When does it stop being a party and start becoming a problem? Is there a way to steer clear of addiction? Every Wednesday, Mike McGowan, host of the podcast "Avoiding the Addiction Affliction," explores substance use disorders with expert guests. The podcast series is sponsored by the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition.
Original cover art created by
Kelly P. of Kenosha, Wisconsin
Like all families who have lost a child to drugs, the Rachwals were left asking, “What now?” For Erin Rachwal, her husband Rick, and their youngest son, the answer was to make sure what happened to their son Logan did not happen to another family. More than 100,000 individuals lost their lives last year to a synthetic opioid overdose in the United States. Erin discusses the fight to bring awareness to this epidemic and how they are coping with their grief and loss. The Love Logan Foundation and Erin can be reached at https://loveloganfoundation.org. If you want to know what you can do locally, get involved, support prevention activities, call or email legislators, ask your local school what they are doing to educate the students, and, most of all, talk to your children.
[00:00:00] [Jaunty Guitar Music]
[00:00:12] Mike: Welcome everyone to Avoiding the Addiction Affliction, brought to you by the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition. I'm Mike McGowan. A while back, we had an opportunity to have a conversation with Erin Rockwell about the tragic passing of her son, Logan. So many of you contacted me and said, well, what's up?
How's it going? How's she doing? How's the family? What are they doing next? That we wanted to have a follow up conversation today. So welcome back Aaron.
[00:00:41] Erin: Thank you, Mike. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.
[00:00:44] Mike: Well, I know that this isn't always easy to talk about, but I also know you're pretty dedicated to talking about it, so.
[00:00:50] Erin: Mm-hmm.
[00:00:50] Mike: For those of us that didn't join us the last time, not to do the entire podcast again, they can always go back, it's easy to search, but tell us a little bit about [00:01:00] Logan.
[00:01:01] Erin: Yeah. Thank you. So yeah, try to sum it up in a, in a quick few sentences, I would say, Logan was our oldest of two. We have a younger son, Caden, and Logan was, I would say that soft, gentle, insecure, high-anxiety kid from very young on. Second/third grade we started noticing that he was just struggling socially and around fourth grade, got him some counseling and started just really trying to help him along with certain things.
As he got into to high school you know, as all kids do, I think he just really was focused on acceptance. He was a big baseball player, so he loved to play baseball. Loved his loved his family, we spent a lot of family time together. We did a lot of trips in camping, went to church, you know, we were very strong in our faith and Logan was as well.
And he loved his cats. Just, you know, really was like that average kid. You know, I think he's just a good representation of like the average kid right now who is struggling with a lot of kids, you know, that I deal with the anxiety and depression, [00:02:00] and I think he was just looking for some kind of relief and also popularity.
And so, you know, he did wrestle. I'm very transparent about that. He did struggle quite a bit with those things, and I think it was hard for him because at, you know, towards the end, before he passed, he was dealing with, you know, using some substances and he knew his family wasn't okay with that. So those two things didn't go together, which I do believe created a deep inner conflict for him.
So that was hard. It was hard on him. I think it was hard on our family, but he was loved deeply.
[00:02:32] Mike: And to just summarize, he passed away at college,
[00:02:39] Erin: Yes.
[00:02:39] Mike: and did not know what he was taking.
[00:02:43] Erin: Correct. So fast forward to 2021. We're in the middle of Covid and that did not help. You know, there's a lot of isolation with Covid.
He was in his dorms at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and couldn't see us a few weeks before because his girlfriend's family had gotten Covid. We [00:03:00] were supposed to do a dinner. We were staying in touch with him, and definitely, you know, daily we would text back and forth. Sort of repairing our relationship the prior six months, really doing better with him.
And the day that we got the call was Valentine's Day about 8:37 PM and we weren't told that he had passed, we were just told that, that we needed to call the university so we could not get ahold of the university. We got kind of the runaround, so we got in the car and drove down to... and I sort of knew this on the way, he was already gone.
He had passed in his dorm room, had taken a blue pill that he had bought via Snapchat through two drug dealers and had gone to the dealer's house to pick it up with a friend and came back to his dorm room and took it while he was on FaceTime with his girlfriend, started falling asleep - snoring - girlfriend didn't know that was him dying. She had no idea. It's not her fault, you know, of course. And so he pretty much was falling asleep, she hung up the phone, that was [00:04:00] about 7:30 AM Valentine's, and then 12 hours later we got the call. So he was found in his dorm room about 11 hours after he passed.
[00:04:09] Mike: I don't recall this. When did you first realize it? What age did he begin to deviate?
[00:04:14] Erin: Yeah, that's a great question. Like we always knew that there was social stuff going on, so we were already getting a lot of help for that. I do think that this type of kid with some of these issues are very highly susceptible to vaping, drug use, you know, wanting anxiety to you know, coping with it in some way, so I think he was a vulnerable kid because of that. He was prone to this. But at 14 he did have a knee surgery, and the doctor gave him oxycodone. And of course we gave it to him, right, we didn't just give him the bottle.
About three days after his surgery, he was home, of course, my husband and I looked at him in the chair in our living room and we could tell he was high. And we looked at each other and had a private conversation. Let's take that away and get him on Tylenol and Ibuprofen, [00:05:00] which we did immediately. My background, you know, a licensed clinical therapist, I was very in tune with Logan. And so from what we know now, after he's gone and some of the things we've seen and some of the things the police found on his phone, we know now he has told people he had been doing pills for five years, which brings him back to that surgery.
Now, those five years we were wrestling with him because he had been changing, his personality changed quite a bit, a lot of the things that go along with addiction. But in the middle of it, we didn't know and correlate all of that, you know? So I would say he was using probably for five years.
And I think his story is a great representation of what's happening to a lot of kids now in two different ways. One is that some kids just take one pill and die. 13 year old, one pill die. No addiction, just sadly getting fentanyl and dying. That is what happened to him the night that [00:06:00] he passed. However, he's also representation of how quickly kids are getting addicted to substances because the substances are so strong, they start vaping at a 10, 11, 12 years old, they start vaping marijuana. It's 80, 90% concentrated marijuana. They can't get off of it. It creates such a quick addiction. They start going to other things. Pills are normalized, that whole concept. So Logan's story is really unique in terms of like, it represents a very quick addiction. But it also represents the other part of what's going on in our nation, which is this one pill that can just kill you.
[00:06:36] Mike: Well, and, you know, do the math, if you think about it, that means that a high school freshman, eighth grade/high school freshman, had access to getting pills.
[00:06:46] Erin: Right.
[00:06:46] Mike: Which, you know, I mean think back, people who are listening to this, did you know where to go? Do you know? That's how prevalent this stuff is, was, and you're a therapist, you're dealing with this all the time.
[00:06:58] Erin: Yeah and I tell people all the time, you know, there's [00:07:00] a lot of shame so a lot of parents don't talk about it, you know, I've gotten through that. Like I know we did what we could and he had to make his own choices. I think there was outside influences and there's no one to blame. I mean, Logan made the choice, it's was not a good coping skill. He was looking to something to make him feel better, he knew he had other options.
But I think, again, I think a lot of kids are struggling with that and I think a lot of parents know their kids are struggling, but they don't know where to go, they don't know who to turn to, they don't know who to reach out to. It's a very lonely battle as a parent to know your kids struggling with that cuz you don't know where to go. You have very little power at that age too. So kids can do so many things and you think you have control in your home, but they can go to school for seven/eight hours and they can be doing so many things and you have no say in what their doing.
[00:07:44] Mike: Well, and that takes us to what you've been doing, because you've been -
[00:07:47] Erin: Yeah.
[00:07:48] Mike: Every time I try to talk to you, you're not home! So, what have you been up to? And who have you met with? Been flying all over the place, right?
[00:07:59] Erin: [00:08:00] Yeah, we've been doing a lot. And we're humbled and honored to have had some amazing platforms to speak. So there's been a lot. Back in the summer we came home from the DEA Summit. I don't remember if I talked to you before then or after then.
[00:08:15] Mike: You were just about to go.
[00:08:17] Erin: Okay. So we came back from that and we started to open up a foundation in honor of Logan. So it's called the Love Logan Foundation.
Thought that was fitting for Valentine's. Found a card he had given me with a hand drawn heart and his signature "Love Logan", and used that for the logo. So it just kind of fell into place. I wasn't really sure how that was gonna take off or not, but you know, it's gone really, really well in terms of getting a lot of great feedback. Of course, you know, funding a foundation in the beginning is extremely difficult, so that's been definitely a hiccup at times. But right after that I started contacting Wisconsin parents and we got a billboard going in Wisconsin.
Found another organization called SOFA, Saving Others for Archie, a mom who lost her [00:09:00] son back in 2014 to Fentanyl, when Fentanyl was just being seen in other drugs. Very hush hush at that time, like very lonely walk for her. Found her, I had gotten at that point, 16 other families to sign releases for photos and be, you know, like part of a billboard.
And, then we were just looking for help with funding because I had raised, you know, several thousand dollars, but we needed several thousand more to get this billboard up. So we found Lori from SOFA, partnered with her, got the billboard up. It's called "Wisconsin Faces: America's New F Word." And there was such a great response to that, that Lori trademarked that tagline. That tagline was something her husband came up with. So the billboard itself we designed together, we've partnered with Clear Channel and they're working with us still to try to keep it up. We're still trying to keep the funding going for that. So that's still up, this month it's been up every other week cause that's all we could kind of, you know, do financially.
So that's been a big project. That kind of went along with in August, Paul Farrow, [00:10:00] Waukesha County Executor, called Waukesha County a public health crisis for Fentanyl and I was given the platform there to speak. And from there it kind of went to Fox News, contacted me, Fox and Friends, so I appeared on there. And then about 20 minutes into the Fox and Friends episode, someone contacted Lori because her name is also on the billboard, from New York, New York Media Company. And they wanted our billboard down in Times Square.
[00:10:27] Mike: Wow.
[00:10:27] Erin: So it was a huge opportunity. It was a huge undertaking. Billboards in New York go for over a hundred thousand dollars for a month. It's ridiculously crazy. They did give us a huge discount package deal for three months and we had like two or three days to decide are we gonna do this, so we had to quickly look for funding and figure it out. Long story short, we got it up partnering with a second organization called Charlie In California got got these Wisconsin kids' billboard to New York. And that gave us a lot of traction with attention. [00:11:00] We were able to go to New York in October and see it, and Rick and I appeared on Fox News in their studio for a broadcast there, which was an amazing experience.
So that was October. And through all this, we've also been speaking at different places. I went back up to Oshkosh, the college. We've met with some legislators at the Capitol and done several Zoom calls. We're working on a bill for mandating Narcan, Naloxone, in all campuses, universities, tech colleges in Wisconsin. That's my goal right now. There's, there's another family who's also working on a bill for K through 12.
So our plan, as we met with some legislators at the Capitol this last week, is to try to submit two parallel bills, very clean bills, to get Narcan widespread across Wisconsin from kindergarten through college with two different bills. So that's sort of the big goal right now is to get that passed.
I have had the opportunity to expose myself and it was very difficult, but expose [00:12:00] myself to watching some live footage of how Narcan works. And I highly encourage anybody who doesn't understand what an actual overdose does to a body and what Narcan does to revive it, it's so powerful to watch. So I just feel passionate about that because if education would've been given to UW Milwaukee's freshman, possibly if his girlfriend would've known the signs, she could have called the police, and the police station was right downstairs Logan's building. You know, so I, sorry
[00:12:44] Mike: No, it's great. You know, it's -
[00:12:47] Erin: I always -, oh, go ahead.
[00:12:49] Mike: People often ask me, well what can I do? You know? You're working so hard and you've got these bills. It's important to call your representative and [00:13:00] say, we want this, and then keep track of who supports it and who doesn't.
[00:13:06] Erin: Right.
[00:13:07] Mike: And if they're not willing to support it, just give you lip service, then you know, do what you wanna do, but -
[00:13:12] Erin: Right.
[00:13:13] Mike: Because they'll say one thing sometimes, right, Erin, to your face and then not listen.
[00:13:18] Erin: Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. For sure. And the biggest passion behind, for us, this Narcan and the education piece is that, you know, we will always wonder if that would've been done, and again, there's no like bitterness or whatever, it's just, it's moving forward. How do we save more kids, right? How do we use Logan's life now to save another family from dealing with this aftermath. If these kids get educated on knowing the signs, you know, and how to use Narcan and not to be afraid to call, that there's good Samaritan laws and there things in place that you can just call. Don't start Googling things and texting other friends. Call 911. There's only minutes. So the education piece isn't really [00:14:00] important. We did get over, you know, a good years of work right after Logan passed, and I think that's something we might have talked about the last podcast, but we did get UW Milwaukee to install the Narcan boxes.
[00:14:12] Mike: Awesome.
[00:14:13] Erin: And just yesterday there was a news article that came out. The sixth school in the UW system, I had them installed yesterday, and we have confirmation all but one school is going to be doing it. And that's without even a mandate, which is amazing.
[00:14:29] Mike: Great.
[00:14:30] Erin: And I will be working with that last school, you know, convincing them: Get. Them. In. Our response that we had heard from this last UW school was, we don't have a problem here, which they actually do because I know of specific drug dealers and instances that there've been problems there. So there is resistance with this stuff because there's stigma attached to it, obviously. Right?
[00:14:53] Mike: Yeah. But it still boggles the mind that somebody and you know, I work in a lot of schools, right, so whenever I hear that, I just [00:15:00] smile and laugh.
[00:15:01] Erin: Yeah. Yeah. I know, I know. It's, people wanna turn their heads, you know, they don't wanna deal with it. So we've also been working very closely with the DEA, the drug administration in Wisconsin. We've attended some local meetings with him and he's, I mean, just been an amazing help with educating us on what's going on behind the scenes and right along to just walking alongside us, right along to meeting with my son for coffee to try to help him as well.
So we've experienced a very warm environment with that group of people who work for our government. So those are some of the big things. Waukesha County has partnered with us and they're working on getting some bus wraps in Waukesha County. There's 12 of them going up, and it's the bones of our Fentanyl: New F-word project, same wording at the top, but it's gonna actually have a mirror on it, so people are gonna be actually looking at a mirror. And it's gonna have some wording of, don't let this be you. And then alongside of the mirror is pictures of four kids. [00:16:00] One is Logan.
[00:16:00] Mike: I think you'll appreciate this, because of what you've been through. Yesterday I had somebody come in to do a little house repair that I'm incapable of doing. Which by the way, would almost everything but, and so I'd never met the guy before, right? So he is downstairs in the basement, he is tinkering around. And then, you know, he just says, well, what do you do for a living? And I told him, and he looks at me, he goes what a waste of time.
[00:16:23] Erin: Oh wow.
[00:16:24] Mike: And he's in my house and he said, you know, it doesn't make any difference. They're gonna do it anyway. And part of the reason for doing this podcast. That couldn't be a more incorrect statement. And I just wanted to emphasize that with you.
[00:16:37] Erin: Yeah.
[00:16:37] Mike: Education helps. It doesn't just help, if you think about our drug crises plural over the years, every time a drug usage goes down it's because of education.
[00:16:52] Erin: Absolutely.
[00:16:52] Mike: And we will get this under control. Now something else may pop up, you know, when, when you're a really old lady, [00:17:00] this might come back.
[00:17:00] Erin: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:17:02] Mike: It does help. And you can't let those detractors sway, you know, be the voice for not doing anything.
[00:17:10] Erin: Absolutely. And there are a lot of those. I mean, I just learned not even to read a lot of posts, you know, I don't read the comments because you'll always have somebody comment, it's just, it doesn't do my mind good to go there. You know? I need to stay positive and keep my circle positive, and that's really been another important lesson in this, even amongst grieving people and other organizations. And as sad as it is, you know, everyone's lost children, there's still negativity. There's still people who will bring you down. There's still that. And, and I've really learned to just keep my boundaries and be kind and try to take the high road. And that's super important to me, and that is something that we taught both of our kids. You know, you don't lash back out, you take the high road. You be kind and you do what you can.
But yeah, there will be people who I think try to bring you down in anything, but we have, I mean, so much proof in just the small things we've done. You know, text messages from students [00:18:00] at UW Milwaukee saying, oh my gosh, they just sent out a text message alerting kids about drugs. Which by the way, we sat and asked for, why are you not sending text alerts out if you know there's something going on? You send out weather alerts, why are you guys not sending out text messages about drug alerts? And you know what, they did it. November 17th, UW Milwaukee sent out a text alert and I got a message from a student, a screenshot of it, saying, look at what just came out. And I was like, thank God. But that helps because you know what, that one kid who sent it to me, she will never touch drugs because of this story. It's saved at least one life. And, I mean, there's several examples like that.
[00:18:44] Mike: Well and so that begs the question a little bit. How are you all as a family doing? I have to ask that.
[00:18:51] Erin: Yeah, yeah. This is helping, because I know we're making a difference. Absolutely helping. My husband and I are doing great. [00:19:00] You know, there's daily tears, obviously. It's a lot of triggers. This is a hard time of year. Logan would've been 21 two weeks ago, so I tried to look at his birthday like a celebration. So I took 21 gifts and just randomly handed 'em out the day of his birthday. I wrote a poem and just put in the box things that he loved. So I try to, you know, do good things. And Christmas of course is hard. And for us, I think it's just after Christmas is Valentine's Day's approaching. So that anticipation of what's coming which is hard cause he died on Valentine's Day.
I do really though push myself, and Rick does too, to just look at it like in some way, him dying on Valentine's Day was [00:20:00] an act of love. You know, maybe he wasn't gonna be okay. And he is now. And that is how we really talked to Caden about things. His younger brother just trying to look at the positives. He's not suffering, you know, obviously, he was a hurting kid.
So, we're still in counseling. You know, we do a lot of fun things together, you know, we cry together. So I would say as a family, we're doing good as far as the closeness, but you know, my biggest, and I'll head into this because I wanted to mention this too. My biggest concern that I've had is Caden. And I've done some pretty good research. It's helped me as a therapist, but also as a mom, and an advocate on sibling grief and what kids go through when they lose a sibling. And for him specifically, it's, you know, I like to describe it to people like it's the four-legged table and the one leg broke off and Caden's kinda like the third leg. [00:21:00] And he's struggling, you know, it's hard. So, I mean, he's getting help. Obviously you can see it's still really hard.
[00:21:11] Mike: You know, we do this via Zoom, just so that you all know that, we have a real conversation. There's a portrait behind you on the wall. Is that Logan?
[00:21:21] Erin: Yeah.
[00:21:21] Mike: It's, it's beautiful. Who did that?
[00:21:25] Erin: I edited the picture and I had it printed. I just felt that was really important when I do so many Zoom calls with news or things like this, you know, I just, I love people to see his face. I think it's just so important for people to see his face.
[00:21:38] Mike: It's a very powerful picture, it almost looks like an (inaudible) in here because it just looks so peaceful. It's almost like -
[00:21:44] Erin: Yeah, he's soft. Mm-hmm.
[00:21:45] Mike: Looking right through you, right?
[00:21:46] Erin: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I do, I do. I love that picture. I love that picture.
[00:21:52] Mike: Know what, you're touching on it, and I think that's part of the reason for talking is, you know, it's not just one person. This touches [00:22:00] everybody. I mean, I originally, I told you that my daughter and your son were friends.
[00:22:04] Erin: Yeah.
[00:22:04] Mike: Right. So, yep. You know, it still touches her entire group. You may not know that. My older son coached your kids, so, you know, same deal. They still talk about it. So it does make a difference to those, and you may not even hear that, but -
[00:22:19] Erin: No, I don't. In fact, it's ironic you're saying that and it's, it's good to hear that because it feels like Logan is not forgotten. You know, it's like if any one of his friends, even people I don't know, you know, reached out in a heartbeat, we would embrace that.
There was a lot of strain at the last year with Logan because of what he was doing and we were not okay with it. So there was a lot of misconstrued information given from Logan to other people. And that created a lot of rumors and you know, telephone games sort of things get twisted. And you got a kid doing something he knows he shouldn't be doing and he knows his parents aren't okay with it, so we were kind of the bad guys. I'm over that. I mean, [00:23:00] it was the drugs that wasn't Logan. Unfortunately, you know, all the kids and people around him believed him. And so we've had very little contact, a few, but very little contact with those people at that point.
However, ironically, one of them reached out to me yesterday, a year and a half later. And it warmed my heart, and you know, she said, you know, something about getting together because I said, of course, if there's anything we could ever do to help you with your grief process I would do it in a heartbeat.
I don't care if you had anything to do with the draw, I don't care. Like I don't care. So potentially we might set up a time to meet. I would do that for anybody.
[00:23:37] Mike: You're a therapist, Erin, so you know, and you deal with this, but for those of you listening who don't get it, let's talk about this for a minute.
When somebody has a relationship with drugs, they will tell stories that aren't accurate about everything else in order to continue to use. So everything else that they say is suspect.
[00:23:58] Erin: Correct.
[00:23:59] Mike: And if you're [00:24:00] real friend, you recognize the relationship with the drug and that what they may be telling you elsewise is not always accurate. In fact, it's probably never accurate.
[00:24:10] Erin: Correct. Absolutely. I mean like you took the words right out of my mouth. In a nutshell is what was going on with our son. And there were other, school, other people who bought into his narrative. And there's some, oftentimes there'd be a little truth in the narrative but that is what happens with addiction, right? They take a little bit of truth, add a little bit, or leave a little bit out, so it really twists the character of the other people you know, in their lives so that they can continue the addiction. And that is exactly what happened. And at the time, even though I was a therapist, because it was so personal, I took it so personal.
It was hurtful, and he was very hurtful to us at times. You know, there's a lot of messages I can't even go back and look at because there was a lot of nasty things said, and now, you know, then we would pull back as well. It was very hard for us because as a parent, how do you deal with a kid who's [00:25:00] saying such awful things to you when you're trying to save them?
So, you know, it's hard. We've had a few kids who I know are still using send us messages through our foundation page or whatever that are awful like that we killed him and oh yeah. I've been able to look at those types of things and go, obviously they're using, obviously there's an addiction there, because this is the same type of message, you know, with someone who's obviously not, probably not liking our advocacy. I'm not sure. I don't respond to those types of things, you know, I feel bad for people that are struggling with the addiction. But yes, addiction is, as you experience it, you know, I knew about it professionally, but when you experience it personally, holy cow, it's such a different game. Like, I get it on a whole different level.
And I do believe that's helped me. I do believe that the pain we're, we're going through is helping, it's helping me understand other people. It's helping me reach other people. It's helped my private [00:26:00] practice in terms of how I deal with people. And really help other parents understand they have to have fentanyl education in their toolkits. As parents at a young age, very young, they've got to start talking about empowerment, what you put in your body, you know, you could, you could talk to kids at age six, seven about that stuff. You have control over what you put in your body. Nope. Daddy just took a Tylenol, but Daddy's got a headache. You don't need a Tylenol. Like that's education. Just talking in the homes, gotta start super early. School's have to get on board with some education and then tweak that education and increase it throughout. But that's critical, and we didn't have that toolkit because we weren't dealing with that at that time.
Right? So we've got this generation here in the last two years and all these kids dying. There's 77,000 from 2021 who died from Fentanyl because no one really knew, right? Which is why our billboard says they didn't know. They didn't [00:27:00] know. These kids aren't taking fentanyl and saying, I wanna die, I'm gonna take fentanyl. They're taking something and they're getting something else, which is why it's a poisoning.
But parents, the way we prevent this, and we've talked to the DEA about this, the cartel ship has sailed. They'll always come up with a new pill, there's a new pill out this week, stamped 69 on it. That ship has sailed. We as parents, and educators, and educators like you, and schools have to come together, and educate the parents so that they're teaching it at a young age and talking about it and it's open conversation. And educate kids so they know what to do in a time of crisis. You know, they can recognize, oh, I'm with this person, they took something. I think I should stay with them now. Oh, they're not feeling good, you know, like, they need to know what to do because they don't, they've not been taught. You can't do anything if you're not taught. Which is why education does bring down the statistics. It does.
[00:27:58] Mike: When we were all over this, [00:28:00] and I'm old enough now to have went through several cycles of this, when we actually do , we lower drug usage in this country by half -
[00:28:06] Erin: Yeah.
[00:28:06] Mike: In a decade. So it's not a, you're right, it's not a supply problem. It's a demand problem.
[00:28:12] Erin: Absolutely.
[00:28:13] Mike: No demand. There's no supply. Well, I'll be respectful of your time cause it's early in the morning on a very snowy -
[00:28:19] Erin: It is snowy.
[00:28:21] Mike: What can people do to help? I'll put of course, the link to Logan's Foundation to Love Logan website, but what can people do?
[00:28:30] Erin: Thank you. I appreciate that so much. You know, , obviously it's the time of giving, so like, I mean, if there's donations out there for the holiday, $5, it doesn't matter, that helps so much because we're obviously just self-funding right now trying to get things up and running. The billboard is something we really are passionate about keeping going.
We did get one of our first donations in the last couple weeks, and we were like, yay, we'll order wristbands. And like, it is not cheap to start this and do this. And I've been going around [00:29:00] speaking for free, you know, so. Donations are huge. Community support is huge, just reaching out, you know, in any way, whether it's encouragement or if anybody needs anything. I mean, that feels supportive too. Spreading the word about our foundation or about Logan, just even Logan's story, you know, even if I don't know about it, just use his story. You know, people can Google his name and his story will come up anywhere it's all over the news and stuff. And I guess just stand behind us, that's really important as well.
It's a big job and right now we don't have like staff, or like Rick's doing the website and, you know, the financial end and I'm doing speaking and so we're hoping at some point we have some resources or finances that we'd have a helper or two because we both work full-time. So it is a lot. And there are days where we have to say, we need to put it down. So we can just enjoy life too. But just having me on like here, I mean, just that's supportive because it helps keep this going. And we are so passionate about that.
[00:29:57] Mike: And we will keep doing this too. You're more than [00:30:00] willing to be on with us. I've told this story a number of times in the schools I'm in, so it, it does help.
[00:30:06] Erin: I appreciate that.
[00:30:07] Mike: Kids come up and talk to me afterwards, and they always say the same thing, same thing you're hearing. We had no idea. You mean that what I'm being sold isn't what I took? I, you'll like this, I actually, I'll end with this if it's okay.
[00:30:18] Erin: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:18] Mike: I found a pill, a capsule in a parking lot at a school, just a pill, and I put it in my pocket, you know, cause that's me. And I'm in the middle of an assembly and I reached into my pocket and felt the pill.
[00:30:31] Erin: Wow.
[00:30:32] Mike: And I pulled it out, I said, anybody want this? And of course, there were always kids who smart alecs go, I'll take it. And then the one kid goes, well, what is it? And I said, I don't know. And the kids said, where'd you get it? I said, my pocket.
[00:30:46] Erin: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:46] Mike: And then a girl said, where was it before the pocket? I said, in your parking lot. And she goes, what is it? And just then a police officer walked in.
The kids thought we set this up, we didn't. And he said, I know what it is. They all have [00:31:00] apps now, right? So he takes a picture and he said, oh, it's this.
[00:31:03] Erin: Yep.
[00:31:04] Mike: And one girl very smart goes, are you sure? The police officer goes, well, yeah, why? And she goes, it's a capsule, isn't it? Could put anything it? And I just put my hands over my head like yes.
[00:31:19] Erin: Wow. Yeah. One kid.
[00:31:21] Mike: Is that not Logan's story, what you think you buy, is not what you may be taking.
[00:31:27] Erin: It is exactly the story. Absolutely. Yeah.
[00:31:30] Mike: Well, Erin, I hope you have a peaceful holiday, you and your family.
[00:31:34] Erin: Yeah. Thank you.
[00:31:36] Mike: And for those of you listening, we invite you to listen in next time. We hope you have a peaceful holiday.
[00:31:41] Erin: Yes.
[00:31:42] Mike: Until we hear you again. Stay safe and make good decisions.
The Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition’s mission is to support networking, encourage education, explore gaps, and realize solutions to improve treatment and reduce alcohol and other drug abuse in our community with a primary focus on families.