Reading, MA - Substance abuse & addiction is a growing, historic and tragic problem that effects many of the people surrounding us. Sometimes thinking about it, or experience it, can make us feel in the dark of what we can do to make a difference, and how to find a sense of community in moments of suffering. The BeatHeart Foundation, however, is getting ready for their second annual event to change that.
The BeatHeart Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is based in Reading, Massachusetts. The BeatHeart Foundation's website says the group was formed with the following goals: "to raise resources and awareness for addiction recovery, to break down the stigma around substance abuse, and to provide pathways to creative and productive lifestyles". The organization was formed by a group of those who loved for and cared about a young man named Jake Czuczwa. One day after his 24th birthday, Jake passed away suddenly from an opioid overdose. Their core values are: Non-judgement, Honesty, Respect, Compassion & Creativity, as they try to help Jake's legacy as a good friend and active member of the community in Reading while trying to help others who may be suffering just as well. Their website can be found here, with more information, event postings and places to donate/volunteer: BeatHeartFoundation.org/
As Jake is said to have been a gifted musician, songwriter and producer, his friends have created the Jams for Jake event. The Jams for Jake event is an all-day music festival and community gathering. It creates a space for those to have open and honest conversations with those living in the Greater Boston Area, and fill thier hearts with all sorts of creativity and solidarity through music shows and art spaces. The first event was held in November 2017. The group sets up various donation pages and boxes, and raised $13,000 last year. The funds went to various organizations like the Reading Coalition Against Substanec Abuse, various opioid education and over-dose prevention trainings, sober-positive open mic nights in the community, and art grants for the Reading Memorial High School. Some photos from the event can be seen below!
The Jams for Jake event will be head this year on Sunday, August 4th from 12PM until sun-down. It will continue to be at the Symonds Field in Reading. The event's Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/222432938371244/, some good things to expect are: music (duh!), silent actions from local artists, drawings for gift cards/baskets/various prizes, community speakers, resources and trainings, Jake's CD, food trucks, and various outdoor games.
Here's a poster for the supportive and uplifting music festival, seen on https://i.redd.it/yak5h71a6ma11.png
And last year's photos: