A year ago, Marty Henehan Sr. found his 23-year-old daughter Sammi Henehan dead of a heroin overdose.
On Monday, the anniversary of her death, the group he and his wife, Stacy Henehan, founded in her name launched hundreds of balloons in front of thousands of people to be sure she wouldn’t be forgotten.
Wearing pink shirts bearing her photo and the foundation’s name, “Forever Sammi,” the Henehans and about 500 family, friends and volunteers released the balloons at opening night of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders home opener to raise awareness of the dangers of addiction.
“This was born out of tragedy,” said Sean Bingham, a friend of the Henehans and a co-founder of the foundation. “We don’t want to see another person die.”
The Henehans launched the organization last year with Bingham to help addicts in recovery. All three are in recovery themselves and want to free the issue of addiction from its stigma and bring it out in the open, where it can be better treated.
The all-volunteer Forever Sammi foundation sets up addicts with a recovery plan and one month of free rent in transitional housing after they leave rehabilitation. The organization also does a lot of interventions.
“We do most of our work in the living room,” Marty Henehan Sr. said.
Since its inception, volunteers from Forever Sammi have placed 18 people into housing in the vulnerable post-rehab period, Stacy Henehan said.
“We’re going to be sure you have a roof over your head and you don’t have to go back to addiction,” Bingham said.
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How to help
Forever Sammi is funded completely by community giving. To donate, write checks out to
Forever Sammi and send to 536 Fig St. Rear Apt. 3, Scranton, PA 18505.