I knew Kyle as a good hearted kid who was doing the best he could. I met him when he was about 10 years old. I was assigned as his tutor to help him with schoolwork and was in his life for about 7 years. I became aware that Kyle's issues, like most kids, had their roots in some family issues. His Mom was in recovery and his Dad, who also had alcohol problems, was doing his best. Without community help, this family couldn't make it and Kyle didn't. In the early morning hours of May 29th, he slammed into one of the big old oak trees, just miles from his home. Kyle had himself become an alcohol abuser, drinking himself to blackouts. As Kyle was growing up in a very small town, dad committed some economic crimes to give his kids what he thought they needed. What they really needed was him clean, sober and mentally healthy. But he didn't have the resources to get the long term counseling he needed, neither did Mom, or Kyle's sister or Kyle. Kyle's dad went to jail, it was on the front page of the small town paper, and Kyle saw another reason for shame and rage, and the counseling resources weren't there. That was the real crime. Our healthcare system, our communities are judgment and punishment based, rather than extending a compassionate hand to those who have stumbled. Kyle loved drama and poetry, but talked about going into the Army when he got out of school. What other choices could he see? There were no resources for trade school or college. He really wanted to be an inventor and would have been a great engineer of some kind. But, the resources just weren't accessible to him and he didn't have the support to develop a positive self image. I had hoped that I could have provided that support, but it wasn't enough. In Kyle's memory, I'm going to set up a memorial fund and at least provide minimal scholarships at his high school for alcohol affected kids. My broader goal is to raise enough money so that under and uninsured families in that area can access long term counseling and treatment. He was such a good kid with a good heart and he deserved to understand, cherish and live-out his life purpose. Instead, unresolved rage and shame drove him senselessly into a strong old oak.
Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.
*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization. EIN: 52-1736502