OUR HISTORY AND BEYOND
The foundation was formed in 2010 after the loss of Todd Waite to suicide. The original idea was to do a fundraiser/auction to help raise money for suicide awareness. Many of us collaborated to start getting donations, a place to hold it, and many volunteers came together to bring the 1st Todd Waite Legacy Foundation auction in 2011.
This website, formally known as: toddwaite.webs.com, was born to bring a place to tell our story of how we came about and tell people about the auction. We originally made this as a website dedicated to the auction and the generous donations we received.
We partnered with "Out of the Darkness" Community Walks, held annually at Millennium Park in Kent County. It is an organization that brings awareness and support to survivors of suicide loss. It is a wonderful event for survivors to go and be with others who know what you are dealing with.
Our 1st Auction was held in March of 2011, and was a HUGE success, thanks to the overwhelming support of the community. We raised nearly $15,000, which in turn we donated on behalf of the Waite family, to the "American Foundation for Suicide Prevention" through the "Out of the Darkness Walk". It was a good feeling to know that we helped out a good cause, which in turn helped us, knowing that there are places to go, where people knew what you were going through.
It was done, a great fundraiser, a successful event carried out. A lot of hard work, a good feeling knowing that we had contributed. Time went by, and here our website sat, not really doing much else but showing our event and our story. Some talk was made about doing something else, doing more, helping more...but what, was the question.
Let me now introduce Al Gritter. The man who had his vision, his dream, his passion to bring about our mission now. A mission to bring suicide awareness and prevention to those who needed it, for free. This cause gripped him with a fervor that pushed him to bring about the organization that you now see. He put in countless hours of researching, finding, studying, and putting together the tookits, places to get help, brochures and many other items for educating and teaching people about suicide awareness. His research found that there were many areas that offered help, but mostly at a cost for the materials. He wanted the Todd Waite Legacy Foundation for suicide awareness to be a resource area for those that needed the help, and have the information available for free.
In an already confusing and hard time for those that are survivors of suicide victims, Al wanted the Foundation to be a place people could go to get some answers they wanted and needed. This wasn't just going to be a place for survivors, but a place to come to become educated on the warning signs of suicidal behavior and avenues to go for help.
The summer through winter of 2011, we began in earnest, compiling and proofreading the tool-kits and other materials, and brainstormed ideas on how to get our word out there. The website changed to incorporate the toolkits and other areas of help for people, and make it available online for people to download, print and use for free.
Next, due to the overwhelming response and support we had from the 1st Auction, we decided to hold another auction in March of 2012. In January we began the process of getting the donations, volunteers, and organized our 2nd auction. In the midst of this, we decided to upgrade the site again with the domain name, www.twlf4suicideawareness.com, to bring more recognition to who we are and what we are doing. The proceeds of this auction went to support our mission, and once again it was a great success.
Our next step forward is to distribute our material to the places we have outlined in our toolkits. We are looking for volunteers to help us in this endeavor. We would also like our website to be a tool for people to use in the social media world. Links to our website from other websites that we have targeted for our material would be beneficial for people looking for help and education on suicide awareness. If you would like to help in this area, please contact us at: [email protected].