The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of this year’s Step Forward to Prevent Suicide Walk, but Bridging Yankton, a local suicide prevention group, is encouraging the Yankton community to share kindness in its place.

The annual walk, which would have marked its fourth year, is held every August and provides participants with an opportunity to gather together to share stories about loved ones lost to suicide and to spread hope, while increasing suicide awareness and raising funds for prevention efforts.

A simple act of kindness can make a tremendous impact on someone’s life. Reach out to a loved one. Pay it forward by paying for the car behind you at the drive through. Take a walk or light a candle in memory of someone. Send a card or letter to someone that may have little interaction with others. Volunteer your time with a local organization. Share garden produce or flowers with a neighbor. Hold a door for someone at the store or let them go ahead at the check-out line. SMILE — it may be the only smile someone has seen all day. No act of kindness is ever too small.

Bridging Yankton was formed in 2016 and has focused its efforts on supporting local and statewide suicide prevention efforts, including funding a crisis texting line and assemblies focused on courage, character building, anti-bullying, and suicide prevention for students in the Yankton School District.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the group can mail it to: Bridging Yankton PO Box 125 Yankton, SD 57078. For more information, follow the Bridging Yankton Facebook page or email garrity@iw.net.

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