Dear JSRF Friends,
If you wondered why you didn’t hear from us during the holiday season, the simple truth is that the “most wonderful time of the year” is still a very hard time of the year for us. No matter how much we try to change our outlook and find ways to be in the present moment, still a part of our hearts are truly broken. Nevertheless, we know that it is never too late to wish each and every one of you and your families a happy and healthy New Year 2019!
As we start the New Year we are filled with mixed emotions. April 25th will mark 10 years since Jeremy left this earth, and 10 days later will mark 9 years for Jean (Jeremy’s brother). How do you live a decade without your child? It is incomprehensible and unfathomable to understand such a travesty. It is hard to believe that parents can survive a loss of this magnitude. We honestly did not think we would survive 1 day, let alone 10 years. I often think of how the world has changed in 10 years. Even though we have more choices for addiction medicine, including more treatment facilities, have Naloxone readily available (thanks to our friends at Live4Lali), sadly 10 years later there still is NO cure for the disease of addiction and staggering numbers of people continue to die every single day from drug overdose. The stigma and lack of understanding for this mental health disorder is still not fully understood or given the national attention that it deserves. The number of accidental opioid-related overdose deaths continues to grow clear across the country.
TEN years … so many major life and family events that both Jeremy and Jean have missed; like their sister’s graduate school graduations, her beautiful wedding day, and now the addition of a new puppy named Harley (they would have been the best uncles to Harley). They also missed grandma’s three-month visit that was sadly forced because of Hurricane Maria. This 10th anniversary we will focus on reaching as many teens as possible. We want to give teens the opportunity to experience hope no matter how unfair life may seem because they are under-resourced or born into poverty… so that just maybe they never have to miss out on 10 years of their lives. So, let us put aside pride and fear and try to reach that one teen that needs to find hope … help us help a teen. If you know a teen that is under-resourced and between the ages of 13-18 that would like to participate in summer camp or school extracurricular activities please reach out to us or call your local social worker or local school and have them contact us.
On this 10th anniversary we will start the year with our largest sponsorship since the inception of JSRF in 2011 by sponsoring 25 teens from Puerto Rico to participate at an event “Puerto Rico Para el Mundo” in Carnegie Hall on July 2, 2019.
This year it’s all about the teens … less fundraising and more sponsoring. That doesn’t mean that your favorite events are not happening! Save the date for Yoga, Wine & Chocolate ~ Friday, April 12th! On a last but very important note, we would like to thank so many of you that donated to JSRF during our #GivingTuesday Campaign and during the Holidays. Your beautiful notes, cards and donations truly warmed our hearts! We can’t thank you enough for helping us survive nearly 10 years.
Peace, Love and Gratitude,
Ciri, Scott and Sayra Stom
Thank you to all who supported JSRF at TreeTime!