Remembering Staff Sgt. Jesse Amell

Alexandria, VA Campaign 26749

Non Profits & Charities - Campaign

Join Me in Supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I'm walking in the Out of the Darkness Fairfax NOVA Walk to fight suicide and support AFSP's bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025.

In early 2012, I lost my cousin Jesse to suicide. I'll never forget the moment I was called and told what had happened or the immediate pain I had felt afterward. I had just moved to Virginia a few short months before that and had no family in the area. I had felt so disconnected. I dropped everything and drove 7+ hours to be home with my family for the services. Having to return to Virginia after all that had just happened was definitely hard. I felt that the support I could offer my family was severely limited so I started researching things I could do locally to prevent suicide.

Less than a month later, I decided to attend a Volunteer Orientation for The National Capital Area Chapter of The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I decided to get involved at first by using my Graphic Design background to make a difference. After proving success and determination, I was elected to the Board in December of 2014. The Chapter as a whole has definitely come a long way since I've joined. Shattering records at this year's Chapter Leadership Conference and coming out on top of 84 chapters nationwide as the Best Overall Chapter for 2015. I'm so proud to say that in this process, I've acquired lifelong friends all walking the same path as I, with the same mission in mind: save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.


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- Kristen Gundersen


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