Suicide seems like a distant thought to many of us. Though each of us probably knew someone, maybe close, maybe a distant acquaintance, who attempted or committed suicide it feels almost like something irrelevant in our daily lives.
With all of the talk these days about depression and the overwhelming number of people out there living undiagnosed or trying to do without the help medication will give them, suicide seems like something we expect to never affect us. Most of us will be lucky; we’ll never fight the dreariness of the depressed life or battle with the thoughts of ending things. We may know someone struggling with happiness, self-esteem issues, or even depression, but few of us have to deal with the effects of losing someone dear to us due to suicide. We’re fortunate.
A good friend of mine, Jack Hoffpauir II, probably thought the same thing until tragedy came into his life. Last year, his father who was diagnosed with depression, took his own life. When asked about how his loss has changed his life, Jack said “It has changed my perception of the world greatly.” He said “after something like this happens, your environment can become a very harsh and cold place and normal everyday things like going to the store, functioning at work, or interacting with people seem so distant and foreign.” Jack goes on to say his perception of the world changes on a daily basis as he continue to struggle with the issues surrounding his father’s death, but mainly he just tries to stay positive and help out other people. As we’ve seen in the past with 9/11 and the Tsunami’s, many times from great tragedy, comes great things.
After losing his father, Jack has been moved to make the cause of suicide prevention a big part of his life. Last year Jack organized a fundraiser in his father’s memory to help raise awareness and much needed funds for suicide prevention. The event was a hit and raised funds and awareness for the cause.
This year Jack is organizing a much larger effort called “Music for Hope”. It’s a show produced to promote a positive message of life and hope through music. It will be hosted at The Hustler, in Indialantic on May 21st with doors opening at 8pm and music starting at 9pm. All of the bands, musicians, and staff at the event are donating their time to help support the cause. Jack’s band, the New School Dropouts will be performing, with performances from Doorway 27, The Scoobs, The Funky Longneck and a special “reunion” set from Free Flow Conspiracy. In addition there will be giveaways including a free surfboard. Jack has great hopes for the event, he said, “it is my prayer that it will grow exponentially, helping people directly at the show as well as indirectly through donations made with the proceeds from the event and I hope that my vision inspires others to support and empower crisis centers to improve the services provided to those who so desperately need it.”
All of the proceeds made at the event will be turned over to the Kristin Brooks Hope Center. The KBHC is a tax exempt, not-for-profit organization funded by private donations from individuals, state and federal grants and corporate sponsorships. “The reason I picked the KBHC was because I was somewhat familiar with the National Hopeline (1.800.SUICIDE)” he said, “and I had heard from a friend that they were responsible for organizing the “Take Action” tour, which consisted of some really good bands touring in support of my cause. I liked the whole concept because I strongly felt that music and art is how I can best serve” said Jack.
One program that is run by the KBHC is the National Hopeline Network (1.800.SUICIDE). The Hopeline is an elaborate community based crisis service that reaches out to people through innovative telephony and internet based technologies. People who aren’t able to attend the event may make donations online through hopeline.com or send them to the Kristin Brooks Hope Center located at 2001 N. Beauregard St. 12th Floor, Alexandria, VA 22311.
Make some time for this great event and lend your support to those trying to prevent suicide. So much good can come from this tragedy with your support. For more information contact Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org.