On May 10, SPARK Ministries held its first “Light the Way” Drug Rally in front of the Justice Center on Main Street in Hazard. The event featured various activities throughout the evening dedicated to helping individuals fighting addiction, as well as honoring those who lost their battles with addiction and celebrating people who have recovered.
During the event, booths from multiple organizations including Addiction Recovery Care, the University of Kentucky Health Center, Pregnancy and Beyond and many more were set up along the sidewalks of Main Street and provided information to community members about addiction recovery.
“We have collected 19-25 resource tables from all over the state of Kentucky,” said Jenny Dean Combs, the Hazard director of SPARK Ministries, explaining that each of the agencies partnered with them to help educate people about available resources. “We know when our community comes together we can make a difference.
“We understand at SPARK Ministries that there is hope,” she continued. “We are seeing family after family being resurrected and being brought back to life after addiction, so we know there is hope.”
Since January, Combs said, approximately 70 families in Perry County have been helped by SPARK Ministries. She continued, explaining that many individuals went to rehab willingly, however, they have had to use Casey’s Law on a lot of people as well. Only four people are running at this time, said Combs.
During the rally, special awards and certificates of appreciation were given to county officials who help SPARK Ministries. Recipients included County Attorney John Carl Shackelford, District Judge Cody Goehring, the Hazard Police Department, the Perry County Sheriff’s Office and Public Defender Jessica Lewis.
The event also featured a wall of remembrance, testimonies from people who have recovered, a testimony drama and a wall of honoring those in recovery now.
“I wanted to be sober, I just didn’t have the motivation to go into treatment on my own,” said Megan Holbrook, one of the community members who gave her testimony. “I was going to die. Eventually, every time I used I felt like such a disappointment and a failure that I wanted it to kill me.”
Holbrook said she was placed in jail numerous times, went through many detoxes and was even admitted to the psychiatric ward, but it was never enough to make her stop.
“I was just waiting on something bad to happen,” said Holbrook. Holbrook’s mother contacted SPARK Ministries and they were able to petition for Casey’s Law, forcing Holbrook to seek help again.
“By the grace of God, and people who cared for and lived at SPARK Ministries, you can see and say that Casey’s Law is very effective,” said Holbrook. Holbrook is celebrating three months of being clean from drugs, and said she now has a set routine and structure in her life and takes care of her daughter.
After completing the activities, the group said a prayer over the city and county before walking together through downtown Hazard declaring solidarity against drug addiction. Combs said the organization plans to do the event again, but a date has yet to be determined.
SPARK Ministries is a non-profit organization that runs solely on donations. If anyone would like to learn more about SPARK Ministries or Casey’s Law, contact the SPARK office at, (606) 439-0074.