May 2018 Newsletter

LizOur mission is to honor Liz’s memory by providing support to individuals living in drug and alcohol recovery. On Mother’s Day weekend 2017 we made our first group of donations to 3 sober house locations in Delray Beach (the place Elizabeth loved and called home for so many years) serving close to 125 people. In 12 months that number has grown to 20 houses and close to 425 men and women. We have expanded to West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Stuart and Port St. Lucie. We are always networking to find reputable sober houses that we can add to our outreach.

Our Achievements

  • Survived 22 months without our dear Elizabeth
  • Participated in numerous fundraisers and awareness campaigns for facilities and organizations working in the field of recovery
  • Shared our story at oder houses, detailing the impacts of addition on loved ones (very emotional for us, but we hope to save a life)
  • Delivered 42 bicycles, 86 backpacks, $5,300 worth of personal hygiene items, and $8,000 in gift cards for food.

With this substantial growth we recognized the need for input and support. We are thrilled that MaryBeth Lidington of Hull, MA and Singer Island, FL has joined as a Director. We welcome her experience as a successful business woman and long-time volunteer and board member for numerous non-profits. MaryBeth will be a true asset to us and those we serve.

Our journey has afforded us the opportunity to become involved with local grassroots groups working to both educate about, and fight the disease of, Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Their knowledge and passion has proven very beneficial to our cause. The Southeast Florida Recovery Advocates (SEFRA) and the Treasure Coast Substance Awareness Coalition (TCSAC) are working tirelessly to improve the quality of care, advocacy and availability of services for this group of extremely vulnerable individuals. FINALLY, the outrage has been heard. Laws are being enacted and violators are going to prison! It is alarming how many unscrupulous corporations and people there are preying on this population. CHANGE MUST HAPPEN!

We dedicate each day to our incredible daughter Elizabeth. We continue to miss her infectious smile, warm hugs, soft kisses and caring manner. We grieve for her daily. She still appears to us as a butterfly. That usually brings us comfort, but sometimes we cry. There is an English Proverb we love. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”

yellow Bikes being donatedOur prayer is that this year the opioid crisis will come to an end before devastating more families like ours. May those struggling with this disease find recovery and healing. May those who love them remain hopeful. May those who serve them remain strong.

For all of you who have donated thank you so very much! We are making a difference.
Your generosity has allowed us to help hundreds of men and women who need understanding, love, support and a hand-up! Len and I are deeply touched by your kindness. To honor Elizabeth’s memory, anyone can donate via the web site or send a check. No matter how small your contribution will have an impact. And remember, we match every dollar received so your gift is doubled!

We are so incredibly humbled to have been designated as the “In Lieu of Flowers” Charity for:

  • Jean Marie Sacco; my dearest lifelong friend, Weymouth, MA; who passed on November 12, 2016
  • Mary C. Meech; my godmother, Carver, MA; who passed on March 19, 2018
  • James William Altman, Jr.; Delray Beach, FL; who passed on May 12, 2018

Lauren Bellomo; Delray Beach, FL; a friend of Liz’s LIVING IN RECOVERY celebrated another anniversary in March and hopes to start a trend with those celebrating their sobriety to do the same. What an amazing woman!

August 31st is Overdose Awareness Day. This nationwide effort calls attention to the numerous issues surrounding the Opioid Epidemic. There are regional meetings and marches intended to educate us about the disease of Substance Use Disorder. Please get involved. Please consider helping spread awareness. We will once again be sponsoring and participating in memory of Elizabeth.

December 2017 Newsletter

The first 17 months of life without our daughter has been torturous. Not seeing her smile, touching her hand and hearing her voice is painfully difficult. The blessing has been the compassion, love and support we received from our relatives, friends and neighbors. This year seems harder to us than last year did. The emptiness seems greater. The loss feels deeper.

Our decision to establish the foundation in Elizabeth’s memory has been healing. We have a new focus. One that takes us back to her home in Delray Beach, to many of the places the three of us spent lots of fun times together and she found great happiness.

The disease of addiction gets a lot of press these days. We try to watch the news stories but sometimes it is just too painful. The opioid crisis has caused more heart ache and death than anyone ever imagined. Last year in Florida’s Palm Beach county, Elizabeth was one of 561 overdose deaths. Yes, our daughter is a statistic. God that makes us so angry. We are encouraged at the outrage and the attempts to do something to change the situation. Long overdue!

In August, through the Overdose Awareness Day Event, we affiliated with the Southeast Florida Recovery Advocates, whose mission is to assemble a forum through which multiple Recovery Advocacy Groups and Recovery Organizations in SE Florida can gather to connect in their common objectives relating to Substance Use Disorder. We are working to become more educated in the field of addiction and recovery. This will help us to broaden the scope of the foundation.

Our donations started in May of 2017. They include 26 bicycles; 54 backpacks; $4,650 in gift cards; and more than $3,300 worth of personal care items. We remain steadfast with our mission and will continue to expand our efforts in 2018 and beyond. Your ongoing contributions are needed to support Elizabeth’s Foundation.

For all of you who have donated THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

Your generosity has allowed us to help hundreds of men and women who need understanding, love and support. Len and I are deeply touched by your kindness.

Our prayer is that the holiday season be kind to us all. May the true meaning of Christmas be present in each one of our hearts. And may the opioid crisis come to an end before claiming more victims and devastating additional families. May those struggling with addiction find their way to living a clean, happy, peaceful and fulfilling life.

—Len & Mariann

Our Holiday Effort

The holiday season is here, and it is very scary for those living in recovery. Many have no ability to get home to be with family. Some are just not welcome. Imagine that, and then try to stay clean and sober dealing with the reality of the damage the disease of addiction has caused.

This year we purchased 10 complete cooked meals for Thanksgiving from Fresh Market that fed over 75 people. We also donated gift cards used to purchase dessert for many others. The gratitude has been overwhelming.

With Christmas just around the corner, we intend to have a small gift for every client who will be waking up in their sober home that morning. The number will likely be close to 200.

If you would like to help with this effort, please visit the website to make a donation. Thank you.

We are an official a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Your donations are tax deductible to the extent the law allows. They are very much needed and greatly appreciated. We continue to match all donations dollar for dollar.