Toms River, NJ – HOPE Sheds Light, Inc., a Toms River-based non-profit organization dedicated to educating families on the disease of addiction, hosted its ribbon cutting ceremony on March 21st, 2017 to celebrate its new office in Toms River. Over 50 people were in attendance as HOPE Sheds Light co-founders Ronald Rosetto, Arvo Prima and Stephen Willis welcomed the community to the new home of HOPE Sheds Light. Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, Toms River Police Chief Mitchell A. Little, Toms River Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher and Toms River Councilman Maurice “Mo” B. Hill, Jr., were featured at the ceremony.
“We’re putting money into the wrong places,” said Freeholder Director Vicari during the opening remarks. “What we have to do is make an investment in our young people. That’s why I want to thank all those who are here today, but also the HOPE Sheds Light founders [Arvo Prima, Stephen Willis and Ronald Rosetto] who have dedicated their lives to other people’s children.”
Freeholder Director Vicari said that there isn’t a week that goes by that someone he knows isn’t impacted by substance abuse. “But we are doing something very positive [here] and we’re doing something that works,” he continued. “This really is a community affair of working together and… the most important part of this is the people who have a passion to say that not one more family will have that sorrow. Close to over 300 families were affected by [addiction] in 2016 [in Ocean County]. We want to cut this down not just by half, but to zero.”
Founded in 2012 after co-founder Ron Rosetto lost his son Marc to a battle against substance abuse, HOPE Sheds Light serves to provide help and resources to families affected by addiction. The co-founders, along with Executive Director John Hulick and a team of board members, volunteers and supporters, work year-round to support families suffering from the epidemic of substance abuse that has become widely prevalent at the Jersey Shore in recent years.
“This is a very serious crisis that exists in our community, not just in Toms River but it unfortunately seems to be spreading around the country,” said Mayor Kelaher. “It’s a curse to our society and it will take a gathering of our society to prevent this crisis. By doing what you’re doing and focusing a lot of attention on it, everybody will work together, as your [HOPE Sheds Light] name implies, to make a dent.”
The new HOPE Sheds Light office is located within the House of Hope at 253 Chestnut Street in Toms River. “Since I’ve been a mayor, I’ve done over 200 ribbon cuttings and most of them were for small businesses around town, but this is the first time I’ve done something like this and it is a very moving experience,” said Mayor Kelaher.
About HOPE Sheds Light, Inc.
HOPE Sheds Light, Inc. is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID: 46-3910504) that is supported by friends and families directly affected by addiction and found recovery through continuous love, support and understanding. The mission of HOPE Sheds Light is to raise awareness and educate individuals, families and the community about the disease of addiction and to provide hope and resources towards recovery.
To date, through community education and outreach, over 89,000 people were guided to HOPEShedsLight.com, over 900 people called the toll-free helpline, more than 1,000 individuals attended our family group meetings and HOPE Sheds Light sat down with over 280 families to provide individual help. Through community presentations, over 2,700 people have received educational support and awareness programs.
HOPE Sheds Light is filling critical service gaps from prevention and treatment through to recovery, which is why HOPE Sheds Light has developed strong partnerships with other addiction organizations, as well as community groups. HOPE Sheds Light also offers legal aid and recovery scholarships to qualified candidates, and deploys trained volunteer Family Recovery Advocates into the community to offer additional resources and guidance. Support groups are also available to anyone affected by addiction. To learn more, please visit HOPEShedsLight.org.