DCRF Heroes, Heath Saffer and Omar Baloch, set off April 15th, 2021 for the adventure of a lifetime: cycling across the US over a time span of three months. Why? They wanted to raise awareness of the alarming increase in teen suicides and raise funds that will bring powerful suicide prevention programs to teens across America. Battling everything Mother Nature could possibly throw at them - from snow and ice to winds and driving rains - Heath and Omar held steadfast in their commitment to completing their mission. Bolstered by an outpouring of support from fans between Washington State and the Eastern Shore, the young men arrived in Bethany Beach, DE on July 2nd to a fabulous welcome home party, a hot shower and all the comfort food they could enjoy! In all, they raised an astonishing $106,688.00, 100% of which will go towards funding the Our Minds Matter program in high schools throughout Montgomery County, Maryland as well as additional high schools around the DMV and beyond.
Enjoy this short video recap of their amazing adventure.
REFLECTION FROM OUR C4L HERO, HEATH:
I’ve always held a belief that we, as humans, need each other more than we verbalize in an individualistic society. This belief was only cemented upon successfully cycling from coast to coast. In retrospect, it would have been impossible without the kindness of both familiar faces and complete strangers. In the roughest moments on the road, there was always someone who showed up; this was a rule and not an exception. It was noticeably easier to accept unsolicited help than it was to ask for help. If there is one point to drive home from this experience, it is the importance of asking for help when needed. And we all need it from time to time; one day you will help someone, the next you will need to rely on the kindness of others. There is no avoiding this; period. There is no shame in this; period.
Beyond seeking and accepting the help of others. We had to practice patience, kindness, and trust towards ourselves. Every day isn’t going to be the best day. There were days where our bodies couldn’t muster the energy to peddle. On these days we patiently rested. There were lonely moments in the more remote areas. Through these times, we leaned on self-kindness. Every day the path forward was unknown. We trusted our abilities to navigate. These qualities require daily practice and strengthen with time.
Suicide is never the way forward.
You are loved, you are needed.
Thank you to everyone who helped us along the way on our journey,
it wouldn’t have been possible without you.