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East Moline family launches nonprofit organization to promote suicide awareness

EAST MOLINE, Illinois--In The Quarter in East Moline, a sea of people in blue shirts along the river all have one special person in common.

19-year-old Foster Atwood, a graduate from United Township High School and an aspiring police officer, took his own life in July.

His family since started a Facebook page in his honor in early August.

Since then his family has since started a non-profit organization, Foster’s Voice.

“My son took his own life, so I’m telling his story to let other parents, to let other people know that they are not alone,” says Kevin Atwood, Foster’s father.

The organization uses social media to raise awareness for suicide and depression, giving people a chance to connect with each other to talk about their hardship, while also giving them the number to the national suicide prevention hotline.

“I personally respond to every single person that contacts us…It’s as simple as saying, 'have a great day, as simple as you’re worth it.' Sometimes you just have to let people know (that) and when we send those out at Foster’s Voice we’re not just putting it out there we mean it,” says Kevin.

Plans to launch the official Foster’s Voice website are scheduled for early next week.