Our son, Justin Matthew Wolfe would have been turning 27 years old on June 11th of this year. His life, however, was cut short at the age of 21 from a heroin overdose on December 19, 2012.
Over the past several years, I have worked with Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern New Jersey (JFCS) to organize Right In Our Backyard, a program developed to increase awareness in the South Jersey community, prevent addiction and addiction-related deaths, and keep our youth healthy and armed with the knowledge to make informed decisions. Through a panel presentation highlighting the signs and effects of addiction, ways to seek help, tools to escape an uncomfortable situation, disposal methods of prescription narcotics, and how to begin the discussion if they or someone they know is suspected of taking drugs, we have taught over 3,000 teens and their parents at churches, synagogues and schools.
We have also partnered with Camden County for expanded outreach, and have traveled from the Jersey shore to Baltimore in furtherance of our goal of saving lives. Tragically, the number of overdose deaths in New Jersey is more than triple the national rate, and “now [heroin overdose] eclipses homicide, suicide, car accidents and AIDS as a cause of death in the state.”
Please join me for Justin’s birthday benefit on Monday, June 11th, at the Mansion in Voorhees, at 6pm. ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO JFCS FOR THE RIGHT IN OUR BACKYARD PROGRAM to enable us to continue to spread our message and save lives.
I look forward to seeing you, and thank you for your commitment.