The work we put into telling our story is exhausting and never ending…. in the most rewarding way possible. We’ve chosen to immerse ourselves in the problem – the opioid crisis – by increasing awareness and by educating kids, parents, lawmakers and anyone else who will listen about the dangers of prescription drugs.
On June 15, 2015, we became a statistic, as did Nick and Jack. While our circumstance of losing two of our sons in the same night is unique, our overwhelming feelings of grief and loss are not. We’re now part of a community of people who had loved ones taken much too soon (and are fighting to keep their loved ones alive) because of dangerous prescription drugs. But knowing we’re not alone and that the problem persists is one thing that keeps us going.
Here are just two of the stories submitted through our website from people around the world who find 525 Foundation and feel compelled to share their own experiences.
My son hunter
My only child, Hunter, accidentally overdosed on a mixture of MMDA (ecstacy) & Xanax on the morning of September 5, 2014 at 18 years of age. Hunter was an extraordinary young man who had his whole life ahead of him. He deeply cared about others, loved his family, friends & his dog Juno, but unfortunately made a fatal choice by consuming some pills. He went to sleep & never awoke the next day. I saw the story about losing two of your boys and I wanted to share Hunter's story with all of you. My heart goes out to all of you in the Savage family & I pray for your peace of mind and serenity that I know it takes on a daily basis for you all to keep moving forward. Many blessings to you all.
Small Town, Big Crisis
My name is Neeley and I know all too well what can happen to a family when opioids come in the picture. My story is a little different though. In 2010 my husband was in a car accident and was life flighted to a hospital. From there many doctors prescribed in pain pills. He had never had an issue with pain pills until then. They kept giving and giving until he couldn’t stop. Almost 8 years later, he is finally in a faith-based rehab getting help. I have sat and watched him struggle for so long. He came near death and almost didn’t make it. While today I am thankful he finally doesn’t want a pill, I worry about all the other families affected by this crisis. Our small town is swarmed with people selling pills and feeling off someone else’s addiction. I would love to know how to get this message spread to our community without getting shut out. I want my voice to be heard that it can happen to anyone. The picture uploaded is on Easter Sunday. I am thankful that God has helped us thru this terrible crisis. Thank you for allowing me to share our story!
Last Friday was overdose awareness day….EVERY overdose is someone’s loved one. Unfortunately, overdose and addiction are becoming part of everyone’s story. THIS is why our story and every story we hear about is important. THIS is why we will continue to share until the opioid crisis no longer exists. What can you do to help? Keep sharing and keep talking about the problem. Educate yourself and talk to your kids about the dangers of misuse and abuse. Talk to your friends about what’s in their medicine cabinets and how they can get rid of it safely. It takes a village!
Happy National Nonprofit Day! Today is a day we celebrate those who volunteer for nonprofits, those who donate to nonprofits and those who support nonprofits in any and every way possible. We could not do what we do without the people who believe in our cause just as fiercely and faithfully as we do.
Those who support 525 Foundation financially are helping Nick and Jack live on and touch hundreds of thousands of lives each year. But how? And where does the money go? Here are just a few examples...
The point is, every little bit helps. We’re talking about an hour at a fire station on a Saturday collecting pills or making a commitment to donate money so 525 can keep doing what we’re doing. We are so grateful to our tribe and all of the exciting outreach in our future!
Whoa… what a whirlwind summer it’s been for us! We know we’ve been a little quiet on our website and social media lately, but that’s because we’re plugging away, getting more organized and continuing to spread our message.
First things first: many of you might not know that I resigned from my full-time job as a nursing instructor earlier this year to put more of a focus on running 525 Foundation. I quickly realized that this is a full-time commitment, but also where my passion lies. I continue to be humbled and at times, overwhelmed, by the inquiries from schools, media outlets and other organizations who request speaking engagements because they want to hear our story. I was even invited to speak to a U.S. Senate Committee about the opioid crisis… and I’m scheduled to go back to Washington, D.C. when the new legislative session begins in September.
We’re also working on a permanent pill drop program with Martin’s Supermarkets (more on that very soon!), and we had our very first fundraising gala this past spring which included major support from Terry Bradshaw, his wife Tammy, Brian and Paqui Kelly with Kelly Cares Foundation and numerous community supporters! We are so grateful for all of the support to help us pull off such an incredible event!
Over the last year our foundation has grown and continues to grow... so much so that we have out grown my basement office! We are so happy and thrilled to announce that we have a real office, located in Innovation Park, near Notre Dame and Eddy Street Commons in South Bend.
Being able to work out of my house is great, but trying to be a mom, wife, friend, daughter and all those other hats we all wear left me feeling unaccomplished and unfocused. This beautiful new office gives us space to focus on current projects, future projects and planning. It also allows me to leave home at home, ultimately accomplishing more at both places.
That said, we’re also growing! We are interviewing potential candidates with the goal of bringing on a paid position in the office to help with some of the workload and continue to expand our reach. If you know of anyone in the South Bend area who would be a good fit, send them my way!
Along those same lines, one of the goals of the 525 Foundation is to have some input from kids. We get many emails from kids asking us how they can get involved. Knowing that kids know how to communicate with kids, we are exploring ways to get them involved in our future outreach endeavors. We’re still hashing out the details on that one, but it’s on our radar.
Lots of you still ask regularly how we’re doing personally and emotionally, which we appreciate more than you know. But that’s sometimes a tough question to answer because the answer changes from day to day. Yes, it’s been just over three years since our world shattered into a million little pieces, but we’re still working to put ourselves back together. And sometimes it all still feels very fresh. Waves of grief still hit all four of us out of nowhere from time to time and while we continue to live our lives, there’s still an emptiness and an ache that will probably never go away. For example, this week I did a TV interview about the opioid crisis in Indiana and the reporter’s questions took me right back to the day my boys died. But those vivid memories and feelings fuel my fire, reminding me why it’s so important to keep talking about it. Our family didn’t ask for this tragedy, but we refuse to sit back and do nothing when there’s still so much more work to be done.
Thank you all so very much for your continued support!
Below is a family story that was sent to us. It is so impactful… while reading it you can feel how the drug addiction of one can affect so many others. There are thousands of stories like this one unfortunately… so many parents watching their children suffer.. children watching their parents struggle …and siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors helplessly watching on the sidelines. The sense of helplessness is overwhelming. What can one do to help? That is the million dollar question… I think we can all start by cleaning out our medicine cabinets and practice proper disposal of un used medications. 96% of prescription drug abuse starts out of our medicine cabinets… Support community efforts with education and awareness efforts and addiction support. And support each other…
It is hard to even imagine that we do feel grateful and blessed, especially after losing 2 pieces of our hearts, but we do. We are grateful for so many things…. but just this week we were given a national platform (Megan Kelly TODAY) to tell the story of Nick and Jack. Grateful because thousands more people have heard their story, conversations were started and lives saved. We are blessed that we are able to have Nick and Jack be a part of so many peoples live and making a difference every day! We have received hundreds of messages from all over the world, and each one has a common thread, awareness! Some of the families have posted their story under the SHARE YOUR STORY tab and we will be sharing those with all of you weekly!
Dear Savage Family,
I wanted to take a moment that tell you how grateful I am that you shared your family’s story on Megyn Kelly Today Show yesterday.
I am a mother of four. My oldest two children are 13 year old twin boys. They describe a lot like Nick and Jack. Opposite personalities but the best of friends. Insert Lacrosse instead of Hockey in our case and their grades aren’t quite as good as your guys, but they are really good boys. They don’t give us any concern other than the typical teen attitude on occasion. We have spoken very openly with them about drugs, alcohol, as well as prescription drugs over the years.
Hi everyone, my name is Becky Savage. Thank you so much for taking the time to explore our website and learn a little more about the 525 Foundation.
Becky Savage’s two teenage sons – Nick and Jack – accidentally overdosed on a deadly cocktail of alcohol and prescription drugs on the same night in June 2015. Becky and her husband Mike turned their unimaginable grief into a powerful message: educating students, parents, lawmakers and anyone else who will listen about the dangers of prescription drugs. The couple created 525 Foundation (the boys’ hockey numbers were 5 and 25) with a goal of preventing another family from experiencing the pain the Savage family still struggles with every day. To date, Becky has bravely shared her story with more than 60,000 high school students from Indiana to Texas to Oregon and presented at conferences across the country. She’s spoken to members of a United States Senate opioid crisis committee, serves as an ambassador for the Walgreens #ItEndsWithUs campaign and participated in countless interviews for podcasts and news media.