We’ve got wonderful news to share: because our work is more urgent than ever, several of SSDP’s closest donors have come together to pledge a $50,000 matching gift! We need your help to reach our goal and unlock the match.
We know you support many worthy causes and you’re hearing from all of them this December, but we’d like to take a moment to share an inspiring story about an outstanding SSDP chapter whose members are dedicated to saving lives with their advocacy.
The overdose crisis is all too real for many people in the SSDP family. According to the CDC, more than 64,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2016. SSDPers understand that people who use drugs are not nameless or faceless — they are our classmates, family members, friends and community members — and this year, we will lose even more. As drug prohibition continues to fail to address this crisis, SSDPers are dedicated to finding effective, compassionate approaches to drugs and people who use them. Though they’re not yet commonplace in the United States, supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are a groundbreaking approach to preventing overdose and opening pathways to recovery for people who inject drugs. Karissa Doerr and Lauren Parasconda from our SUNY Albany chapter wanted to host a mock SIF on campus to educate their fellow students about the overdose crisis and show how novel approaches like SIFs can save lives.
Lauren and Karissa worked for months to bring a mock SIF to their campus as part of a coalition strategy to bring SIFs to New York. They fundraised, collaborated with allies, and spent hours of their free time to organize an interactive SIF exhibit and host an educational panel about harm reduction featuring drug policy experts and people in recovery. With a prominent location right outside the campus center, the exhibit attracted heavy foot traffic all day and students toured the SIF, asked questions, and engaged in honest conversations about drug policy. Next semester, SUNY Albany and other SSDP chapters in New York plan to lobby the state legislature to bring SIFs to New York City. When you give to SSDP, your dollars support coaching and training for student leaders like Karissa and Lauren — and today, your gift will be doubled!
The matching gift will only be unlocked if we raise $50,000 from the SSDP family by December 31. Will you make a gift today to ensure that SUNY Albany and the rest of the SSDP student network can continue their work?