We Did It! Thank You for Your Support and Investment

As I type in the final minutes of my Kickstarter campaign, I have a warm heart and feel a bit overwhelmed - in the best of ways. Thanks to your generosity and commitment to help see this project come to fruition, we can celebrate a fantastic launch of Fatherless by Suicide.

Thank you!


Though I've spent the past decade helping human rights organizations raise millions of dollars through my work, I haven't asked for financial support to enable a personal project since I was 10 years old and raising money for our itchy polyester baseball uniforms back in Kansas. This process was a lot more difficult, challenging and risky, to put it mildly.

Choosing to share the story of my father's death and be open about how it has impacted me has been a challenge my entire life. I knew that asking others to share their stories would be a bold undertaking. However, I didn't fully appreciate how many twists and turns there would be on the emotional roller coaster of crowd-sourcing the outreach and funding for this project. 

I chose to use Kickstarter because I felt it would be the best way to introduce the project on a familiar platform, enable people to swiftly share it and encourage my friends and community to breathe life into my idea. The outpouring of support has been remarkable and affirming. This process has been profound for me and I want to thank each of you for your generous investment of your resources, ideas, words of encouragement and support.

I'd especially like to thank my mom for her unconditional love and guidance throughout my life, and for her support and invaluable insights throughout this process. Also, a special thanks to my core team of closest friends and allies who've nourished me and this idea over the years, and who sprung into swift action with feedback, ideas, edits, camerawork and a flood of financial and outreach support. Lastly, a huge thanks to the most essential partners for this project to thrive: The similarly affected men who have and continue to reach-out to me in order to add their voice and story to this project. I'm eager to meet and share with each of them over the Summer. 

Project Highlights Thus Far

  • We have raised over $10,800 together, and with that, I'll receive a bonus $5,000 bump to help me dedicate more time on this project(!); 
  • Over 160 of you donated;
  • We met my original goal in under 72 hours, but you all far exceeded it and kept going;
  • You shared the project over 550 times on Facebook;
  • I have set-up interviews with men in six states, and connecting with more each day;
  • Allies, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, have helped share the project with their national staff and extensive network of bereavement group facilitators; and, 
  • We are just getting started! 

Thank you for putting gas in my tank - literally and proverbially. I fly tomorrow morning to do a training in Azerbaijan. When I return - and because of your support - I'll be conducing the first of my interviews in the Tri-state area and then starting my trip across the country. 

Please keep apprised of the latest via my blog at www.FatherlessbySuicide.com 

Most importantly, please continue to share the project.

Continue to talk about this project with friends, send emails to folks who may be interested and encouraging similarly affected men to add their voice. Together, we're going to make this idea an impactful reality. Along the way, we're going to help support others who are living in the wake of suicide. 

With a warm heart and deep gratitude,

Chris Michael 

NB: Oh, and if you missed the Kickstarter campaign but still want to contribute, please donate here. Each investment makes a difference and will allow me to focus more time and energy on this project. 


Thank You for a Monumental 72 Hours - Let's Keep it Going

Hello there,

I want to share a heartfelt thank you and an update with you all after this Fathers Day weekend. For you dynamo dads out there, I hope you had a great one.

Thank you so much for your generous investment and support of my project. In just 72 hours, you all have helped me reach my initial goal, and most importantly - you've helped me connect with other men who also want to talk and be part of this project!

It has been an overwhelming experience to go from pretty darn silent about the loss of my father and topic of suicide for decades to putting myself and this project out there with a heartfelt request for support. That vulnerability is not the most comfortable, but necessary and totally worth it. Especially auspicious to have this happen during Fathers Day weekend, which is something I have worked to avoid over the years.

We're Just Starting - Please Keep Sharing and Supporting 

The project has been shared over 275 times on Facebook and is being circulated by email. This is a great start!

These two vehicles are the best way for me to connect with other men. I'm hearing from men who want to participate, people who lost a loved one to suicide who want to help confront the stigma and shame around suicide and folks who see how this project hopes to help join the chorus of voices working to prevent suicide. Please keep doing all you can to spread the word.

Special Requests for Support

  • Share this with bereavement groups or gatherings of families affected by suicide;
  • Share this with your faith community and ask it to be included in their newsletter; and,
  • Share this with any mental health-related groups you may be part of. 

Lastly, Your Donations Still Make a Huge Difference

Though I've helped raise millions of dollars with the human rights groups I've worked with, this is the first time since little league baseball that I've asked for money for me. It's hard - or, I find it surprisingly difficult.

I saw Kickstarter as the best tool to help spread awareness about this project and meet other affected men - and that remains the main goal. However, fear of not reaching my goal ensured I put a low number instead of one that may be the most realistic without me 'swiping to suffice' on my credit card.

Know that each dollar donated will enable me to further fully invest in this project. Please help keep the generous investments and donations flowing - I promise to make the most of it.

Thank you so much and if you have any questions or ideas of how to enhance this project, please email me via Kickstarter or at FatherlessbySuicide@gmail.com

All the best,


Help Me Launch Fatherless by Suicide

[This was the first email I sent to friends and family asking support.]

Hi everyone,

I hope this finds you and yours doing well. I’m writing to ask for your support on an interview project that I just launched today on Kickstarter - Fatherless by Suicide.

For those of you who don’t know – and that’s likely most of you – my father took his own life when I was three. His name was also Chris. He was 32 years old. 

The story is complicated, but the autopsy yields the only hard facts I know - my took his life in his family’s home in Wichita, some 200 miles from my parent’s home.

His death isn’t the beginning of my story – that starts with my parents as high school sweethearts and respective heartthrobs; but, it is the part of my story that I haven’t shared much, nor allowed myself to explore.

After three decades of dancing around the topic of suicide and how my father’s suicide affects me, I’m planning to embrace my own story and invite other men who have lost their father to suicide to share their story and insights with me.

Frankly, I’m a whole mix of emotions that I rarely have – I'm scared, excited, nervous and damn curious. Though it is unique, uncomfortable territory for me, it’s exactly where I want to be. It is where I need to be. I’d like to have you in my corner.

If you’re interested in supporting me, here are some great ways:

1)   Share this project. The only way this project will exist is if you help me meet similarly affected men and encourage them to participate. Please share this email and Kickstarter Invitation for Support far and wide, and if you know a man who also lost his father to suicide, please share this with him directly and invite him to be in touch.

2)   Donate what you can. I got my first credit card this year and will ‘swipe to suffice’ my need to see this project through. However, your generosity will help me get the equipment I need and help cover my travel and expenses. I’m thrifty and will ensure your generosity is optimally leveraged.

3)   Host me. I will be zigzagging across the United States on my motorcycle to meet and interview fellow collaborators from July thru October. If you or your friends or family would be interested in reducing my Motel 6 or RV camping experience, please be in touch.

Thanks for any support and generosity you can invest to help me and this project.

Wishing a happy Fathers Day weekend to all you great papas out there - and those who are no longer with us.