JJ’s Hello Foundation will be putting on a Community Awareness Event and Walk on March 11 from 1pm-4pm. It will be held at Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove. This event will be focused on youth mental health and suicide prevention awareness. A number of community organizations such as resources for LGBT, bullying prevention, suicide prevention, organ donation, and more will be hosted at this event. The Community Awareness Event and Walk is free to the public. They are simultaneously hosting a walk where participants will walk around the track with the foundation as a show of force to put an end to suicide, discrimination, and bullying in our community.
Their Inspiration JJ Anderson
JJ’s Hello Foundation non-profit was formed by Michelle and Josh Anderson following the suicide of their 12 year old son JJ on Feb 11, 2016. The loss came as a shock to the Anderson family as JJ was a straight A student and was involved in school leadership, sports, and his community. JJ extended his kindness to friends and strangers alike. He was constantly a source of support to his friends. His parents created the foundation in hopes that other families will never have to experience the pain and grief they are going through.
JJ’s Hello Foundation
The Andersons feel like there’s a lack of conversation about suicide at the middle school age range. The statics are staggering. In ages 10-14, the suicide rate has increased 128% since 1980. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in that age range. It is the second leading cause of death in high school and college youth.
Michelle and Josh want to talk about suicide until the stigma is lifted. Furthermore, they want to provide education to students, parents, and teachers through trainings, presentation, and print materials. They host a monthly support group for those who have lost a loved one due to suicide on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm-8pm at Valley Hi Library. The foundation also offers a Smedberg Middle School Leadership Award to students who have proven to be an asset to their community. JJ’s Hello Foundation also has information and resources on their website.
Participate in the Walk
JJ’s Foundation is hoping to raise more funds to help with their community outreach through their Mar 11 event. For $20 or $15 for students, people can participate in the walk. They will also receive a t-shirt, bracelet, a meal, a drink, and a raffle ticket. Register to walk here.