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A letter from our Executive Director – September 2022

JAMIE DANIELS FOUNDATION

Greetings!

Thanks for following along with our work at the Jamie Daniels Foundation. As you may have noticed, it has been a busy summer as we’ve awarded three new grants, now supporting seven colleges in Michigan with collegiate recovery. That’s one-third of students in our state! As we move forward toward the end of the year, I wanted to share with you some news and a particularly exciting upcoming event!

Each September we recognize Recovery Month, which is dedicated to promoting and supporting evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, and to give thanks to service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

From advocacy, stigma reduction, and supportive programming, follow along with us on social media as we raise awareness and share what we are doing to support recovery efforts.

As we acknowledge and support the recovery community, we also need to honor those who have lost their battle with substance use disorder. In 2021, over 108,000 Americans died of an overdose, and Michigan witnessed a 16% increase in overdose deaths.

One such person was Paxton, a loving son, father, and sibling. His father, Stuart, shared their family’s story, capturing who Paxton was – and the devastating impact of his death.  

“He was a great athlete who never really seemed to care if he won, he just wanted to compete and have fun. That pretty much sums him up in a nutshell. He just wanted the experience of life he didn’t need to be better than you or beat someone to feel good about himself. He was always happy and supportive of others success. He was the people’s champion in my book.”

Paxton with his mother.

You can read Stuart’s heartfelt and compelling story, here. Our hope is that his words will make those who have gone through a similar experience feel seen and heard; that it will inspire others to share story, breaking their silence; and that with each story shared, it will chip away at the stigma associated with substance use disorder.

If you’ve been impacted by addiction, whether it be related to recovery or loss, I invite you to share your story. We believe doing so can foster empathy, offer hope, and create necessary change.

Each day, the Jamie Daniels Foundation is working to provide support, resources, and programming to families like Stuart’s and individuals like Paxton. If you’d like to support us in our efforts, you can make a gift, or attend a fundraising event – in fact, we have one coming up in December that you won’t want to miss, especially if you’re a sports fan!

This fall, the Jamie Daniels Foundation will host Co-founder and Red Wings Lead Announcer, Ken Daniels, and his broadcasting partner and Michigan Sports Hall of Fame inductee Mickey Redmond.

Ken and Mickey will be joined by former NHL stars who will be sharing stories from their years of experience as well as answering attendee questions. Proceeds from the event will be used to support substance use prevention efforts, help those in recovery, reduce the stigma associated with this disease, and advocate for change that can improve the path of a child or teen’s life.

Stay tuned for more details on the event and the launch of an incredible virtual silent auction coming this fall!

Before I wrap up, I also wanted to share out a couple links that highlight our important work:

Resources to help navigate SUD or the recovery process

Ferris State’s CREW program aids students with addictions

Thanks again for your continued support. Together, we are making a difference!

Chris Perry
Executive Director
Jamie Daniels Foundation

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