A couple weeks ago while I was shopping at Lowe’s, a young woman approached me and said, “I just want to thank you. My husband is a heroin addict and I’ve been following 525 Foundation on social media since the day you started it. I read everything and it all hits home for me. Every time. I also want you to know how much you’ve inspired me… I recently passed my nursing boards and am getting my life together. Thank you for everything you’ve done and are doing. You’re making a difference.”
Her kindness left me speechless. By now I’m used to people approaching me with an, “I’m sorry” or a “I don’t know how you do it,” but this? This was so new and made me feel so good - it made me feel like the work we're doing really matters.
It’s also exactly what I needed before hitting the road for a whirlwind fall blitz to share our story with thousands of new kids and parents from coast to coast. And we are pumped! We’ll be in 9 states over the next 5 weeks. NINE STATES, you guys!
Last week was the South Central Opioid Summit in Bloomington, Indiana.
Right now, I’m in West Palm Beach prepping for tomorrow’s talk with students at a school assembly. Then tomorrow evening, I get to tell my story to parents of those same students.
This is what it’s all about, right? We share our story with the kids and then with the parents to help foster a full-circle discussion in their home, in the car on the way to sports practice or, if that’s too difficult, maybe even through a simple text conversation. Whatever works, we’ll take it. When our story can get parents talking to their kids (and vice versa) about the dangers of prescription drugs, it’s a WIN. If we can save one life, it’s a WIN.
After Florida, I’m headed to New York for Walgreens’ We Day. Ever heard of it? WE is a movement that believes when we come together we can create an even better world. We Day 2018 in New York features world-renowned speakers, A-list performers and tens of thousands of youth to celebrate the past year of action that transformed communities and changed lives.
And guess what? Our story is part of that movement! Earlier this year, representatives from Walgreens approached me and asked if 525 Foundation would join their #itendswithus campaign to educate teens nationwide about the opioid crisis. We jumped at the chance to touch more lives and I am now an #itendswithus ambassador! It’s so wonderful to have our story shared on this national platform.
From there, I’m hitting several more schools in Connecticut and North Dakota and then heading to an event in Des Moines called Inspire Iowa’s Future. This is another really cool one, thanks to the energy and excitement surrounding it. The organization focuses on reaching middle school, high school and college students, as well as those who interact and do life with these young adults. Through this particular event, students and their mentors – parents, teachers, coaches, sponsors – get to hear uplifting, encouraging and thought-provoking messages from local and nationally recognized individuals. How exciting is it that I’m the prelude to the event’s keynote speaker, Michael Jr.!?
After Iowa, it’s more school talks in Minnesota and then the Utah Summit on Opioid Awareness. This three-day event will address the opioid crisis and bring together community and state leaders to work toward solutions to the epidemic. A special thank you to Utah Senator Mike Lee for inviting and involving 525 Foundation!
Then at the end of October, we’re being honored with a really cool award in our home city… we’ve been named “Playmaker of the Year” by the Kelly Cares Foundation. What an honor. This non profit has championed us from the very beginning. The love, support and “get it girl” attitude they give 525 Foundation (and me) is immeasurable and means the world to us. We are incredibly humbled!
It’s been strange, uplifting and, at times, overwhelming for me to navigate through this journey of education and awareness. I am so touched that people care. I am honored that you are taking time to read this post about our impact and then keep the conversation going. Together, we are pushing forward in the fight against prescription drug abuse.
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.