Flocks of flamingos spread suicide awareness across Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Front Porch Coalition is using pink flamingo lawn ornaments as a way to talk about suicide awareness and prevention.

By donating $25 to the organization, they will place a flock of pink flamingos in a yard of your choosing, along with a Front Porch Coalition sign and a description of what they are doing and why.

For $10 you can have the flamingos removed or pay $25 to pass it on to another yard. You can also make a donation of $50 to buy "flocking" insurance and prevent anyone from "flamingoing" your yard.

All money raised will go back to the coalition and stay in the community to help those who need it the most. They think this is an eye-catching and fun way of opening up the conversation on a tough topic.

"We are hoping through this fundraiser that it brings a visual awareness and gets people talking about it," said Bridget Swier with the Front Porch Coalition. "If you are concerned that someone is having suicidal thoughts, or may have a plan, if you feel comfortable enough to sit down and ask them are you feeling suicidal, do you have a plan and what can I do to help and then contact the appropriate authorities."

They want to make a special point that suicide does not discriminate. Here are some stats provided by the coalition.

-Every day 22 veterans die by suicide.
-In South Dakota, suicide is the leading cause of death for the 10-14 age group.
-Second leading cause for the 15-34 age group in the state.
-Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide.
-For every suicide, there are at least 25 attempts.

If you or a loved one needs help, go to the Front Porch Coalition for a full list of resources.

The fundraiser runs from July 1 to Aug. 31. They also are looking for flocking technicians to help plant the flamingos.