News & Events
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Charlie Seymour
CROSS-COUNTRY CYCLIST GIVING AMERICA HOPE BY PROMOTING HEROIN-OPIOID AWARENESS
August 29, 2017 — FREDERICK, MD — Give America Hope (Heroin-Opioid Prevention Education), a 501c-3 charitable organization, is proud to announce their successful Cycling Across America campaign, spreading awareness for the devastating heroin-opioid crisis. New cycler Johnny Hennesey, a Damascus, Maryland native and rider for HOPE, says, “I’m riding my bicycle from Delaware to San Francisco. Atlantic to Pacific. My initial goal was one of self-reflection, to gain a different perspective on my life. After talking with my friend Charlie Seymour, President of Give America Hope or HOPE, we decided to partner to raise awareness for the heroin and opioid epidemic that has become so prevalent in our country.
“Opioid abuse is an issue that has touched almost everyone in some way, myself included. I’m 27 years old, only 10 years out of high school, and already I can look through my senior yearbook and, on every page, point out someone who is no longer here because of an overdose. Some of my closest friends have struggled with heroin and opiate addiction, and one of the most frustrating things is that it starts with a prescription for a legitimate physical pain, and progresses into a dependence that seems to dominate every aspect of someone’s life. It makes this epidemic a difficult one, with no easy solution. The best chance we have is to raise awareness through organizations like Give America Hope. If we can educate ourselves on how these drugs work, and how these scenarios originate, we can stop it before it starts. This is not about criminals or deadbeats. This is about my friends. This is about your family. This is about you and me. I am not a cyclist, and I hadn’t been on a bike in at least a year until I started this journey in Cape Henlopen, Delaware on June 17th. And just as the United States can be crossed on a bike, addiction can be overcome. It starts by taking that first step, or pedaling that first mile. Before you know it, you’ll be in the middle of Nebraska with a tan-line that even farmers will be jealous of!
“I’m on this ride by myself, but I can’t give HOPE alone. Together, we can do this!
“I’d like to thank Charlie for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something greater than myself,” says Hennesey. Hennessey will arrive Thursday, August 31st at the Southern end of Golden Gate State Park, around 2 or 3 p.m.
Seymour was inspired to create Give America HOPE while watching a close friend’s child fight for his life. Additional inspiration came through participating in the Southern Frederick County Maryland Rotary’s Campaign Against Heroin, and through working with so many local families who were destroyed by this crisis. Seymour noticed that much of the valuable information about education was inaccurate, dated, scattered, and local organizations and state and federal governments were working in silos, unaware of each other’s direction or progress.
“It’s already an incredible task to deal with enforcement and treatment,” Seymour said, “and hundreds of organizations are working on these fronts. Education, however, is slow in forming. Our mission at Give America HOPE is to bring critical information to the public by developing timely, innovative, and accessible education and training programs to help individuals, families, communities, governments, and society eradicate the growth of the epidemic and to save lives now. Through individual donors, philanthropies, and public and private sector support, we will responsively promote positive change and well-being. Although early in the development stage, our education system will be available to all users free of charge on their cell phones and computers.”
“Our ‘strategic partners’ in HOPE have a long history of developing education systems for public and private sectors. We will provide education for students and parents, families, and professionals that will address the needs over the immediate and long terms. We can’t wait for the government to solve our problems; this fight is in the streets, and it will take an effort on the part of all our citizens.”