Losing a family member to opioid abuse has become a common tragedy among Southern California families, and for some, these losses have sparked a battle for change.
After their 26-year-old son overdosed on heroin in 2014, Bob and Susan Jones established a regional online fundraising campaign known as CharityBomb that helps raise money for local organizations and charities that aid victims of opioid abuse and their families.
CharityBomb is planning to raise $5 million by December 2018 for the Solace Foundation of Orange County, the Our House Foundation, the Broken No More organization, Kristie’s Foundation and California Youth Services.
“(The organizations) all equally deserve recognition, they all work in different facets of supporting families,” Bob Jones said. “They are not large organizations. They don’t get the notoriety that they really deserve and they do incredible work. They are selfless, and supporting them is really the primary objective.”
The Solace Foundation is a Naloxone distribution program, which means they offer the overdose reversal antidote known as Narcan.
Bob Jones said the Solace Foundation gives schools Narcan devices and training to be prepared in the event of an overdose emergency.
“(Narcan) is very, very effective, and the Solace Foundation is giving these very expensive Narcan kits to first responders,” Bob Jones said.
Our House is a grief support center that helps children, teens and adults who are dealing with the death of a loved one. Bob Jones and his family discovered the organization after his grandson lost a family member.
“That particular organization played a big part in (my grandson) learning how to deal with the loss of his uncle,” Bob Jones said.
With the opioid epidemic that has affected Southern California, Bob Jones and his family hope to bring awareness through their campaign.
“A big primary concern is opening the eyes of the general public,” Bob Jones said. “There’s a big denial of the fact that this is happening in our backyard.”
Bob Jones said he hopes the campaign will help people understand that drug addiction is more than just making “unfortunate choices.”
“Opioid addiction is really a disease, and it needs to be treated and categorized like a disease,” Bob Jones said. “The stigma of drug addiction, especially opioid drug addiction, needs to change.”
Donations can be made to CharityBomb through the campaign’s website at www.charitybomb.us