JAMESTOWN – Two area residents who’ve personally been affected by the current drug epidemic are holding an event this weekend to help raise awareness about the problem and the current local resources that are available for people and families dealing with addiction.
The Breaking the Stigma Community Outreach Event is scheduled to take place from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Celoron Fire Hall. It’s being described as a community outreach event to raise awareness for addiction assistance and will feature live speakers, representatives from various local support agencies, NARCAN classes, and more.
The event is being coordinated by area residents Julia Perkins and Heather Mendell, who appeared on WRFA’s Community Matters program March 3.
Mendell said this weekend’s event is an offshoot of a grassroots networking effort that was started last year, when the two created a Facebook page to address the issue and also organized a community picnic last August.
“There were just a lot of different opinions going around so I contacted Julia and said, ‘I think we need to do this. We need to put something together where people can come together and, in a positive light put their ideas out there and see what kind of positive change we can make,'” Mendell said. “So that was our first step and we got a lot of support. People were liking and joining our Facebook group and we hooked up with a bunch of different agencies and groups as well.”
Perkins said this weekend’s event is intended to offer information for the entire community and everyone is encouraged to attend, not just those currently battling with addiction.
“Addiction doesn’t discriminate,” Perkins said. “Please educate yourself. Open your dialogue with your loved ones and hopefully they will be more apt to come to you to get the help they need when they are ready.”
The event on Saturday is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the breaking the stigma facebook page.
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