Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm a new volunteer and I love it

I have a new job on Monday afternoons. I’m a volunteer administrator for the Facebook page: Putting a Face on Suicide [PAFOS]. I blogged a bit about this project last June but it doesn’t hurt to tell you all again – and again – about it. I think it is just that powerful. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be spending eight hours on a Monday afternoon volunteering to keep the sight up and running and very user friendly.

People who have experienced a suicide of a loved one are hurting. PAFOS is a place to put that hurt and to keep the memory of their loved ones alive. It is not, however, a place to go if you are suicidal yourself. If you are in distress call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800 273-TALK. 

The mission of PAFOS states:

“Every 40 seconds somewhere around the world someone dies by suicide, that’s 99 people every 66 minutes. PAFOS is an ongoing project soliciting pictures of your loved ones who died by suicide. Each 99 pictures will be used in a poster and a video, roughly representing one day’s deaths by suicide in the U.S. Alone. The posters and videos will be posted on the PAFOS facebook page and may be freely used by any person or organization to promote suicide awareness and prevention. The goal of PAFOS is to collect 36135 faces representing 365 days of loss. In addition to the project’s posters and videos, PAFOS will create a personalized poster featuring your loved one to raise awareness for suicide and to promote any mental health organization, memorial foundation or cause.”

PAFOS was founded by Mike Purcell in memory of his 21-year old son Christopher who died by suicide in 2008. Up until about three weeks ago Mike was the only person working this site. That meant his hand was on his computer and on the PAFOS page almost 24/7. I know when I first found PAFOS, he was there for me almost immediately. So he gathered a group of us to take some of the pressure off. Now having a staff of volunteers, he gets to sleep, eat, go to school, and maybe even read a book in his spare time. It is my pleasure to help Mike out.

By the way, Paul is featured in the Day Four video. His music plays in the background. Here’s the link:

PAFOS also made this 
informative poster for us
using Paul's photo

Also, just for your information, the project is now on Day Eight with 753 photos in place. If you know someone who had a loved one die of suicide please send him/or her to:

Or go yourself. Viewing one of the videos is worth your while.

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