Local siblings prepare for national walk

Chuck and Rachel Black, of Williamsport, are preparing to join 2,000 activists from around the country for the 17 mile American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk. This year’s walk is in Philadelphia during the last weekend of June. It is the first time that Philadelphia has hosted such walk.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a non-profit organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy and to reaching out to people with mental illness and those impacted by suicide.

Chuck participated in the walk last year in Washington D.C., but this is Rachel’s first year walking. Both siblings have participated in the community walk held in Montoursville each fall, but are eager to continue their activism on a national level. This is the first year where the national walks have split into two walks with one being held in Seattle and the other in Philadelphia.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, one American dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes, claiming more than 38,000 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States among adults 18-65, the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults and individuals age 65 and older account for 16 percent of all suicide deaths.

Rachel and Chuck have a goal of raising $700 each by the walk. Chuck is turning his graduation party into a fundraiser to support the walk. For more information, call 800-273-8255. To support RAchel and Chuck’s fundraising efforts, visit http://theovernight.donor drive.com/participant/rachelblack or http://theover night.donordrive.com/participant/chuckblack.