Rescue Army of Pearl River County to hold rally

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Rescue Army of Pearl River County will host a recovery rally on May 12 at Jack Reed Park in Picayune to educate the public about the various resources available locally to those fighting addiction.

Rescue Director Army Sarrah Willhite said she started the group in January to evangelize, educate, rescue and help those fighting addiction and assist them in finding direction.

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“I was sick of everybody showing up to funerals of those dead due to an overdose but doing nothing about it,” Willhite said.

In an effort to provide better resources to individuals in the county, Willhite approached local ministers and recovery groups to form a plan to educate the community about drugs, recognize the signs and symptoms and to develop methods for treatment.

To help with treatment expenses, the group approached centers across the state to advocate for free treatment, she said.

“We created an alliance with the group “StandUp Mississippi” started by Governor Phil Bryant, created to provide free treatment to residents of the state fighting opioid addiction in any of the state’s 15 treatment centers,” Willhite said.

The group organizes free drug education classes taught by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department to help the public identify the cause of addiction and how to eradicate it, she said.

The rally will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will begin with a performance by the local Christian band, Neutral Ground.

Barbeque plates will be sold for $10 and other refreshments will also be available for purchase.

The rally will feature a number of speakers, including Christine Collier from My New Life Now, Greg Bufkin from El Roi Ministries and members from the Rescue Army, Sheriff’s Department and Narcotics Unit.

Willhite said the group is currently working to build a brick memorial with the names of overdose victims in the state. The plan is to establish the memorial at the Rescue Army headquarters, located at the New Life Baptist Church in Nicholson, Willhite said.

The group’s ultimate goal is to raise enough money to establish a program to help get individuals on the path to recovery and away from a pattern of recidivism.

Willhite hopes the rally will bring members of the community together so they can be a part of the solution.