•  National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255

  •  Crisis Text Line Text Start to 741741

We will share your voice in the hope of saving other blessed souls such as yours.

Support Phone Numbers

  •  Immediate Medical Assistance 911
  •  National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255
  • Did you know that you do not have to be suicidal to use this number? You can use this number if you simply need someone to talk to or if you are assisting someone through a mental health crisis. The National Suicide Hotline has trained staff to assist you through these situations.

  •  Crisis Text Line Text 'Hello' to 741741


RESOURCES

Foster's Voice Monthly Support Group

Monthly support group open to anyone who struggles with any mental health illness or who has suffered a suicide loss.

  • Facilitated by a certified Life Coach
  • Open to all ages
  • Dates announced under Events on our Foster's Voice Suicide Awareness Facebook page

More Resources


Foster's Voice, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charity that understands that Suicide and Mental Health does not discriminate and can affect any person no matter your age, race, male or female, or your sexual orientation. We want to end the Stigma of Suicide and let others know that it's ok NOT to be ok! Please reach out to someone if you need help!



Foster’s Story

Posted by Foster's Voice on Saturday, August 5, 2017
Foster Charles Atwood joined the world and our family on a chilly day, November 1st, 1997. He was beautiful, with big bright eyes and a sweet disposition. Foster joined his dad Kevin, mother Kim and sister Emma, and with his birth, came the cookie cutter completeness of the ideal little family everyone always dreams of – dad, mom, 1 boy, 1 girl. Foster and Emma grew up so close in age, relationship and appearance, that many times over the years, they were mistaken for twins. Some siblings have a special, almost magical bond, Emma & Foster are proof of this.


When Foster and Emma were little, their parents divorced. As in any family of divorce, there are hard times and finding a new normalcy. Their dad Kevin has always been extremely devoted to his children, and despite some tough times, they always knew that they were incredibly loved. As is the case so often in life, those tough times were replaced by much brighter days. Kevin met Jaime, who also had a daughter Tristyn and son Ethan that were very close in age to Emma and Foster. It was a match made in Heaven, and before long, these 2 families became 1 in not only name, but in unconditional, unwavering love. The 6 of them meshed so well, and both Kevin and Jaime loved all the children as if they were their own. Kim also had another son, Sam who grew up looking up to Foster!


Foster’s sparkling eyes, big smile, and fun-loving personality charmed people from the time he was little until the day he left this world. He was intelligent, endearing, resilient and kind. He came to the East Moline - Hampton District as a shy “new kid” with goggle style glasses, but thanks to his charisma, and the love and support of his siblings, he quickly gained lifelong friends. He was a kind classmate who was accepting of diversity and quick to look out for and put special needs classmates under his wings to make sure they were treated kindly. He finished his time at UT on the Homecoming Court, and graduated United Township High School with honors in 2016. After graduation, Foster enrolled at Blackhawk College and worked full-time at Stashu’s in Moline, where he maintained wonderful relationships with his coworkers and customers alike. Foster’s mom Jaime was always proud of the compliments that she received on how polite he was – courteous and respectful to all people, all the time.


Foster was an enthusiastic and talented athlete from an early age. He LOVED baseball, and played it from t-ball, to East Moline Little League, to travel baseball with the QC A’s and UT Titans, and finally United Township High School. He also played football from early on with the Jr Panthers, and finished his high school career on the UT football team. He played Jr Panther Basketball, and joined the UT golf team in high school. Kevin was always proud of Foster’s athletic toughness – he never gave up, never quit during tough practices, drills or games. Foster lived and breathed sports -- if he wasn’t playing, he was watching, if he wasn’t watching, he was talking sports. He had jerseys of his favorite players from every sport, and wore them almost every day. Though his love for sports was wide and diverse, he loved the Chicago Cubs most of all, and was ecstatic when they won the World Series on the day after his 19th birthday – November 2nd, 2016.


It’s still surreal, and almost unbearable, for us to believe that just a little over 8 months later, Foster would be gone from this world, and we would be honoring his memory by wearing our favorite Cubs gear to his visitation and funeral services, singing “Go Cubs Go” in his honor, pallbearers all dressed in Foster’s own Cubs jerseys. This is not the storyline that any of us expected Foster’s life to follow, this is not the way his life should have ended.


Foster was always so full of life and happy on the outside. As his family, we are comforted in knowing that he had so many wonderful, fun experiences with us and with his friends. We were devoted to having special family vacations, dinners and escapades. One of our last trips all together was catching a Cubs game on May 2nd, Tristyn’s birthday. We had the best time, and took awesome pictures...we will cling to the memories of that day, and of all the wonderful times that Foster had in this world.


Foster’s handsome, smiling face and sweet persona was hiding deep turmoil, and the tremendous weight of anxiety and depression. Foster was so loved by so many – friends, family, coworkers, customers. He knew how very loved he was, and he loved hard right back. Besides his bright eyes and smile, you’ll also notice that there are literally hundreds of pictures of him hugging a friend or loved one. Despite all the good that was in Foster’s life and heart, he was overtaken by depression. In the last months of his life, he reached out for help, and fought so hard to overcome it. Foster would have never, ever have wanted to see his friends and family in so much pain, but the truth that we are beginning to understand is that he simply could not bear his own pain any longer.


Foster Charles Atwood, you are loved now and forever. Your life has been a blessing, and we, as your loved ones, intend on ensuring that you will live on forever in the hearts of all of those who hear your story. We will share your voice in the hope of saving other blessed souls such as yours. Love is forever son.



Giving Back

Foster's Voice in the community is all made possible because of our community support at our Foster's Voice events and your generous donations! What have we been able to do with your support?

  • Eleven one-time scholarships have been given to high school seniors
    • Nine $1000 awards
    • Two $500 awards
  • We have spoken at over 30 high schools, middle schools, colleges, churches, youth groups & other miscellaneous events all free of charge!
    • Each person receives a Foster's Voice bracelet to serve as a reminder to do something kind for someone else.
    • Over 25,000 bracelets handed out so far!
  • We have been able to cover the cost for five community ASIST Training (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).
  • Covered costs for 30 lay people in our community to take the LivingWorks START online training. This is a hands-on interactive training to learn how to keep someone safe from suicide.
  • Foster's Voice holds monthly support group for those struggling for any reason - anyone is welcome - at no cost!
  • Foster's Voice has purchased mental health educational materials, as well as other items such as kindness cards, challenge coins, car decals, and bracelets to distribute to the community free of charge in order to spread awareness and end the stigma of suicide.
  • We have helped local charities and people in need in our community that are indirectly affected by depression and suicide. Foster's Voice gave Mr. Thanksgiving, who serves free Thanksgiving meals to those in need since holidays are proven to be a difficult time for people with depression and mental health issues.
  • Donations to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Recognize the Warning Signs

TALK

  • Killing themselves
  • Having a reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Unbareable pain

BEHAVIOR

  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves
  • Acting recklessly
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Saying goodbye
  • Giving away possessions
  • Aggression
  • Drastic change in physical appearance

MOOD

  • Depression
  • Mood Swings
  • Loss of interest
  • Rage
  • Irritabillity
  • Humiliation
  • Saying goodbye
  • Anxiety


Assisting in a Mental Health Crisis Situation

  • Be calm and give the individual space
  • Ensure there is no immediate danger to the individual, you, or others
  • Seek help immediately, if needed by the individual
  • Listen more than talk
  • Validate the individual’s feelings even if you happen to disagree with what they are saying
  • Speak slow and clear
  • Offer the individual options to keep them safe


SCHOLARSHIPS

A scholarship program was created by the family of Foster Atwood in order to provide a financial scholarships to students of good character. This scholarship program allows Foster's Voice to award three one-time $1000.00 scholarships. These one-time scholarships will be awarded to any senior that plans to further his or her education in a field that aims to help others live a better life.


Scholarship applications can be returned by mail or email to the address on the letterhead by March 15th. The scholarship opportunities are open to all seniors in the Quad City area.


MAIL DONATIONS TO

Foster’s Voice
437 35th Ave.
East Moline, Illinois, IL 61244
info@fostersvoice.org

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