Samaritans 5K and Grief Support Services volunteer, Dan Fields, shares what it’s like to donate his time and talents to the 5K each year and the profound impact that it has on him.
I’ve been a volunteer at the Samaritans 5K Run/Walk since 2010, and I’m looking forward to this year’s event. It is particularly inspiring to see the dozens of teams, many of which were formed to honor a loved one lost to suicide. A person’s name or face might appear on the T-shirts of 50 or more people—an amazing testament of love for someone who might not have realized how many lives he or she touched. These walkers or runners have transformed their own grief into a desire to help others in distress, by raising funds for the helplines and other services that Samaritans offers free of charge. What a display of resilience and compassion.
The event is also a lot of fun. There’s plenty of clapping and cheering at the starting and finish lines. Some walkers push strollers or are joined by dogs wearing bandannas. Kids (and adults) can get their faces painted. There’s a stage with live music. And my fellow volunteers are some of the nicest, biggest-hearted people I’ve ever met.
So if you are considering being a volunteer at this year’s event, I encourage you to do so. You won’t regret it. To me, the Samaritans 5K Run/Walk is a deeply life-affirming event.
You too can make a difference. If you’d like to join Dan in volunteering for the Samaritans 5K this year, please contact 5K@samaritanshope.org. Thank you!