Welcome to the second edition of the Executive Director quarterly update! Summer is upon us, and the sun reflects the bright future ahead for the Jamie Daniels Foundation.
In May 2021, when I joined the Jamie Daniels Foundation as Executive Director, I couldn’t have imagined the impact this experience would have on me. What I’ve learned and the personal stories many of you have shared will be with me forever.
I’m struck by my previous ignorance regarding the impact substance use disorder is having in every community across the country – the difficulties families face in securing the care their loved ones need, and the stigma that still exists within individuals, organizations, and communities. Yet I’m encouraged by the passion of those who are working to make a difference in this space, the increased openness to enter into meaningful conversations about substance use disorder, and the progress that the Jamie Daniels Foundation, with your help, has made.
To that point, thanks to all of you who attended and supported our first annual Comedy Night of Hope at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle held on May 1 with a special thank you to our presenting sponsor Priority Waste, and dinner sponsor Crank’s Catering. It was a great success as we were able to connect with more than 400 current and new supporters, allowing us to share our mission and impact of the foundation. Across two shows we raised $50,000 to support a new adolescent substance abuse treatment center planned to open this year in Troy, Mich. In my next update, I’ll have more to share about this much-needed resource.
In May we encouraged supporters to join the No Shame Movement to reduce stigma by taking the #NOSHAME pledge (click to read Blog). Along with the SAFE Project and our partners, we were able to reach more than 100,000 across the county, with more than 1000 stepping up and taking the pledge. Click here for photos of those who supported on behalf of the Jamie Daniels Foundation.
We know that over 63% of Americans have unused or expired prescription medication in their homes, and unfortunately, for a significant number of children and teenagers, access to these medications is their first source of drugs that start them down the journey of usage. That’s why the Jamie Daniels Foundation has been distributing Deterra drug activation disposable pouches at events and to our community partners, encouraging Michiganders to safely clean out their medicine cabinets.
These pouches render the medication harmless since you can safely throw them away in household trash without any environmental impact. In just the last 90 days we’ve distributed more than 1000 pouches with the capacity to destroy 45,000 pills, keeping them out of reach of our children.
Our next grant cycle is rapidly approaching, and I am excited about what that will mean for our community. I’m anticipating several new grantees along with continuing relationships with many of our current partners, and I look forward to sharing this news with you in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your ongoing support and please connect with us on social media to stay up to date on all our activities.