When You Donate to HUGS…

you are financially supporting a young person’s recovery, but not just any young person. HUGS funding is specifically for young people who:

  • Have families that demonstrate positive recovery behaviors
  • Are following the treatment recommendations of licensed addiction clinicians

These two criteria are critical contributors to long term recovery for young people experiencing addiction problems. Your donation (of $50 or $5,000) is carefully and lovingly disbursed to a treatment facility, a halfway house, or a sober living home for that young person’s recovery or treatment care. The money, however, is really for the family. It eases the burden for the family who has exhausted their insurance benefits and savings and when there is no publicly funded assistance.

There is an application and vetting process that goes on for each request for funds. The treating clinician(s) and the family members are all involved in this process. We want you to understand how your donated money is used. We are dedicated to the HUGS mission and very grateful for your support. None of our board members receive compensation. All volunteer their time, resources and expertise. Our administrative overhead is minimal; your money supports the recipient families and their young person – nothing else.

Addiction is not the public’s favorite charity. It remains an easily dismissed and stigmatized condition- that is – until it visits your family. Then, the nightmare begins, especially for the family who is searching for help. Addiction recovery requires an active and often enduring participation in treatment services, unlike other diseases or conditions. The HUGS application process is discerning about the young person’s treatment and the family’s willingness to be a part of the treatment and recovery plan.

Behind the scenes, an advisory board (4 seasoned , qualified, licensed addiction clinicians) is independently reviewing each application. We review for those 2 critical criteria mentioned before: family support behaviors and appropriate treatment matching for the young person’s needs.

Family behaviors that are supportive to long term recovery extend far beyond the love, hope and concern that most any family member/parent experiences when addiction has a grip on their young person. We know that a family must become educated about the realities of addiction. We know that families will be emotionally overwhelmed without ongoing support- beyond what a treatment program can offer them. Our last HUGS Foundation newsletter (September 2017) has an in depth article discussing family recovery support.

A licensed clinician who is providing the young person’s treatment and is familiar with the family’s recovery efforts must make the application on behalf of the family. We also hear directly from the family/parents about their specific circumstances and recovery behaviors.

Once we approve an application, we arrange to disburse the funds – usually on a monthly basis. The continuation of funds is conditional upon a monthly report from the treatment provider AND the family verifying that all recovery efforts are continuing. We have one final expectation of all families that benefit from your donations: a “pay it forward” commitment. Each family is asked to find a personalized way of sharing recovery with others in need. Some get involved in community action groups and events that raise awareness and reduce the stigma of addiction. Others donate to HUGS themselves when their finances allow. One family, after losing 2 sons to opioid overdose, requested donations to HUGS instead of flowers at the last funeral.

HOPE, UNDERSTANDING, GRATITUDE, and SERENITY comes at a high cost to many of the families we serve. We support young people and families who seek reprieve from addiction and are willing to be active participants in their own recovery. We seek to be excellent stewards of the money you donate to this very unique mission.