December 2020 Newsletter


Written by Kristen Marshall

It’s been almost 2 years since I lost my Ryan. Those who have lost a child know, it is not something you ever “get over”, but something that you learn to carry. I carry him, his smile and his heart, into every single day. Since his death, I have been amazed by the outpouring of love and support from his and my friends and our wonderful family. What I didn’t expect was how many people would come into my life who never knew Ryan. Strangers who wanted to help and show up for me in so many ways. This is exactly what #themarshalleffect is about! Loving others, being kind to strangers, supporting one another because the truth is, we are all in this together. 2020 came with the extra challenge of COVID and the emotional toll of missing friends and family has affected us all. I’m so happy to say that themarshalleffect had an amazing first year amongst so much uncertainty. That is because of all of you! It’s been a year where, regardless of all of our own personal struggles, we’ve come together to help others. I’ve been so amazed by the generosity of everyone, whether that be donating items, money, or your time. As we all know, time is something we can never get back and is the largest investment we make. As we move into 2021, my hope is that #themarshalleffect can continue to grow and help more and more people in memory of Ryan. It is truer now than ever; the kindness we show others can change not just their day, but their lives.


Written by Suzanne Stratford

After Ryan took his own life, his family and friends wanted to do something that would make a real difference in peoples’ lives as well as honor his memory. To that effect, #themarshalleffect was established in October of 2019. It has been a very busy year for us: we acquired 501(c)3 nonprofit status and registered as a Charity in Good Standing with the State of Colorado in February 2020. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the many events and activities that were planned had to be cancelled, however, we were able use that time to focus on what we hoped to accomplish in an effort to save others from the pain we felt. We unanimously decided to financially support people at risk of self harm and/or who are in abusive relationships. We also wanted to reach out and support others’ efforts within the community, as Ryan enjoyed doing. With our mission clearly established, we were able to expand our website, design brochures, establish a market place for merchandise sales, which supports our administrative costs, and set up a Donate link within our website. We were back in business as usual starting in June, with several events and fundraisers planned and executed for the fall. In October, thanks to Alisa at Dream Site Designer, we were able to launch our new website, moving from to And, as this newsletter is being written, we are in collaboration with a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group, the form of therapy that provides the most effective known intervention for people at high risk of self-harm and suicide. Because of your help, we will be able to provide financial support for DBT clients, who otherwise cannot afford therapy, by the two year anniversary of Ryan’s death on 29 December 2020.


Written by Kimberly Marshall Adams

Dialectic Behavior Therapy is an Evidence-Based Treatment used with individuals at high risk for self-harm for whom other forms of therapy have failed. Instead of hospitalization, psychiatric medication, and programs that remove clients from their typical environment, DBT builds skills in the areas of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The term Dialectic refers to the creation of a balance between acceptance and change that is needed in every person’s life. It is the recognition that we can experience pain and difficulty, often due to problems not of our own making, and also are deserving of and can enjoy a meaningful life worth living.


2000 to 4000 Campaign

September 1-30, 2020

We were thrilled when contacted by a representative of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, offering to match any donations for the month of September, National Suicide Prevention Month, up to $2000. With our supporters’ generosity, we surpassed the$2000 mark, totaling $2455! When Modern Woodmen heard this, they decided to increase their support to match the entire amount. Thanks to all, we are on our way to supporting a full year of life changing Evidence-Based Treatment for people who would otherwise be unable to afford it.

Paddling and Pedaling in Memory of Ryan

October 1-31, 2020

Ryan would have been 24 in October, had his life not been cut short by suicide. In honor of his birthday, Ryan’s Aunt Kimberly and Grandma Suzanne joined together to remember him in unique ways … Kimberly completed her kayaking adventure of the 21-mile perimeter of Lake Nockamixon in Bucks County, Pennsylvania over a period of three days, and Suzanne rode her bike a total of 94.5 miles in three days in Colorado. (She thought about going out to add 5.5 more, but immediately ruled it out!!) A total of $2520 was raised, with $575 of it matched in our 2000 to 4000 Campaign.


In this truck that he loved, Ryan took his last breath. During an altercation with his girlfriend, Ryan climbed into it and shot himself. The bullet hole is still visible in the interior of the roof. It was debated whether the truck should be destroyed or sold; it was decided to use the truck to carry out Ryan’s legacy of helping others.
Numerous events involving Ryan’s truck were carried out during 2020. These included handing out burritos to homeless individuals in Denver, a truck “parade” (Ben’s Cruise) for an 8 year old battling cancer (co-sponsored with Toys for Tots and Hillbilly Mafia truck club), a truck parade for an 18 year old special needs young man, confined due to Covid-19, and a fund-raiser for a little girl in Greeley battling cancer (Trucks for Harley).



August 8, 2020 at Emerald Island

Last year’s winter clothing drive reaped 3 truckloads of winter clothing for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Our goal for this event was to fill 5 trucks. With your help we delivered NINE truckloads of clothing and household items to Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and the Mental Health Center of Denver. A big shout out to all our volunteers who spent the day roasting in the hot sun and to Emerald Island for being a consistent supporter of #themarshalleffect.
In addition to goods, donations to our programs totaled $1170!! Thank you!!!A very special thank you to our friends at Emerald Island Restaurant for hosting this event!


Toys for Tots Kickoff Show

September 26, 2020

Once again, #themarshalleffect worked with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots at their fun kickoff event in Northern Colorado. There was a fine display of classic cars and semi-pickup trucks, with prizes in different truck categories, as well as cool raffle prizes. Numerous boxes of toys were donated along with monetary donations to Toys for Tots. Though the event was in support of Toys for Tots, some generous donations were also made to #themarshalleffect.

Toys for Tots – Fill Ryan’s Truck

November 7, 2020

#themarshalleffect hosted a Fill Ryan’s Truck event at Emerald Island in Denver in support of Toys for Tots. In spite of its being a chilly and windy day, many people came out and a total of five boxes of toys were donated.

Toys for Tots- NOCO Event

November 14, 2020

Maryann and Courtney, our very loyal and hearty volunteers, went to the Toys for Tots NOCO Event and braved the freezing temps and 70 mph winds to represent #themarshalleffect. Kristen was unable to attend due to illness. It wasn’t as good a turnout as hoped, but even so, many boxes of toys were donated.

We look forward to continuing Ryan’s legacy of kindness and love. Thank you for your support and best wishes for the holidays from #themarshalleffect!