Posted by Nathan Towne on Aug 27, 2018
On August 27th the Rotary Club of Waterville gathered for our usual Monday Noon lunchtime meeting - preparing to do the unusual: donate more than $5,000 hard-raised Rotary dollars to support local efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. No, we didn't give the money to help the Waterville Police Department enforce more drug busts - we gave the money for Operation HOPE, a very important local effort in Waterville that stands for Heroin Opiate Prevention Effort. HOPE's fundamental operating philosophy focuses on enforcement, education and treatment. 
Since the implementation of HOPE, the Waterville Police Department has placed approximately 75 addicts into treatment facilities for rehabilitation. While enforcement and education are important aspects of the program, treatment is the primary focus that helps those that are addicted to opioids take back their life. Individuals that come to the police department seeking help for their opiate addiction are placed into one of 300 PAARI partnered rehabilitation facilities around the country. Of course, paying for their initial 30-day treatment, travel, housing and other necessities can cost upwards of three thousand dollars for one individual. That is why donations such as ours are so important if our community is going to sustain this vital program that gives opiate addicts a second chance at life. A testament to the positive impact that HOPE can have on an addict's life is the recent Emily Buker story where she credits HOPE for saving her life, returning her mental and physical well-being, and most importantly allowed her to be a mom again to her 11-year-old son. Your generous donation will allow the Waterville Police Department to continue helping those opiate addicts that find themselves in their darkest moments with no place to tum for help, except HOPE!! Here's a copy of the letter from Chief Massey and the Waterville Police Department, thanking our Club for the donation. No, thank YOU Chief! 
During this meeting we were also joined by Carrie Jones, our region's (Zone 29!) Public Image Chair -- she had some great advice for Nate and the group - tell stories, not just facts. Share why our club is unique, what makes us special. We'll take Carrie's message to heart and try and do just that as we reach out to our community and share the good word of what it is we do and are doing here and around the world. Because it is NOT boastful, it is a way to encourage others to get involved by inspiring them and showing them there's a way right here in Waterville to get involved. And that way is Rotary! Thanks for the great reminder Carrie, you were an amazing speaker! This image does NOT do you justice, you are far more animated -- perhaps here you were thinking of your new last name, Moss? Thank you for joining us!