NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One teenager took his pain and turned into a new passion called “All Hands In KC.”
The city-wide fundraiser was hosted by Chicken N Pickle in North Kansas City. Sunday’s event went beyond having fun, playing pickle ball and raising money. The organization works to prevent suicide.
Mom Megan Clem said she’ll never forget April 10, 2017 — the day she lost her 15-year-old son to suicide.
“Worst day of my life,” Clem said. “And, you know, you have to wake up every morning and just say ‘I’m going to get through this.’ I don’t want another parent to be me, and I don’t want another child to be Harrison.”
Harrison is one of the three friends Christian Taylor lost to suicide at Rockhurst High School.
“It’s hard,” Taylor said. “It hurts to lose somebody you love and nobody should have to go through that not a friend, not a classmate, not a family member.”
“He really understood what forever meant and that was really, really hard,” Taylor’s mom, Mimi, said. “He really wanted to do something big and important to let kids know there are other options out there than suicide.”
Taylor decided to do something about it, and created “All Hands In KC” — an organization that supports suicide prevention.
“I have lost a few friends to suicide,” Taylor added. “And my school has very much been impacted by this, but it’s more than just about my school – it’s about the community at large.”
There were 28 student representatives from 15 different schools across the metro area who helped give this fundraiser legs, complete with a Pickle Ball Tournament and raffle.
Since October, Taylor said they’ve raised nearly $50,000 and educated hundreds on the resources available to those dealing with anxiety and depression.
“I think we’re going to ultimately save lives,” Taylor said.
Organizations such as “Speak Up” and “Zero Reasons Why” were also on hand Sunday to talk.
The man behind the booth, “Talk To Me”, was Harrison’s former ice hockey coach. Clem broke down in tears when she saw him, thinking of her son.
“It’s his beautiful life cut short way too soon by an impulsive moment,” Clem said. “I just want these kids to know they’re not alone and they don’t need to be ashamed and I don’t want them to be Harrison.”
Later on, she spoke to hundreds of people in the crowd made up of metro families, students and strangers. Clem encouraged those who need it to seek help.
“I want you to know it you’re loved and you’re precious and it always gets better, it always gets better,” Clem said. “You just have to remember that.”
The money raised tonight through ticket and raffle sales will go to three organizations supporting suicide prevention. If you would like to donate, click or tap here.
Remember You Matter
If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.
Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
Click on the boxes below for our FOX 4 You Matter reports and other helpful phone numbers and resources.