Samaritans Raises $500K via Annual Event, Posting a Record

November 5, 2018 — Samaritans, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides programs and services aimed at preventing suicide, recently announced that its 5K Run/Walk raised $510,000, the most ever in the 20-year history of the annual fundraising event.

Samaritanshad aimed to raise $400,000, 33% more than last year, which in itself would have constituted a record.

A total of 1,965 people participated in the event, held in late September in DCR Artesani Park in Brighton, 47% more than last year.

The event also marked the highest volunteer involvement, with 222 people helping ensure the event ran smoothly.

Janet Lawn, chief development officer for Samaritans, said, “The success of the 20th Annual 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention is all credit to the Samaritans family. Suicide loss survivors who share their stories and unite for a cause, our tremendous volunteers who dedicate their time and energy, first-time runners and 20-year veterans, and our determined staff – everyone contributed in different ways to make this 5K the most successful one yet.

"The momentum from the 20-year anniversary carried through on the big day as we all rallied together to envision a society in which no one dies by suicide.”

The event is one of several Samaritans fundraisers held throughout the year, including the Breakfast for Hope and the Boston Marathon charity team. Annually, the 5K represents approximately 20% of overall fundraising and 28% of the revenue generated from fundraising events.

Funds were raised via corporate sponsorships and silent auction totals, both of which posted records for the event, as well as registration fees and donations.

This year's event included a family fun festival for children and an appearance by Wally from the Red Sox. Kennedy Elsey of Mix 104.1’s Karson & Kennedy emceed the 5K, with a special appearance by daughters of Samaritans, Inc. founder Monica Dickens.

Samaritans of Boston was established in 1974 with a single helpline. Since then it has answered more than 2.6 million calls, chats, and text messages. In 2008, it launched a statewide helpline—1-877-870-HOPE (4673)—a collaborative effort with other Samaritans locations funded in part by the Suicide Prevention Program at the Department of Public Health.

It has trained 5,250 volunteers and provided suicide prevention workshops to 135,000 individuals. In addition, it has lent aid and support to 13,000 individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Its strategic plan calls for Samaritans to increase its capacity to serve more people and increase its impact through coalitions and collaborations.