 in donations will be donated to the NSPL in 2020. The current balance in the fund is approximately $410. Many community AFSP Out of the Darkness walks are held in the fall and I’m so grateful to all who walked alongside us in our journey, either with us in Waco, Dallas, or Austin, or in your own hometowns in Colorado, Washington, DC, Missouri, or South Carolina. In these AFSP Out of the Darkness walks our teams raised $10,053. 6 of us also walked in the NAMI walk here in Austin and raised $800 for better mental healthcare for all. You all are amazing. Thank YOU.

March graphic

This graphic was made by a friend of ours in 2007 for Carrie’s dance recital program.

march graphic

This graphic was made by a friend of ours in 2007 for Carrie’s dance recital program. I just reread the lyrics from the song that she danced to in this costume and thought I’d share some of them:

Lora by Genie

Eyes so blue
Do you know how much I love you?
Deep inside
A beautiful bird wants to fly
But how can it fly with broken wings
How can it soar above the trees
And how can it glide upon the breeze
With broken wings?

I know a place
Where all pain has gone away
Come with us someday we’ll fly
With heaven’s (perfect) wings!
We will fly with heaven’s (perfect) wings
And we will soar above the trees
And we will glide upon the breeze
With (heaven’s) perfect wings
Eyes so blue
Do you know how much God loves you?”

Now Carrie’a pain has gone away and she has her perfect wings.

#ForeverMyChild ❤️ 🎈#CarryingOnForCarrie   #800273TALK #text741741

2018 recap and Looking forward into 2019

Year end financial information and More!
2018 donations to the Carrie Cotter Memorial Fund (excluding the donations to cover expenses) totaled $3437. The fund donated $3500 to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2018. The current balance in the fund is $452.61.
We are so grateful for the generosity of our family and friends. We deeply appreciate your donations and the opportunity to help others find Hope and choose to Live. For those they may not know the story, in Carrie’s letter to us she used the phrase, “sleepy baby needs to sleep forever.” When we googled that right after her death (with quotes), we got 1 result – the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We believe this was her way of asking us to help others, even if she, herself, had lost Hope.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the nation’s leading organization regarding suicide prevention. This organization runs all of the Out of the Darkness walks across the country. We are also grateful for your support of our family as we participated in the walks at Baylor University, Waco, and Austin. Larry and I also participated in their Overnight walk in Dallas in June where we walked about 17 miles, starting at 8pm. The inaugural walk at Baylor (organized by James) had 149 walkers and raised a total of $6278 (of which our team and a few other special friends raised $4150). Our team at the Austin and Waco walks raised $2165 and we appreciate everyone who supported our efforts by donating or walking in these walks with us. We also really appreciate our family and friends who participated in community walks in their own city in Carrie’s memory in 2018. Thank you for walking for her and raising awareness to inspire others.
As we begin 2019, we plan to participate in these events again, as well as recognize World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th and remember Carrie on her birthday on April 18th. Stay tuned to see how you can join us. We would also be honored to support you if you choose to walk for Carrie or organize a fundraiser to support an organization for suicide prevention or mental health awareness (AFSP, NAMI, Stop Soldier Suicide, Active Minds, etc). Let me know if you choose to do something. I believe raising awareness for suicide prevention and mental health will reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and more people will seek help and realize God’s promise, “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. #ForeverMyChild ❤️ 🎈#CarryingOnForCarrie #stopsuicide#800273TALK #dontloseHope #carriecotterdotcom