Never did I ever think I would be fundraising to do a passion project documentary. Throughout my career in TV production I had a few show ideas I took a stab at selling, but mostly I was hired to develop and execute a certain idea within a given budget. When I discovered I had a story, however, the passion was undeniable. Contrary to the way I am used to working, I now have the idea developed and am ready for production, I just need to raise the money. It’s opposite world and I am not a natural fundraiser.
Asking for money for anything has always been difficult for me – even negotiating fair pay for myself, I am embarrassed to admit. I found through doing fundraising for the Out of the Darkness Walks with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention I was able to ask because the money was not for me, but for a cause. When I did it though, I was so touched by those who did donate. Not just by the family and friends I contacted that generously supported me beyond my original goal, but those contributions from other people they reached out to who had been affected by suicide. Some of them I knew. All of them shared their connection with me.
That experience inspired me to create the page on The Silent Goldens website to memorialize donors’ loved ones lost to suicide and create a (hopefully) long list of people willing to be a part of the conversation on the subject. From the start I’ve been overwhelmed and, once again, extremely touched by each and every contribution. It’s heartwarming on a personal level since this is a personal story, but it’s gratifying to have so many responding to the mission to normalize conversations around suicide. Each donation gives me more confidence to ask for the next.
Support has come from all segments of my life – people from childhood, high school and college, bosses and co-workers from days gone by, friends and friends of friends and many other loss survivors. Many joined in on my birthday Facebook fundraiser and I truly got a rush of happiness each time I saw a name and now those I wasn’t in regular contact with are now popping up in my newsfeed again! So bonus for me and thanks again to you all!
I was also humbled to have Carla Fine memorialize her husband with a donation. Carla wrote a book No Time To Say Goodbye about her experience after his suicide and travels the world speaking about surviving this loss. She led a writing seminar I participated in at a survivor’s conference I attended. She was the one that suggested I write a blog post about it for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s national website where it was published and went a long way to validating my documentary project!
This entire experience is helping me grow in many ways and I’m so curious to see where it leads and how the film and I can help suicide awareness spread!