TAMAQUA, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— To raise awareness about drug addiction and overdose, that’s the goal of one Schuylkill County non-profit.
“There is always hope. You can recover, there is help. There’s a support system, you know. Whatever you think you don’t have, you actually do have with us,” said Tammy Rusnock-Kline, a volunteer for “Safer Streets For Tamaqua’s Little Feet.”
Hope is something that’s more than just a word for “Safer Streets For Tamaqua’s Little Feet,” a non-profit in Schuylkill County that spreads education and awareness about drug addiction and overdoses.
“It’s become the epidemic that we didn’t want it to become and now there’s so many people that want to volunteer, they want to help, they want to put a stop to it. We want to save our future generations,” Rusnock-Kline explained.
Rusnock-Kline lost her daughter Chrissy to substance abuse, now her mission is to volunteer with the nonprofit to help spread the word.
“If these resources weren’t there when I needed them for my daughter and I pray to god they were because maybe she’d still be here today,” Rusnock-Kline told Eyewitness News.
The group held its 7th annual candlelit walk and festival Saturday, its co-founder told Eyewitness News she and her husband started it back in 2016 after their daughter passed away from a drug overdose.
“We were so uneducated and didn’t know what to do. The stigma was so bad, we were embarrassed to ask what to do and I didn’t even know there’s a rehab in Pennsylvania,” said Tammy Sienkiewicz, a co-founder of “Safer Streets for Tamaqua’s Little Feet.
The event hosted carnival games and welcomed more than 20 resources for those seeking help.
“This isn’t about bad people becoming good, it’s about good people becoming well and that needs to be screamed from rooftops at this point,” Sienkiewicz said.
Faces of those who lost their lives to drug overdoses are hung up on a purple ribbon to be remembered.
And with some hope, the memories and goals they’ll never give up on.
“No one could help you, you have to help yourself, but there are so many people out there that will help you help yourself. Reach out, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Like I said, it’s about good people getting well,” Sienkiewicz concluded.
Saturday’s event ended with a candlelit walk to remember those who passed from an overdose.
If you are seeking help or know someone who needs it, visit the Safer Streets for Tamaqua’s Little Feet website for more information.