Dr. Nadia Drake, via Twitter:
We’ve had some inquiries about honoring my Papa D, and I love you all for holding him so closely. If you are moved to do something kind in memory of Frank Drake, we’d love for donations in his name to go to 988lifeline.org (or your local crisis center). Here’s why.
If you asked Dad what his most important accomplishment was, his answer wasn’t science. It was working as a suicide prevention counselor in Ithaca NY. For nine years he volunteered at the crisis center, working the overnight shift. He didn’t talk about those times very much but…
“I often think those were the most important hours I ever spent in my whole life,” he told Diane Ackerman, who recounts some of his experiences in her gorgeous book, A Slender Thread. He told me the same—although I hadn’t known of those hours until I needed the same lifeline.
I can picture him quietly talking people through the worst moments of their lives, helping them see another sunrise. That’s who he was. He cared so much about people he’d never meet, and he loved life so much that he needed to help us love it too—if even just a tiny bit more.