Community Groups: Let’s Make a Difference
Like the places from which they spring, community groups come in all shapes and sizes. What doesn’t vary is their singular purpose. These organizations fight addiction. Period. That’s why they were formed, and that’s how they’ll stay focused. And that’s what will keep them going until the beast is vanquished.
For the next few days, Healing Properties will feature some of our country’s most courageous community groups. Those on the front lines, day in and day out. Some of them run on shoe strings. Others are backed by coalitions of their own. But no matter how they’re funded, each and every one of them is devoted to cleaning up our beloved country.
We stumbled upon our first community fight group thanks to the ace reporting of Erin Fe, from the news team at KSBY, the NBC affiliate covering California’s Central Coast. (In fact, it was Fe who sent us down the community group path to begin with.) The group’s called Let’s Make a Difference, and they’ve come up with a list of addiction initiatives that’s as formidable as it is inspiring.
Let’s take a look.
Let’s Make a Difference
The Let’s Make a Difference Mission Statement is simple and concise: “Connecting families and friends of addicts to support, services and education to help them avoid the pain due to substance abuse and overdose.” No funny stuff. No overdoing it. Just what they do.
And what needs to be done. The Santa Maria, California organization “wants to be that helping hand between the addict and the system. [They] want to help educate families and friends of the substances that are being abused and killing [their] loved ones.”
The simplicity of the mission in no way diminishes its strengths, or its necessity. Addicts and their families often fail to fight the good fight simply because they don’t know where to get help. Serving as that conduit provides the musculature necessary for them to fight with all they can muster.
Let’s Make a Directive
LMAD’s directives are equally simple — and just as effective.
If that sounds suspiciously like Alcoholics Anonymous that’s probably because it’s largely based upon that fabled organization’s very own guidelines. In fact, LMAD even provides links to local AA affiliates between each directive. Makes sense, considering AA was one of America’s very first addiction-focused community groups.
The organization also hosts an annual Overdose Awareness Event. This year, its third, was held in Santa Maria’s 15 acre Pioneer Park (and was the reason for the KSBY coverage). The happening included entertainment, food, face painting, and dancing, as well as a Memory Wall, where “organizers displayed photos of people who lost their lives in the struggle with addiction.”
“The first year was to commemorate the first year anniversary of my son’s passing,” Danielle Murillo told the station. “And it turned into an event to bring awareness to overdose.”
Murillo is the founder and president of Let’s Make a Difference. And while loss may have caused her to launch the organization, she was also compelled by community need. And her year-round efforts include teaming with other like-minded local organizations such as Pathway to Healing, the Good Samaritan Shelter, and the Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse. This enables all involved even further opportunity to spread awareness and provide resources to people suffering from addiction. It helps reach more families too — a lot more families.
“That’s why I’m doing this,” she said. “Because I didn’t know who to reach out to. And so I want to bring that awareness to the community and let these families know who they need to reach out to where to go to get help.”
Healing Properties also teams with various community groups. In fact, we’ve been doing so since 2002. And we’ll continue to do so too, so long as there’s a need. Why wouldn’t we? Community groups not only provide great service, they’re also a tremendous inspiration for everyone. They also happen to be our first best chance at victory. After all, few things are as formidable as the voice of the people. And community groups do indeed represent the voice of the people.
Could you use the service of a community group? You might want to check in with our good friends at the great Partnership to End Addiction. You know the Partnership. We feature them all the time. Well, they happen to have an onslaught of community partners, from every state in the country. And we’re sure each is as helpful as the next.
Of course you can call us too, whether or not you’re in Florida. It doesn’t matter. The point is to please pick up the phone and get help. The call could very well save your life.
(Image courtesy Pixabay)