Members of the American Legion Post 129 voted to donate $90,000 to Here Tomorrow, a nonprofit suicide prevention organization, to fund a full-time peer counselor position over a period of three years.
“Through a matching grant to Here Tomorrow from the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund and the J. Wayne Weaver Fund, our gift will be matched dollar for dollar…allowing them to hire a veteran who has faced suicide and ‘overcame and can share their experience with other service members who are contemplating suicide,’ said Post Commander Joe Maichle. “We are grateful to soon have a veteran peer support specialist on the beaches where we can refer these veterans for help.”
A survey conducted by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs showed that approximately 22 veterans die by suicide every day in the United States.
In April, Here Tomorrow launched a Match to Reimagine Suicide Prevention campaign with the goal of raising $4 million to help expand access to mental health services in northeast Florida over the next three years. The Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund and the J. Wayne Weaver Fund have pledged to match contributions up to $500,000 for a total of $1 million. Likewise, Here Tomorrow founder Joe Kenney will match donations up to $1 million. The Multi-Year Challenge Grant will continue until December 31, 2024.
“We are thrilled to build this relationship with American Legion Post 129, who have made this generous contribution to our organization,” said Here Tomorrow Chairman and Founder Joe Kenney. “Thanks to their financial support, we will soon have a veteran peer support specialist on board who can draw on their own experience to help reach military personnel who are contemplating suicide and save more lives in the process.”
Here Tomorrow uses a peer support model to provide same-day mental health support to people in crisis. Peer Support Specialists provide immediate support and routine follow-up phone calls over the course of a year.
“People considering seeking professional help and those who care about them need support, questions answered and someone to listen to who truly understands,” said Hannah Hackworth, executive director of Here Tomorrow. “We don’t wait for people most at risk of suicide to come to us for help. We work with community partners like American Legion Post 129, as well as the Suicide Hotline, other community partners and using search engine optimization, our goal is to identify and engage people before it’s too late.
Founded in 2021, Here Tomorrow is a nonprofit serving the Beaches and Northeast Florida communities with a mission to prevent suicide by building a community where mental health care is acceptable and accessible.
If you or someone you know is desperate and considering asking for help, contact Here Tomorrow, 904-372-9087, or [email protected] Support and follow-up services provided by Here Tomorrow are free of charge. For more information and resources or to donate, visit heretomorrow.org.