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Charity group raises money to combat addiction

Next Gen

Southern Delaware non-profit Next Gen raised money this year to help young people coping with addiction in their families and other issues.

About $12,000 was raised at Next Gen’s Chow Down for Charity Dinner earlier this year. Next Gen spokeswoman Samantha Hemphill says the grants raised from this year’s event went to three youth organizations dealing with addiction prevention, active addiction treatment and reentry into society.

“Our previous cause was children’s mental wellness, and while we did not leave that cause completely, we expanded on it by adding addiction, because we were responding to the crisis that Delaware and many other states are facing,” said Hemphill.

The groups awarded were the Forge Youth and Family Academy, the Summer Learning Collaborative and the Elizabeth W. Murphey School.

The Summer Learning Collaborative offers summertime learning opportunities for low income children in the Wilmington area, and the Forge Youth and Family Academy is a Sussex County community center helping youth get jobs and further their education. The Elizabeth W. Murphy School takes in children referred by the Division of Family Services.

Hemphill says the grants will fully fund a year’s salary for a new addiction counselor for children in that program.

“Elizabeth Murphy School takes in kids who are often a victim of addiction—meaning their parent is in active addiction or is incarcerated for something having to do with addiction—and they take kids from all walks of life,” said Hemphill.

Hemphill says Next Gen will continue to raise money for addiction treatment and family support services at next year’s Chow Down for Charity Event.