Not My Child is a local organization dedicated to saving families from the heartbreak surrounding the opioid crisis and aiding in developing meaningful success stories instead. They do this by providing assistance to individuals recovering, supporting mental health, and implementing and promoting opioid awareness and prevention campaigns. They also provide assistance to families who have lost a loved one due to opioids.
Not My Child was founded by Anthony Reno, Sr., in 2017 after the devastating loss of his son, Anthony, Jr. In the aftermath of his son’s death, he often saw other grieving parents at the local cemetery and discovered that many didn’t have the financial resources to cover funeral costs. Anthony decided to help raise money for those in need, and thus Not My Child was born.
As time went on, and more funds were raised, Not My Child has been able to broaden their reach of ways to help. Anthony believes that his organization has received so much love from the community because the money they raise goes straight back into fighting the opiate epidemic and helping families in crisis. in addition, Not My Child has given to other local organizations like Camp New Dawn, the QAC Drug Free Coalition and the United Methodist Church’s Celebrate Recovery program.
Anthony says a big part of him founding Not My Child was to help preserve Anthony Jr.’s legacy. “I didn’t want my son’s legacy to be a statistic,” he explained. “His name means much more than that.” He has a message both for parents and for anyone who might be struggling with substance abuse. “My son was a great kid and an athlete,” Anthony explained. “I never thought it could happen to him, but it did. You have to have those difficult conversations with your kids, and you have to advocate for them.” And… what is his message to any locals who might be struggling with substance abuse? “There is hope. There are resources available throughout the county… you have to reach out for help. It’s not embarrassing. We, as a community, need to help end the stigma.”
Project Restart is the newest endeavor of Not My Child. Project Restart is designed to help recovering individuals avoid previous destructive cycles by acting as a liaison and support between employee and employer. Eligible applicants need to be 90 days or more into recovery. The program assists with job pairing and, if needed, provides financial assistance for vocational training, education, uniforms, and/or tools. For more information about Project Restart, visit https://nmcprojectrestart.com/about-project-restart/.
If you would like to learn more about Not My Child you can go to their website here: https://notmychildinc.org/ or visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/people/Not-My-Child/100070318721798/. The website also lists resources available in the area to help families and those struggling with substance abuse in their moments of crisis.
How to Talk to Your Child about Drugs
Having difficult discussions is never something people are eager to do. Talking to your children about dangers in life is something that we tend to hold off on to keep them innocent as long as we can. Think about what age you would start talking with them about the dangers of fire, or poisonous household products, or crossing a busy street. You certainly wouldn’t want to wait until after they are exposed to these things to educate them on them. Is there a perfect age to discuss drugs with your kids? No. Every family has different dynamics. But unfortunately, no family is immune to the possibility of being affected by the opioid epidemic. Hence, the name of our foundation, “Not My Child.”
Social media and news media outlets are being flooded with all kinds of information today. Even if you are sheltering your child from the news, certain tv shows or social media, they will likely be exposed to things through other children or adults in their world. The information and advice from others may not align with how we want to share these things with them. It’s important to have open dialogue with our children. When children are young you’re their biggest role model so your views and actions will strongly affect how they feel towards things.
Having discussions about difficult topics with your children can end up being extremely rewarding because your children will always know they can come to you with anything. Starting that at a young age can increase your chances it will continue through teen and adult years.
There is a lot of useful information online about how to talk to your children about drugs specifically. You can also check with your pediatrician for some advice and guidance. Here are two links that provide a lot of great information on the subject: