525 Foundation working to expand its reach

525 Foundation was formed by the Savage family to remember and honor Nick and Jack Savage's legacy // Photo Courtesy Becky Savage

Resolve is stronger than ever for a Granger mother who lost two of her sons to accidental opioid overdoses.

This month marks three years since Nick and Jack Savage passed away, but Becky Savage is reflecting on her progress and looking toward new goals.

She has traveled a long way to share her tragedy with students, parents and lawmakers.

But she says there are many others out there who don’t understand the gravity of the drug crisis.

She's pressing forward and finding new ways to spread her message farther through the 525 Foundation.

Becky Savage says that June morning still feels like yesterday.

"It’s hard because there is no book on how you’re supposed to live after the loss of somebody, let alone a son or two sons, and it’s a day-to-day basis," says Savage. "We are very open about it. We talk to our kids about it when they want to talk about it. They come up in daily conversations. Some of them serious conversations and some of them goofy, funny situations that we remember one of them doing. So we still involve them in our daily life. We are still very involved with a lot of their friends who still come around, which is nice because it’s a nice memory of them and what kind of good people they were and good friends that they chose.”

The heartbreak is still there, but she’s making the conscious choice to keep speaking, listening and fighting.

“It’s kind of a healing process, I think, as well knowing that we are touching lives in making a difference. They are touching our lives as well," says Savage.

After attending a graduation party, Nick and Jack died in their sleep after ingesting a lethal dose of opioids and alcohol.

It’s something Becky never imagined would happen to her. That’s why she wants to use her story and show the face of her family to change the stigma of opioid abuse and show others it can happen to anyone.

“Every crowd I go and talk to – if there is just one person that can hear what we have to say and that makes a difference, then that was a good thing and maybe there will be a ripple effect from that one person and better choices will be made," says Savage.

She delivered her story on Capitol Hill earlier this year.

Since then, she’s been working with lawmakers on legislation for safe drug disposal, and talking with students for input on a campaign that could soon be out nationwide.

She's also partnered with Martin's to put three permanent drug disposal dropboxes in its stores.

A new priority for the 525 Foundation includes getting kids represented on the board.

Becky says it’s important to incorporate their voice if we want to fully address the drug crisis.

“I can’t ever change what happened in the past, but I can change the future and what happens in the future and I can leave a positive legacy – a legacy of love, so to speak, in Nick and Jack’s name where they are able to still save lives and make a difference."

A growing mission for the 525 Foundation means it needs more space and more help.

Now Becky is proud to announce they are moving into a new office at Innovation park, and she’s looking to bring another person aboard to help with the work load.

In addition to speaking engagements already on the schedule, she hopes to find new schools and places to visit that could benefit the most from hearing her tragic story.

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