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Joe and Sheryl Stephens were forever changed when they received the news that their son, Jon, had died by suicide. Jon had no known history of a mental health condition. He was embarking on a new adventure and heading off to college across the country when he chose to end his life. Shocked by this, Joe and Sheryl searched for answers and found that there was much to learn about suicide and mental health. In the following year, their community experienced several suicides. Witnessing the shock and devastation of their community, along with their own experience, they were gripped with a question, “What can we do?”
Through asking that question, an idea was sparked to spread hope in simple ways.
Out of this came three community initiatives to spread hope and care:
This was just the beginning of the Our City Cares movement. It will be six years this August and our community has continued to help us distribute thousands of Signs of Hope, Community Care Cards.
Our messages are universal messages of hope with different languages:
If we can save lives by placing inspiring messages of hope throughout our community and sharing resources for help, then that is our mission and we can do it by recognizing, "Hope Begins Here."
Suicide does not end the pain of one, it transfers it to those left behind.
Our City Cares is immensely grateful to have Katie join us as our Community Outreach Coordinator this year, expanding onto more school campuses and our community at large. Yates is a devoted community member with a passion for causes that make a positive difference in people's lives.
Please join us by supporting us in bringing hope to the hurting.