I have been a volunteer, fundraiser, board member, advocate and speaker at many walks including the San Francisco Overnight for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention since 2008. I have been team captain for my local chapter for many of these national walks. I found out this morning (not by National nor the Overnight Walk Committee) that I have been removed from being captain of this year’s team since I am no longer a board member. I have not been a board member for 2 months. What ever happened to common decency? Why is it that AFSP National could not see fit to give me a heads up about this or even ask me? Had I been asked, I may actually have been alright with it. I have fundraised THOUSANDS of dollars over the years for AFSP between the Overnight Walks and the various community walks. I had still planned on fundraising this year after I had helped others on my team reach their goal. Being that this would have been my 7th walk, I felt it was more important to help those that were doing this for the first time reach their minimum…isn’t that was a captain is suppose to do…help other teammates? Well, National you’ve done it again. You’ve thrown away another loyal volunteer and why? This last act of yours only validates my reasons for leaving the board in the first place. You don’t treat your employees fairly and you certainly don’t treat your volunteers like they matter. I am done fundraising for you, done promoting you, just done. It’s bad when I’m fighting for my life with round 2 of ECT treatments and now I have to receive this kind of treatment from an organization that is suppose to be compassionate. It really saddens me to have to write all of this, I use to have such faith in your organization.
I have advocated to my congressional leaders for the bills they felt were important. I have spoken to numerous school districts about bringing suicide prevention education into the classroom. I have sat through many trainings so that I could bring suicide prevention alertness training to my community to the first responders, to teachers, to anyone that I could. I have clocked many hours and over 100,000 miles on my car going to various health fairs, numerous community walks across the state, the state capitol, a local military base, etc. I did all of this because I believed in the cause and in the organization that was putting it in the forefront.
I am ashamed that I allowed myself to be taken in by this organization. They are no better than some big businesses. They do not value the employees they have that bring in new ideas, news ways to make things better and, apparently, they don’t value their longterm, loyal volunteers either.
From what I’ve learned from this experience, I will no longer be supporting this or any other charity.