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Climb Out of the Darkness is the world’s largest event raising awareness of postpartum depression, 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. Registration is free.

People who participate are not required to raise money, although of course Postpartum Progress encourages it because it’s the only way we can operate and expand our programs to support moms. We encourage every participant to raise $100, and those that do receive our official Climb t-shirt free.

To get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our event, see below.

1. Where is the Climb being held?

There isn’t a single Climb, but many being held throughout the world. To participate in Climb Out of the Darkness™, you have several options:

  1. You can choose to do an individual Climb. This means you plan to go on a Climb by yourself, or just privately with your own family or friends, and prefer not to join a larger group of women you don’t know.  Just pick the spot where you plan to Climb and then register by clicking “Fundraise as an individual”. Clicking this button gets you registered for the Climb.
  2. You can join a group Climb that another Warrior Mom in your area is leading. Group Climbs are open to all. To see the current list of Climbs and reach out to join one in your area, click here. Then register, and be sure to click “Join A Team” and select the city location for your Climb during registration from the drop down list.
  3. You can start and lead a group Climb. If you’d like to be a Climb leader in your area and allow others to join, go for it!  Group Climbs are groups of approximately 10 or more. As a Climb leader – we like to call them Sherpas! – your responsibilities will include recruiting participants to your Climb and encouraging fundraising and team spirit. Just indicate when you register that you’re creating a group Climb, and then name your team based on the state and city of your Climb. We’re happy to email you full instructions if you just send us an email to postpartumprogress [at] gmail [dot] com.  Please know that everyone can participate wherever they are across the globe, but you MUST register.

As this is a fundraising event, we encourage each Climber to raise $100 or more, and each person who raises $100 or more will receive a free official Climb Out of the Darkness t-shirt. However, you are not required to raise money in order to participate in a Climb, and registration is free.

2. Do I have to actually climb a mountain?

No! You can ride a mountain bike on a trail. You can do a nature walk. You can hike a mountain trail. You can visit a forest preserve or national park. You can stand outside and let the sun shine on your face. No matter what you do or how strenuous it is, we still call it your Climb.

3. Do I have to register to participate?

Yes.  Registration is absolutely required. We need to know how many are participating in each location so we have an idea of what kind of support to provide each Climb, who gets a t-shirt and other goodies, and more. It’s very important. Registration is free, and by registering you are not agreeing to or required to raise money, though we certainly encourage it. Registration simply lets us know that you’ll be participating in a Climb.

4. How do I register?

Registration for Climb Out 2015 will open in March of 2015.

5. Is Climb Out of the Darkness only in the U.S.?

NO! Wherever you are in the world, we’d love for you to join us, even if it’s not the longest day of the year where you are. In 2014 we had Climbs in Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the US, Switzerland, Australia. We realize that our June date is the longest day of the year only in the Northern Hemisphere, and we don’t want to offend our Southern Hemisphere friends, so if you’d rather hold your Climb in December we’ll be happy to work with you.

6. Do I have to do my Climb on the exact day of the event?

Nope. The main day of our event — the day most Climbs are held — is whichever Saturday is closest to the longest day of the year (also known as the summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the day with the most light, to symbolize our collective rise out of the darkness and despair. HOWEVER, If you want to hold yours on Friday or Sunday that’s fine. It’s even cool if you need to do it the following week or another time altogether. Whenever – just let us know when your Climb is and make sure you register! The point is that you get out there in nature, and in the sunshine, and you honor your battle with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and help Postpartum Progress raise awareness and funding.

7. What if I have no idea where to do my Climb?

Try checking out these resources:

8. What if I can’t do my own Climb or participate in another one but would still like to help?

couchclimberbxwYou can be a Couch Climber!  Maybe you’re busy that day, or recently broke your ankle, or are allergic to hiking … you can’t Climb but you still want to be a part of the big event. That’s okay! Join our Couch Climber Brigade – just fill out the registration form on Crowdrise as an individual Climber and help us raise money for the cause — we’d love to have your help!! — or you can pick a particular person who is Climbing and donate to help her reach her fundraising goals. You are still eligible to receive our official t-shirt if you raise $100 or more. On Climb day, we’d love you to send in your couch climbing pics as well!

9. What if I’m not currently struggling with or a survivor of perinatal mood or anxiety disorders? What if I’ve never had a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder but I care about this cause? What if I’m a dude? Can I still participate?

OF COURSE! We welcome any and all who support our cause and our organization!

10. Who is already climbing and where, and can I join them?

Here’s our map.  

11. Is there a minimum amount of money we need to raise for Postpartum Progress?

Everest ClubUnlike most other nonprofit walks and runs, we do not require a minimum amount of funds raised in order to participate in Climb Out of the Darkness™. We do however, have a few special things that we hope will spur you along if you raise money for this cause. Every Climber who raises $100 or more will receive (free!) our official Climb Out of the Darkness 2014 t-shirt.

Any individual Climber who raises $1,000 or more will become a member of the brand spanking new Climb Out of the Darkness Everest Club, and receive recognition on our website as well as free registration to our Warrior Moms Conference.

12. How do I raise money?

Ask 10 people for 10 bucks. Or, ask 20 people for 5 bucks. Once you register you’ll have your own special fundraising page on Crowdrise. Give friends, family, co-workers and others the link to your page and tell them to click the orange donate button to support you in your Climb.

Tell them it matters to you that pregnant and new moms can find the information and help they need. It can be as simple as sending an email to friends and family with a link to your fundraising page on Crowdrise. You can also let people know what you are doing and why on your Facebook page. You can write a blog post if you have a blog. You can ask a couple of local businesses to support your Climb. And if you need help with tools (what to say or how to say it), let us know. We can share tips to help!

13. Who should checks be made out to?

If someone gives you a check rather than donating through the Crowdrise platform, it should be made out to Postpartum Progress Inc.

14. Is Postpartum Progress a 501c3? What is Postpartum Progress’ tax EIN number?

Absolutely! We are a registered 501c3 organization. Our EIN tax ID number is 27-3100405. You can check us out on Guidestar here.

15. Is there a hashtag to use on social media like Twitter and Facebook?

Yes, if you’re all social savvy, use the hashtag #COTD. And be sure you follow us on Twitter at @postpartumprog and join our Facebook page at If you’re on Instagram or Pinterest, tag your Climb Out photos with #COTD as well so that we can see and share them!

16. We are a local organization that supports moms. Can we use the Climb Out of the Darkness idea to fundraise for our own organization?

We encourage local organizations to create their own Climb teams to participate in and raise funds for Climb Out of the Darkness, or at a minimum to spread awareness of the event if a Climb is being held in their area. COTD generates a lot of excitement, and is a great way to raise awareness of all that you do in your area for moms in addition to sharing information on the national support Postpartum Progress provides. All Climb Out of the Darkness events require registration, though, and funds raised must be donated to Postpartum Progress Inc.

In 2014, our board elected to donate 10% of funds raised by Climbs held in the following states to the independent 501c3 organizations listed below within those states:

  • New York – Postpartum Resource Center of New York
  • Virginia – Postpartum Support Virginia
  • California – Postpartum Health of Alliance of San Diego (for Climbs held in the San Diego region)
  • Michigan – Moms Bloom (for Climbs held in western Michigan)

In the future, as our event grows, we hope to make more and larger grants to help support more independent, local organizations that provide direct support and services to mothers.

Organizations that request and receive approval will be allowed to raise money at their local Climb via sales of their own merchandise (for example: t-shirts, buttons, mugs, etc.) — those sales would go directly to your organization and do not need to be processed through Climb Out of the Darkness.  To request approval, email [email protected]

17. Can we create our own t-shirts or our own logos for Climb Out of the Darkness?

Nope, and here’s why: Postpartum Progress works hard to create high quality design and communication materials that have the potential to create the biggest impact on awareness and support for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. We are committed to maintaining those high standards as well as protecting our intellectual property. We ask that you stick to using only official Climb Out of the Darkness merchandise and follow our graphic standards.

If you are creating a large Team Climb (when we say large we’re talking 30 or more participants) and planning for your team to raise $10,000 or more, we are happy to work with you to create Climb Out of the Darkness t-shirts and/or signage customized with your team name, locality and local sponsors. Just email us at [email protected]

18. I’m a team leader, aka Sherpa. I’m in charge of organizing or plan to organize a group Climb in my area that is open to all and will have approximately 10 or more people. What do I need to know?

Yay you! You’re the best Sherpa ever! As a Sherpa your responsibilities include recruiting participants to your Climb and encouraging fundraising and team spirit. We are putting together an information packet to send to you with lots of tools and other info to help you make it a great Climb. Also, we may have some fun team competition among group Climbs, with prizes (!), just to make things exciting, so keep a look out!

When you register, make sure to select “Create a team.” As you go through the registration process on Crowdrise and are asked to name your team, give it the name of the state and city where it’s being held. Example: California – Glendale or New York – Cold Spring/Hudson Valley. We just want to make sure team names on the registration page make it easier for women in your area to find and join you. If you named your team something fancy like “Best Warrior Moms Ever Who Can Climb Like A Boss” on Crowdrise, no one would be able to tell your Climb is being held in Houston, TX, and since they live near Houston, TX, they can join you.  You can always call your team something much more fun with the actual team once you get going.

You are such an important part of making Climb Out of the Darkness a success, and we are grateful for your leadership.

19. Where does the money donated to Climb Out of the Darkness go? 

Great question. It goes to Postpartum Progress, a national nonprofit that raises awareness for pregnant and new moms with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Funds raised provide:

  • Free educational materials in obstetrician and pediatrician offices
  • Programs like our award-winning blog and private support forum for struggling moms
  • Advocacy for better support, less stigma and increased services for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders

If you’d like to get more specifics on the kind of impact we’ve been making, check out our 2013 Impact Report.  And here is our page on Guidestar.

Have we missed a question? Something we haven’t explained well or something you need information on. Let us know and we’ll add it here!


Photo credits: © WavebreakmediaMicro –, © RATOCA –