It was just over a year ago that I returned to work after the overdose death of my daughter Emily and made her story public.
Since that time, KELOLAND Media Group, the community and even people nationwide have rallied behind the mission of Emily’s’ Hope.
Emily’s Hope is the charity that I started in my daughter’s name to stop the stigma of addiction and get more people into treatment and recovery. We have achieved a lot with your help in the last year.
“I think it’s best if I just tell my story and let everyone out there know what happened to my daughter. Because I really believe it could happen to anyone’s daughter. It can happen in anyone’s family. And it starts with addiction.” I said on September 5, 2018.
Immediately after I shared my daughter’s story with our viewers, it was picked up nationally and even internationally. That helped build the momentum for Emily’s Hope.
The idea behind the non-profit was to raise enough money to start a scholarship fund for treatment at the new Avera Addiction Care Center, which is nearing completion.
Throughout the last year, Emily’s Hope raised money through a variety of events, including a fun curling event in February.
In June, 400 riders turned out for the Emily’s Hope Poker Run to support the mission.
Emily’s artwork was also a featured exhibit at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls and in April we held the Emily’s Hope Art Show and Auction, where local and regional artists donated their work to be auctioned for the cause.
I have told Emily’s story in communities across KELOLAND and across the country.
Many businesses have also stepped up and raised money for Emily’s Hope.
To bring attention to the epidemic, KELOLAND News produced a one-hour special on the opioid crisis, which recently received a regional Emmy Award.
Then in August, I joined other mothers at a candlelight vigil for those who have overdosed and died. 192 people overdose and die every day in the U.S.
“It’s critical. I mean we are losing more lives to this illness than to just about anything; particularly in what would normally be our young, healthy population, below the age of 50, even more so below the age of 30,” Dr. Matt Stanley, Vice President of Avera Behavioral Health Line, said.
The results of our year-long fundraising efforts came to fruition, as Emily’s Hope presented the new Avera Addiction Care Center with a gift of $250,000 to help cover the cost of patients’ treatment.
“I think these dollars will represent opportunities for so many people, so many people who otherwise would avoid treatment or find a reason not to get to treatment,” Dr. Stanley said.
Giving Emily’s Hope to many families for healing and continued recovery.
Emily’s Hope will continue to fund the treatment scholarship program in years to come. We are also helping the Oxford sober living houses in Sioux Falls, women and children’s home with supplies and other needs.