The Brightside: Local moms start Worcester Warriors
WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. – Two Worcester County mothers have taken it upon themselves to make sure no one goes through addiction alone.
“We knew that no other parent should have to go through what we did where there was no one no place to turn, you felt very isolated,” says Jackie Ball.
That’s why two Worcester County mothers ,Jackie Ball and Heidi McNeeley, set out on a mission to make sure no one, no mother, no father or loved one had to face addiction alone.
“Heidi and I both had sons that were addicted to heroin and both of our journeys started about 10 years ago,” explains Ball.
“This was 2014 and at that time there was nothing in the media about opiate addiction. I didn’t know anything about it so when my son came to me and said I need help the first thing I did was google rehabs,” says McNeeley.
Two strangers miles apart just trying to find the help their sons needed to overcome addiction, help that wasn’t so easy to find.
“Not knowing what questions to ask or what information to find out just really kind of a stab in the dark. So it was a very dark journey, a very kind of void of information.”
A void that both mothers decided no other loved one would have to feel.
“You didn’t have anyone to tell you what resources are out there so that’s why Worcester Warriors. We came together to say that people would have a place to go and someone to talk to,” explains Ball.
But little did they know just how many people would need the support and knowledge they were hoping to give.
McNeeley recalls, “The first meeting that we held 50 people came, the second meeting that we held 300 people came and so thus the warriors began.”
Now three years in, their passion to help others through this terrifying time has never wavered. But now it’s more than just support and resources, it’s turned into an organization that’s giving addicts a hand up towards recovery.
“We helped over 60 people last year, spent over I think $20,000 directly helping people into recovery.”
Ball explains, “When it happens to you, you just don’t know which way to turn so to have someone there who can help you and who understands, it’s just, it means so much for Heidi and I to be able to do that for other people and everyone in the organization.”
Two mothers who decided to take their unexpected, trying and at times terrifying journeys and use them as a conversation starter, a mission and an inspiration to anyone feeling the effects of the opioid epidemic.
“This is not the end of the world where there is life, there is hope.”