The following is an excerpt from an article posted in The Journal in Feb 2019:
“MARTINSBURG — One America West Virginia received an $18,000 “Silver Anniversary” grant for a program to help battle the opioid crisis from Islamic Relief USA, in celebration of its 25th anniversary.
One hundred and 75 formal inquiries from organizations working in 36 states and the territory of Puerto Rico were submitted to IRUSA after the announcement of the “Silver Anniversary Community Bridge-Building” program, an initiative that would address polarizing topics in the community.
“As with all applicants, it was strictly based on the quality of the proposal,” Syed Hassan, Media Specialist with IRUSA, said. “A committee reviewed all applications based on their merits. Islamic Relief USA believes the One America West Virginia project will be beneficial in helping stem the scourge that is the opioid crisis.”
In a statement given to The Journal, Andrew Hanauer, director and founder of One America West Virginia, explained that the goals One America West Virginia strives to achieve in fighting the opioid crisis will directly impact the Eastern Panhandle.
“The goal of One America West Virginia as a whole is to build community to fight opioids,” he said. “Our work is centered in the Eastern Panhandle, and we connect churches and community groups in the Panhandle with communities in the D.C. area that want to be part of the solution to the opioid epidemic.”
Hanauer went on to explain that the organization is funded largely by local groups, and this grant will now allow the organization to broaden its work in the area.
“Most of our funding comes from local partners — churches, individuals, etc.,” Hanauer said. “We’re grateful for this grant because it means national organizations see the importance of fighting opioids here in the Eastern Panhandle and they see that this is a crisis that we all need to confront. We bring people together from all backgrounds — black, white, brown, Democrat and Republican — to support existing efforts to combat opioids, build community, have difficult conversations about addiction and serve our neighbors. We believe when we work together, all of us, we can better solve the issues that matter.”
Hanauer also shared that Anna Robinson, a Martinsburg native and graduate of Martinsburg High and West Virginia University, leads One America’s work in the Eastern Panhandle.
Robinson’s work and the grant will be primarily focused on holding educational events as well as buying supplies for those working toward recovery.
“The grant money is being used to hold events to support people in recovery and in shelters, to buy supplies for those folks, to feed volunteers, host conversations, film a video about this work and transport volunteers as needed,” Hanauer said. “All of that will take place in Berkeley and Jefferson counties.”
According to data gathered by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States reported 70,237 deaths due to overdose in 2017, with West Virginia alone reporting 975 deaths. Berkeley County officials reported 57 deaths due to overdose. ”
Read the full post on The Journal