Sowing Seeds of Hope, raising awareness of issue

Alabama Tribute band, Boys in the Band performed Saturday at The Sam Foundation Sowing Seeds of Hope concert. The nonprofit foundation works to prevent suicide through public awareness and education. 

The Sam Foundation hosted a fun event with a serious purpose Saturday, April 29.

The Sowing Seeds for Hope concert featured talented local bands including The Locals, Dad Company and Alabama Tribute Band, the Boys in the Band, food trucks and more with the goal of bringing people together to learn more about mental health and suicide prevention.

Julie Smith, assistant director of The Sam Foundation, provided information about the show, the foundation and the resources available:

What we do

At the SAM Foundation, a 501c3 organization in memory of Sam Johnson, we are dedicated to preventing suicide through education and public awareness. We work to equip our communities with the skills to intervene in a suicidal crisis and help change the way mental health is perceived. Our evidence-based trainings are offered at no or minimal cost and provide resources for those affected by suicide. Everyone can play a role in suicide prevention, which is why our trainings are suitable for everyone from community members to corporate groups.

Thanks to our sponsors and donors

The Sowing Seeds of Hope Concert, 1st SAMFest, was a fantastic success, thanks to co chairs Monica Lang, Katie Kramer, and Nicole Goggans. Your time and efforts are so appreciated. Because of you and all the amazing volunteers, the event raised approximately $50,000 towards making our communities more suicide safe. Sam absolutely loved music festivals. We never planned on a music festival being our major fundraiser, yet here we are. We are immensely grateful to our sponsors, as well as all who donated at the Sowing Seeds of Hope Concert, for their generous gifts. These donations enable us to provide trainings, workshops, and programs at a minimal or no cost to our community. Without their assistance, we would not be able to provide these important programs. Again, we thank everyone for their generosity and continued support!

Grant application and Growing

Our organization is appreciative of the ongoing backing from the community which allows us to extend and develop our work. Recently, we applied for a grant from the Children's Trust Fund which would finance a promising new program - SAM’s Suicide Prevention and Intervention Training for Schools. If approved this program could have an incredible impact on our Alabama communities most in need of help.

Suicide suicide prevention work can be hard

"There are many times we feel overwhelmed with the amount of work there is to be done in this field of suicide and mental health. We dream of a place in this country where anyone can go to receive mental health treatment at no cost.

"A place of psychiatric research gathering evidence on mental illness, therapies, and solutions. When this place exists, we believe we could start seeing a shift in people’s suffering and therefore feeling overwhelmed may ease.

"We are reminded everyday of how important our work continues to be in one way or another. It may be in the bathroom at an event running in to a fellow survivor seeking support for their loss. It may be a couple driving over an hour to the nearest SOS support group which is the one we host in Fort Payne.

"It may be randomly in a class situation unrelated to mental health, where someone shares an intense trauma and suicidal ideation. Because of our training, we know how to respond and support this person in crisis. By attending a SAM training, you too will know how to respond. Non profit work in this topic is definitely difficult. But we will not give up in our attempt to create more suicide safe communities. If you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide, call 988 the suicide hotline number."

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