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Holding bake sales to save lives

Our friends at Health Equity Alliance (H.E.A.L.) have started a pretty fantastic fundraiser that makes me proud to be affiliated with them and discouraged with the world I live in.

H.E.A.L. is raising funds to purchase Naloxone, a medication that has exactly one use: to bring a person back from the certain death of a drug overdose. Their goal is to purchase 376 kits – the exact number of Mainers who died from overdose in 2016.

My discouragement is as Robert Fulghum wrote, “It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need, and our air force has to have a bake-sale to buy a bomber.”

H.E.A.L. will make the kits available to those least able to afford them and least likely to seek them. The weight of stigma and the fear of judgment continue to create barriers to obtaining life saving measures.

All of which underscores why we need people like H.E.A.L.’s Harm Reduction Coordinator, Ross Hicks who is responsible for creating: The Keep Calm and Carry Naloxone campaign. It’s a social fundraiser that relies on community members to raise small gifts towards a larger goal. If 375 people raise at least $75 each we can attain our goal and help reverse the tide of drug overdose deaths that has been sweeping Maine.

Ross asks that we to talk to our friends, our families, our co-workers, our associates, everybody we know, about the campaign and how they can contribute. Set your goal as low at $75 or higher to contribute more to the cause, and collect contributions of $5, $10, as much as people are willing to give towards your goal.

For every $75 you raise, you get to save a life.

Our friends at Higher Ground Services (HGS) want to inspire some competition. HGS’ gifted clinician, Sean Weber has formed a team of fundraisers (Compassion with a Flair) that has a way cooler name than Ross’ team (Team Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo) (yes, really.)

There are plenty of worthy charities in the world deserving of our efforts and contributions, yet we’re usually left to wonder how much good our donations do. This is a rare opportunity. Whatever the cost of human life, it is assuredly more than $75.

Please become part of the solution to addiction in our state. Get familiar with those who are on the front lines like our friends at H.E.A.L. Form a team, donate whatever you can, and look into what folks like the Bangor Area Recovery Coalition are doing to make recovery more attainable in our state.

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