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Postpartum Progress’ very first Climb Out of the Darkness event was held in 2013. It raised $42,000 and had 177 participants in 40 states and seven countries around the world. That year I was an unofficial Climber and walked to a stop sign a few houses down from mine and back.

In 2014 the Climb included more than 1,500 participants who raised $165,000. The event also generated news coverage both nationally on outlets like the New York Times, and locally in newspapers such as the Baltimore Sun. That year I joined Team McLean in Northern Virginia at Great Falls National Park. It was amazing to meet other moms who understood the uphill battles of maternal mental illness.


In 2015, Climb Out of the Darkness had more than 2,500 registered participants on more than 150 teams in 45 states and 5 countries. The event raised $230,000. It was my first year leading a Climb. Team Fredericksburg had 25 registered Climbers and we raised $1,741.


This event has grown so much over the last three years and I cannot wait to see how big it gets this year.

I want to be part of it all again, so I’m organizing Fredericksburg’s second annual Climb Out of the Darkness event. I’m hoping we have at least 30 Climbers and can raise at least $2,000 this year.

I would love for you to join us and support us!

What exactly is Climb Out of the Darkness?

Climb Out of the Darkness® is the world’s largest event raising awareness of postpartum depression (PPD), anxiety, PTSD, psychosis and pregnancy depression. The event was created by and benefits Postpartum Progress Inc., a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization that raises awareness and supports pregnant and new moms with these illnesses.

Women around the world participate in this grassroots event by going on a hike outside on the longest day of the year to shine a light on PPD and related illnesses. The event is open to anyone and everyone who supports our cause. Anyone can participate, as long as they register.

What is Postpartum Progress?

From their website: Postpartum Progress is a peer-to-peer 501c3 organization that works to create an atmosphere in which women can recognize when they need help for maternal mental illness, feel safe reaching out for that help, and know that a community of thousands of other mothers stands beside them and behind them.

But here’s my version: they’re a saving grace. After the loss of my first pregnancy, their blog was the only place on the internet that confirmed my suspicions that postpartum depression CAN happen after a miscarriage. Since then, it’s been a place of valuable, up-to-date information and support, especially since moving away from everything I knew in Northern Virginia to Fredericksburg.


Fredericksburg’s Climb Out of the Darkness event will be held at Old Mill Park on the morning of Saturday, June 18. Thanks to a wonderful in-kind donation from Fredericksburg Parks and Rec, we've got a covered space this year! After a little bit of mingling, we’ll take a group walk along part of the Heritage Trail. This is a family-friendly event that is free to register for. You can register to walk with us or you can register simply to show your support to all the moms and families who are affected by maternal mental illnesses – no worries if life gets in the way and you find you are unable to attend! Fundraising is also optional.

If you’d like to join or donate to our cause, please do so here:

If you have any questions or want to know how you can help make this event a huge success, please feel free to reach out to me. You can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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About Emma

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Emma is married to her high school sweetheart and is a stay at home mom of two boys: G and L. A wanna-be professional writer and photographer, she can often be found following her boys around with a camera. When she isn’t chasing after her kids, Emma writes about her motherhood journey on her personal blog, Muddy Boots and Diamonds.

Pouches' Community Corner

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For the past seven years, Smart Beginnings has thrown the Splash Pool Party fundraiser. This summer, the event will be held on June 24, 2018 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Steve & Cheri Thurston Water Park at the Massad Family YMCA. Tickets range in price from $12 for a single ticket, $20 for couples and $35 for a family/group of four and each ticket also covers a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink.