WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Raising awareness and making a difference in our community. That’s what students at Wilkes University set out to do Wednesday.

“We’re just hoping to save lives because naloxone does save lives,” said Jamie Sayre, a Wilkes University student.

The opioid epidemic affects every walk of life. Each step taken on Wednesday was to bring awareness to the impact opioid use disorder can have on someone’s life.

“One of our goals is to increase awareness about substance use disorder and we thought the best way to do it would be with a walk,” explained Bryce Yencha, a Wilkes University student.

Organizers Bryce Yencha and Jamie Sayre are both in their fourth year of pharmacy school as colonels with two more years to go.

“As a pharmacist, you are there to help people and help your patients so it’s important to be knowledgeable about all types of medications. So what we can best help our patients,” stated Sayre.

The two collected donations Wednesday, the money raised goes to purchase naloxone for the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department.

Wilkes-barre fire Chief Jay Delaney walked beside the students, moved by their motivation.

“I think they’re letting their actions speak louder than words,” said Chief Delaney.

Chief Delaney says a partnership with the university started almost 10 years ago operation substance use disorder.

“They understand what opioids have done to the community, really stepped up to try to make things better,” stated Delaney.

Last year the Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department and EMS administered about 259 doses of naloxone.

Those in need of life-saving medication cover all demographics young and old. Chief Delaney says thankfully the city has seen a drop in prescription opioids and overdoses.

“But the fentanyl and what the fentanyl is laced with has caused us real issues,” said Delaney.

The fight to save lives remains even when the drug of choice changes.