Jeff McKenna, HERO Project President, shares these words....
2020 would have been The HERO Project's 4th Annual Candlelight Vigil for International Overdose Day. The past three have seen people affected by the loss of a loved one to the disease of addiction, come to these events and at first realize they are not alone in this loss. Everywhere one turned, someone stood next to them who knew EXACTLY what they were feeling. Each year, tears flow heavily, long strong hugs are exchanged, speakers share stories, poems, testimonies, healing begins for some, new friendships begin with a tragic common denominator...each candle that is lit from one person passing the flame to the next is meaningful in symbolizing a lost loved one - THEIR loved one. Each consecutive year, the light emanating from the collective individual candles burns brighter and stronger - defeating the darkness that the lost loved one felt, the ones left behind feel and will forever feel.
When Covid-19 hit, The HERO Project for just a split second thought of cancelling, but that's not how we roll. "Can't" was not an option.
We discussed creative and safe ways to continue this event into its 4th year. For the hurting, grieving, sad, overwhelmed people who have been subject to more darkness during this Covid-19. The best solution was obvious - take the tools available to us and make it virtual. WITH the luminarias. WITH a vehicle for people to give us a name to be included on a luminaria to honor and remember their loved one. The sheer numbers in response to submitting names for luminarias is overwhelming - it confirms that this event is NECESSARY.
The HERO Project's 4th Annual Candlelight Vigil for International Overdose Day carries the tradition on, just in a different way, and possibly may be part of a new tradition going forward.
TO HAVE YOUR LOVED ONE'S NAME ON A LUMINARIA, CLICK here
WHERE ONE WILL BE ABLE TO GET AN EVENTBRITE "TICKET" WITH YOUR LOVED ONE'S NAME ON IT TO BE WRITTEN ON A LUMINARIA.
In years prior, we have also had a food drive for the Bethel Community Food Bank. We still are - just in the form of monetary donations sent directly to the food bank. Donate by Check made payable to:
"Bethel Community Food Pantry"
and mailed to:
Bethel Community Food Pantry
211 Greenwood Avenue 2-2
Bethel, CT 06801
Donations are tax deductible.