I received the letter below via email today and (with permission) wanted to share it with you. Then read some of the other words of encouragement that I have received over the last year.
I want to tell you how much this group has been making a big difference for me. When I first came, I came out of desperation, full of confusion and feeling so helpless and like a failing Mother. That was two and a half months ago and while I still feel all those things at times it is a lot less often. I was welcomed by Sherry the first night I attended and felt very shy she made me feel comfortable and honestly she is why I came back the next week. Since then the times I got up the courage to speak I was met with understanding and a lot of great advice and information. Last night was very moving for me and I heard every word that was spoken to me. I am so very thankful to have a group to share with and not feel like I have only one option over another. All the experiences of the group are indeed helping me to get through each week with my Son and his addiction. Your daughter April and Billy have made a huge impact on the way I have looked at my son in the past and their candid views help me to grow, as have the views You have shared and of really, all of this group. While I am a Catholic I am not overly religious and I like that this group does not base all it influence on God.. but more I get the feeling of community and autonomy from FOA..
Thank you, Lori, for starting this group. I look forward to growing with this family and helping where I can.
I'm sending you this message with the prior emails in case you may remember us.
I just want you to know that the information you provided me on 1/24/16 saved my son's life and he is thriving. He has not used since January and his relationship with all of us (me, his fiancee, his children, his sister and his brother-in-law) is profoundly improved. I mentioned I was going to email you and he wanted to say it is not just him but everyone's life has been changed because of you. We thank you with all our heart.
I know it's only been 5 months and people don't always recover and there are pitfalls but it's gone so well and he is so determined and he has a lot of support. We didn't go to many FOA meetings but oh my gosh doing that opened up conversations that we would not have had if we didn't go at all.
We all plan on coming to the FOA event in August to support you, FOA and I think just to stand up, be proud and witness that there is hope.
Thank you so much for being such an important part of our lives.
I wanted to tell you at the meeting Wednesday .... a guy sitting at our table said his son had just entered Nova and he heard about FOA Families of Addicts when they came to speak at the visitation day so he came to the meeting wed and talked to my mom and I and asked us both advice/questions and I thought that was so cool wanted to share it with you bc that's what it's all about!- it works!
I want to thank you so much for always being there to try and help. You made me understand the drug and I was able to stop being mad at my brother.
My daughter lost a long time friend 2 days ago. It's an ugly thing and I commend you and FOA Families of Addicts for your continued fight against this stronghold of the enemy.
Also, I was at Good Neighbor House yesterday. I was talking to a woman in the waiting room and we were singing your praises. She has been clean for a year and comes to your meetings every week. We both talked about how dedicated and wonderful you are.
Finding help for a loved one struggling with addiction is incredibly hard - as only someone who's been there can understand.
Despite my 4+ years of helping navigate the paperwork, appointments and endless rules for my loved one, when a new friend from out of state asked me for help I was lost. No Ohio ID and out-of-state Medicaid were non-starters everywhere I called seeking help.
Then I called Lori Erion of FOA ... she got back to me within the hour to understand the circumstances, made a few phone calls and opened doors I never even knew existed!
That quickly and we had appointments the next day with a health insurance navigator at 9:00 am to cancel my friend's out of state insurance, a 10:00 am appointment to get her on presumptive Medicaid in Ohio and then got squeezed in for a 2:00 pm program assessment ... all on a Friday!
Today (the next Monday) my friend started her new program with a 2 hour introduction session followed by a 3 hour group session and an appointment soon to see a doctor.
The rest is up to her, but she got the help she needed quickly while she was still looking for it, instead of weeks later when the opportunity was gone.
THANK YOU Lori and FOA!
Good place to be yourself and don't have to be judged from your past
PLEASE SUPPORT FOA SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO PROVIDE WEEKLY MEETINGS , ONE-ON ONE SUPPORT, NAVIGATION AND OUR FAMOUS FOA RALLY 4 RECOVERY FOR ANYONE TOUCHED BY ADDICTION.CLICK HERE TO DONATE
RALLY COMMENTS FROM RESOURCE VENDORS
Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the FOA event on Sunday. It was truly an exhilarating and inspiring event. Just to see the people that went up who had 25+, 20+, 15+, 10+, 5+, 1+, years, 6 months, 5 months… 24 hours of recovery, I couldn’t believe it! I got goose bumps!! I marvel at the work you do for the community. Thanks for doing what you do and allowing us to go along for the ride.
Joanne Zahora ~ Molina
"I am quite blessed to attend and present at rally's and conferences all over the state and without question the FOA Rally is one of the most organized, vibrant, and diverse each and every year!"
"What made this year’s FOA Rally top drawer was that the organizers understand that there are many paths for individuals to find recovery and the broad diversity of providers, speakers and messages bore this out! The FOA team clearly and correctly believe that this challenge is so great that only a open-minded community-rich approach will make the difference and the Rally is evidence of that approach and a powerful venue offering hope, collaboration and change."
Greg Delaney ~ THE REFUGE OHIO
COMMENTS FROM A FACEBOOK POST
Other support groups & "professionals" had me feeling worse when I left. Walking into that first FOA meeting, I found what I wanted by example. Mother & child fighting it as a family. I wasn't shamed into separating myself. I was educated by an addict. I left feeling stronger. Although priorities kept me away at times, I felt I still belonged to the group. Now that things are calmer, I am able to share what I've learned with people who are struggling & with those that can make a difference. Education makes a difference & FOA delivers.
Before I came to FOA I felt all alone while dealing with my son's addictions. I found FOA by internet and came to the first rally. I was so overwhelmed to see I was not the only family dealing with this epidemic. It has educated myself, and my son's in so many ways. I'm more vocal, caring,supportive of others dealing with the same hell. These families have become an extension to my family, and I'm very grateful to them all. Thanks Lori Erion for all that you do on a daily basis, your appreciated more than you could ever imagine!!
FOA has been a great deal to my recovery it's brought my addiction out of the shadows and gave my family the power to come forward together and fight it as a family. It's brought people who normally would not talk about it open up to me family, friends, strangers...
FOA was there for me at a time in my life when I thought it was over. I thought death was my only option. FOA provided me with the resources to get the help I needed to pull me out of the pits of hell. Now I am approaching ten months of continuous sobriety due to the resources and FOA. Lori Erion and the FOA family continue to play a vital role in my recovery. For that I will forever be in debt to FOA. I am responsible to lend a helping hand to those who continue to struggle like FOA has done for me. MUCH LOVE!!!
It's helped me become a better mother and friend.
FOA has kept me active so that I don't get all obsessed with what April is or isn't doing. Helping others is a way for me to get out of myself and not feel like the victim. I have more friends through FOA than I ever imagined and the really cool thing is that everyone comes from a different walk of life. Truly a blessing...
I don't have a crystal ball but I believe if we had not found FOA that I would not still be married and my son would not be a recovering addict, he may not even be alive today. He says recovery was and is possible because his best support is his family, a family who is educated on addiction and the addict and have the tools needed to be his biggest supporter.
There IS hope but donations are needed to keep helping families and addicts!
I knew absolutely nothing about heroin addiction and had no idea how to learn, how to help our new friend/son in order to save my sanity and his life. FOA is amazing. I have learned so much in the past few years and it has not only benefited him, but benefited me as well. I honestly don't think he would be alive and working to restore a normal life if it weren't for FOA. The support, resources and encouragement have made a huge difference.
When we met Donny, he was clean, but not for long, and the resulting turmoil in our lives was overwhelming FOA taught us about addiction, but more importantly, helped us learn to forgive and help Donny work toward a better, drug-free life. The organization saves lives, provides information about all things related to addiction - health, treatment options, services available, and most importantly, provides a community of support without judgement. We recognize that the addict is first and foremost a person, not just an addict, and we learn from one another how to survive and improve the relationship, set boundaries and help our loved one. Donating to FOA helps save lives!
FOA has helped me understand what addiction is all about. It has taught me that addiction is a disease and that people can't 'just quit' and that it's support systems like FOA that helps addicts and families of addicts get the help they need. It has also introduced me to some new friends. 😊❤
FOA has helped my husband and I in so many ways ...they stuck by my husband side dealing with the rough times of addiction and helped him get insurance ..And it's helped me understand addiction and helped me realize how impacts so families ..Lori has been one of ur biggest support system for anything we need we are blessed to have such a great support system ..And they help so many other families out also .. we appreciate everything they done for us
And a big thank you to you for starting these meeting to make all these moments and memories possible. Thank you for giving families and those in recovery a chance to come together and celebrate life once again and to give those that are still struggling hope that recovery is possible!
This group is for sure an amazing blessing. Compassion love hope and consideration these things all seek in life.
I am truly blessed for FOA and the family that I have gained through it. I can't say enough how much this organization means to me. I love you all ❤
Had a good night. I went to the FOA meeting and Jason Alderman wanted to go and went with his brother Josh Alderman and i. Im Proud of you guys. Thanks Lori Erion for putting me on the spot lol I'm not use to a spot light. But thank you so much for all the kind words and support. You are loved appreciated and an amazing individual. I also met a new friend i can't wait to get to know more. more support with like minded people are always a positive. Then played some pool and won of course.
PLEASE SUPPORT FOA SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO PROVIDE WEEKLY MEETINGS , ONE-ON ONE SUPPORT, NAVIGATION AND OUR FAMOUS FOA RALLY 4 RECOVERY FOR ANYONE TOUCHED BY ADDICTION. CLICK HERE TO DONATE
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