Sharon Harkless lost her son Cody to an overdose in 2016.
Now her event, the Peoria Recovery Project, is reaching out to families and individuals struggling with addiction.
The goal is to provide, recovery, education, advocacy, community and health.
“Don’t ever say it’s not going to happen to your child,” says Wendy McCreedy. “I didn’t think it would happen to my child.”
Wendy McCreedy lost her son Alan nearly 3 years ago to an overdose, so for her it’s personal.
“There’s so many resources these days,” says McCreedy. “There’s rehab there’s help for your child, for your loved one. you just have to be there when they are ready.”
She channeled her tragedy and started her organization Fight the Fight to raise awareness about addition here in central Illinois.
“Today is about hope and a new way of thinking,” says Peoria County Sheriff Asbell.
On Saturday, the Peoria Recovery Project brought community leaders and more than 50 different organizations together for families struggling with addiction and try to change the stimga.
“This event is to take the word awareness into the word action,” says Jamie Harwood. “Where we demonstrate to our community that we are not going to stand for overdoses anymore that we have a genuine caring compassion for people that are going through the addiction process that need help that need recovery.”
“We’re trying to get out to the community to let them know this is a medical problem and we have to look at it like that,” says the sheriff.
For those reaching for a solution, Sheriff Asbell says it’s best to start the conversation early.
“Anytime you have that suspicion have that honest talk,” says Asbell. “Let them know that you care about that person and we’re here for you and want to walk down this path with you and get you the help you need.”