Obituaries become lifeline for local recovery organization

Obituaries become lifeline for local recovery organization (WHAM Photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - A local non-profit group is fighting the opioid crisis through condolences.

"Holidays are always hard because we miss him," said Virginia Nacy, a mother from Irondequoit.

Nacy lost her son, Patrick, to a fentanyl and heroin overdose back in 2015. Nacy said she didn't know much about his addiction or how to cope with his loss. She leaned on a non-profit called, "ROCovery Fitness" for help.

"Perhaps it would have been one more avenue for him to find long term recovery," Nacy said.

The non-profit organization promotes sober living through fitness. Co-founder Yana Khaspher told 13WHAM that donations have soared this year because of a trend in obituary writing.

"We've had at least a dozen families list us a charity of choice for donations in obituaries," Khashper said.

She adds that families impacted by addiction recommend cash donations in lieu of flowers.

"Some months, we've had over $5,000-$6,000 just in donations in lieu of flowers," Khashper said. "It's given us the ability to have a center that is open seven days a week."

Nacy says she hopes donations will continue to help families in 2018.

"We can't bring them back. But to be able to continue with donations to recovery for others struggling, it is a wonderful way to honor the people that we have loved and lost," Nacy said.

ROCovery Fitness received more than $20,000 thousand dollars in donations in 2017 by just being listed in obituaries. 13WHAM is told the money will be used to launch programming and additional resources.

To learn more about ROCovery Fitness and how to donate, CLICK HERE.

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