In 2021, COVID-19 continued to disrupt all of our lives while creating unique challenges for one in 10 adults in America who are struggling with Substance Use Disorder. And tragically, over 100,000 lost their lives to overdose in the past year.
These startling facts serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of our mission to provide resources and support to children, teens, young adults and their families in their battle with Substance Use Disorder. With your help, we have invested in programs that prevent substance abuse, aid those in recovery, and reduce the stigma associated with this disease.
Thanks to the generosity of caring people like you, we expanded our collegiate recovery support at Michigan State University and added three more schools to our roster of collegiate recovery programs. Grant support from the Jamie Daniels Foundation enables access to counseling, the development of recovery-oriented programming to meet student needs, dedicated recovery space on campus, and safe and healthy housing options.
Another important aspect of our mission is to reduce the stigma associated with Substance Use Disorder. We believe that by promoting an accurate understanding of Substance Use Disorder, we can reduce the barriers associated with seeking help and create awareness that makes early intervention possible. This effort is achieved through engaging parents, teachers, community members, and the media. Examples range from our sponsorship of an education campaign during National Recovery Month, distribution of Deterra bags for the proper disposal of medication, promotion of Narcan training, as well as various speaking engagements with community organizations and the media.
Earlier this year we also achieved a significant milestone with our first ever hire! This summer, Chris Perry joined our team as Executive Director of the Jamie Daniels Foundation. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to the organization. We were also excited to add Marilyn Bartley, Substance Use Disorder advocate and child well-being champion, to our Board of Trustees. We’re confident that the additional experience and expertise Chris and Marilyn bring will allow us to build on our momentum and continue to grow our impact.
We also successfully hosted our Third Annual Celebrity Roast presented by Delta Dental with guest of honor, NHL Hall-of-Famer Brett Hull. The event was great fun, providing a night of laughs and entertainment and raising $370,000 – a 25% increase from last year! The Roast also generated awareness awareness of Substance Use Disorder and shared tragic personal stories to enforce how this disease does not discriminate.
Looking forward, you’ll see an expansion of the Jamie Daniels Foundation’s efforts to enable substance use prevention, aid those in recovery, and reduce the stigma associated with Substance Use Disorder.
Throughout this challenging year, we have been extremely thankful for your continued support. It is because of you, we are doing more to create change and help individuals and families have fulfilling and healthy lives. Thank you for being with us on this journey – we wish you a safe, healthy and Happy New Year.
Ken Daniels and Lisa Daniels-Goldman, co-founders