An Out of the Darkness Walk was held Saturday at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach. The event raises funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and is one of several Community Walks held in the U.S. during the year. The organization’s work includes raising awareness, funding scientific research, creating educational programs, advocating for public policy and providing resources and aid to people affected by suicide, according to the AFSP website. Its goal is to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025. “The core of the Out of the Darkness Walks, the Community Walks created a movement,” the site states. “Held in hundreds of cities across the country, they give people the courage to open up about their own struggle or loss, and the platform to change our culture’s approach to mental health.” More than $33,000 had been raised as of Saturday afternoon. Walk donations are accepted until the end of the year; over 50 teams and more than 300 participants have taken part in this year’s local fundraising efforts. A Hope and Healing Area contained messages of hope and tributes to loved ones. Attendees could also customize shells to tell their stories and Walk bibs to wear for the event. Different organizations set up booths, and some walkers had signs representing who they are and why they chose to walk.

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