The Sacred Work of Suicide Prevention

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Rick and Barb Jenkins crossed paths with the Community Foundation in a time of great personal tragedy. In May of 2007 their beautiful, intelligent and compassionate daughter Alison took her own life. Through their despair, Rick and Barb decided that Alison’s memory would best be served by starting a scholarship fund in her memory, thus the Alison Jo Jenkins Scholarship Fund was born. The fund affords EMS professionals the opportunity to further their education to become paramedics. They hope to support community members with the same passion for helping and caring for others as Alison did.

Two years later, Rick, Barb and their son Josh and daughter-in-law Kristy started the THIRST Living Waters Fund to raise the awareness

of suicide, promote suicide prevention and support those who have lost loved ones to suicide, educating our community about suicide and the stigma of mental illness. The Jenkins work in this important area has currently led to the creation of Imagine Zero in 2019; a coalition of professionals, agencies, and community members who meet to improve communication and coordination of services around suicide prevention. 

“We chose to establish our funds with the Community Foundation because of their expertise in establishing funds, the management of the funds and the conservative, yet successful, investment strategies employed by the Foundation. The Community Foundation is a valued partner with our funds. They are a joy to do business with. Quite honestly, without them I’m not so sure we could do this. They make it possible for the average person to do great things with their vision of giving back to the community and to others,” said Rick. Rick and his family believe that giving back to the community that has blessed them is essential in their Christian walk. They continue to be a beacon of light in our local community.