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Puskar Foundation helps Lauren’s Wish with major donation

“It covers a year’s worth of rent.”

“You could call it a month worth of keeping the doors open.”

“It could be applied to everything.”

The above are just a few examples of how Lauren’s Wish Founder and Chairman Michael Cole and Board of Directors Members Edward Boyle and John Todd could see a $50,000 donation from the Milan Puskar Foundation being used to support the mission of the organization.

“That’s big. And they’ve done that twice,” Boyle said, adding the Foundation’s first donation came before Lauren’s Wish opened the doors to its Addiction Triage Center at Hazel’s House of Hope one year ago.

“That first donation came sight unseen,” Boyle said. “…because they believed in the mission.”

Now, a year after they first opened the Addiction Triage Center, Lauren’s Wish has a full staff, houses an average of 16-19 clients a day at the 24-bed facility, and has helped over 360 individuals suffering from addiction by providing a place to stay safe and sober until they are able to be placed in a longer-term treatment facility.

The board members explained how there is a gap in addiction treatment between the hospital following an overdose and a long-term treatment center where many suffering from addiction are left to fend for themselves while waiting for placement in a center.

“Nobody has ever addressed this void between the ER and a treatment center,” Cole said of the center’s key purpose.

That void is what the Lauren’s Wish Addiction Triage Center is trying to fill.

At the center, a safe and healthy space is provided for individuals who are seeking treatment placement. Clients are monitored by peer recovery staff and have access to case management and addiction recovery resources in a healthy environment. When a placement is made, Lauren’s Wish transports them to their destination, ensuring that safe environment is not compromised.

Of course, all of this costs money. Employing a qualified staff, transporting clients, general supplies like bottled water and toilet paper, and ensuring their clients’ needs are met are just a few of the expenses Lauren’s Wish faces daily. As a non-profit, the organization does not accept money from clients who in their eyes all deserve a chance to get well regardless of their financial situation.

Cole, Boyle and Todd said with donations like the one from the Milan Puskar Foundation and other supporters of their cause, donations and support from many organizations and individuals in the greater Monongalia County community, and funds contributed by board members, they have been able to accomplish so much.

Following a check presentation to Lauren’s Wish, representatives from Milan Puskar Foundation were given a tour of the Addiction Triage Center they are helping to support.

“I’m glad that we were able to see this and be a part of it and provide some support,” Milan Puskar Foundation Executive Director Lori Maynard said. “I’m happy we are here and have the opportunity as this foundation to do this for an organization that is working so tirelessly to fill that gap for those that are struggling with addiction, so they are not relapsing.”

If you would like more information about the work being done at Lauren’s Wish or would like to donate, visit their website