In the midst of heartbreaking news about the nation’s heroin and opiate epidemic, one organization in Northampton County is offering support, education, and, most of all, hope. Partners for a New Beginning, dedicated to spreading awareness on the topic of heroin and opiate addiction, held its third annual Heroin and Opiate Awareness Day on Saturday, June 2 at the Bushkill Township Volunteer Fire Company. The day featured crafts, vendors, raffles, music, baked goods, food, and more than two dozen educational organizations dedicated to treatment, awareness, and counseling.
“This is our way of giving back,” said Gerry Weaver, president of Partners for a New Beginning. Weaver became passionate about opiate awareness and support after having dealt with her son’s addiction and recovery. She helped found the nonprofit organization alongside other mothers and loved ones of those struggling with addiction.
“As mothers, we wanted to make a difference and start educating people and raise awareness,” said Weaver.
The organization holds support group meetings, sends care packages to treatment centers, assists local families in need, and visits schools across the area to teach children about addiction. It is donations from events like Heroin and Opiate Awareness Day that make these efforts possible.
Last year, the organization earned more than 20,000 dollars in donations. Nearly 40 percent of those donations went to sober living support.
Those in attendance during the Awareness Day event not only got to browse crafts, try their luck at hundreds of raffles donated by generous businesses and families, and listen to area musicians, they also played an important role in helping Partners for a New Beginning continue its mission of awareness, education, and support.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Partners for a New Beginning hosts support group meetings the first and third Thursday of every month, from 7 to 8 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Nazareth. The support group is a safe and confidential forum for those struggling with addiction to meet friends, discuss their experiences, and heal.