The number of drug overdoses continues to rise. Since the death of her own daughter to fentanyl poisoning, KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke has been raising money to help others get the treatment they need.
As the Admissions Director for Stewart School, Katie Van Ballegooyen helps people find their career path every day. She’s also trying to show them how to give back.
“We pick a local charity of the month, every month here. This month we chose Emily’s Hope,” said Vanballegooyen.
For the month of March, anyone who comes in and makes a donation to Emily’s Hope will receive 20-percent off coupon at their salon.
Even though Stewart’s picks a new cause each month, this one is extra special for Van Ballegooyen. Two years ago her friend Ashley lost her own life to a drug overdose.
“Getting help is hard. There’s, around here, not a lot of resources. So having Emily’s Hope is just great. It’s amazing,” said Van Ballegooyen.
Ashley’s family tried to get her help. They even hired an interventionist to fly in from Minneapolis, who then took her to a treatment center in Colorado.
After being clean, getting married, and having a baby, Ashley’s mom, Joyce Boyer, believed her daughter was free from addiction. Sadly, when Ashley lost her baby boy to SIDs, she lost her strength.
“She never got over him passing away. She always thought, it’s my fault, because of the way I lived my life. It wasn’t her fault. I told her it was SIDs. There’s nothing you could have done about it,” said Boyer.
Now, Ashley’s family and friends are hoping to end the misconceptions surrounding drug addiction to hopefully save more people from the pain they feel now.
“I don’t know how to put it, but it happens to anybody. Ashley, my friend, she was so smart. She was, I guess, not like a stereotype. Which is what I hope to end,” said Van Ballegooyen.
“We just want to raise awareness and let people know that they’re good people. You know? I mean, we’re the ones that have to live a life without them,” said Boyer.
You can donate to Emily’s Hope by clicking this link, or visiting Stewart School this month.