March 30, 2011, marks the day Herren Project officially became a 501 c3 nonprofit organization. It started with one person reaching out for help and taking the gift of recovery once given to Chris Herren.
“Ten years ago, I wanted to be part of someone’s story. I wanted to offer someone something that was given to me.” – Chris Herren
Where We Started
A few donations came in with the hope to help others find recovery. A chain reaction took place. Since 2011, Herren Project has personally assisted over 5,000 people through email and phone seeking support. Of that 5,000, 1,347 individuals were placed into treatment totaling over $6 million in in-kind and treatment scholarships, and 750 family members received one-on-one support to recover from the effects of substance use disorder. Recovery scholarships were awarded to 756 men and women, many of them still celebrating long-term recovery today. Families have healed and whole again because of Herren Project’s one person, one family at a time approach.
Treatment and Recovery
Thousands more have received support, inspiration, and empowerment through our 21 online family support groups and seven online nightly recovery meetings. Each person is an important and special part of our Herren Project family and who we are today. But that’s only part of the story.
Over the years, what started as one person, one family, became one person, one family, one community at a time. Herren Project’s national reach has touched hundreds of thousands all across the world.
“I am proud to be a part of the Herren Project team in providing support and services for individuals and their families. I have had the privilege of meeting so many truly great people and assisting them in getting their lives back. Although, if I’m being honest, I think I have learned more from them over the years than they have from me. I am so very grateful to Herren Project for the work that they do, and for allowing me to be a part of it.” – Kristin Young, Director of Clinical Services
Prevention has always been at the forefront of our impact. In 2012, the THP Project Purple Initiative was started impacting communities to raise awareness for addiction and empower students to stand against substance abuse. The movement impacted hundreds of thousands of schools and communities nationwide. As the movement grew, over 6,000 students reached out with their stories of struggle and resilience. Year after year, as each email came in, we knew we needed to do more. Prevention needed to start with “the first day” and teaching our children how to live healthy, fulfilling lives substance-free before they turn to drugs and alcohol. The THP Project Purple Initiative was retired. In
2019, Herren Project Clubs was introduced, providing a safe peer-to-peer environment to empower students paired with evidence-informed social-emotional learning activities to prevent addiction. Today, we have over 200 clubs across the United States and growing.
This was followed by the introduction of Wellness Week with Herren in 2020 to bring schools, communities, and those celebrating recovery a chance to come together to “go purple” and celebrate the BE YOU LOVE WELL spirit. Wellness Week with Herren is an annual celebration happening the first week in March.
Our prevention efforts also boast over $59,000 in grants and scholarships. These grants inspire communities to host post-prom and graduation substance-free events and empower high school students to be leaders in their schools.
“When I look back over the last 10 years my heart is full of emotion. It’s been an honor to be part of the journey. There has been pain as we have lost too many to the disease of addiction, but in the same breath, there has been so much joy. There is nothing more powerful than seeing people get a second chance at life and to watch a family begin to heal again. It is through people’s inspirational stories that we bring hope to others that recovery is possible, but it also is our reminder that early prevention has to be a priority.” – Bonnie Sawyer, Director of Advancement
Team Herren Project
THP Runs, now team Herren Project, was born in 2014. What began as a small initiative to raise donations to support our work, has grown into the foundation upon which our “Herren Community” stands. Raising money for our work is secondary to the support, inspiration, and empowerment shared and received within this community. It is made up of people we have helped, people who celebrate their recovery, those who have lost someone to addiction, to club members and corporate partners. It’s about celebrating the power of recovery, supporting one another, and bringing hope and positive awareness to the disease of addiction. They say the opposite of addiction is connection. Team Herren Project is that – connection and community.
“All who have connected with Team Herren Project over the past years beautifully personify who we are…supporting, inspiring, and empowering themselves and others with every step. These folks chose to go outside their comfort zones and experiences to directly benefit others to run, walk, and move forward, for those who can’t. The fact that Team Herren Project represents such an enormous part of our development only illustrates the trust and support that surrounds our teammates and Herren Project. My gratitude for this work, and to be connected to it in any way, continues to grow, day by day.” – Pam Rickard, Director of Active Engagement
We also are proud of our Herren Project ambassadors who are men, women, and students vital to sustaining our mission and message. We are honored to have 25 adults and 16 youth stand with us, spreading a message of hope across the world.
Finally, we can’t forget our employees. What started with three people has now grown to 28 dedicated men and women, committed to walking with people on their journey to recovery and prevention.
So as we celebrate ten inspiring years, we celebrate with our “Herren community.” Each of you is a special part of what we celebrate – 10 years of supporting, inspiring, and empowering one person, one family, one community at a time. We look forward to the future and bringing light and hope to those affected by substance use disorder.
“When I look back over the last 10 years it is awe-inspiring how far we have come and how many we have served. Herren Project is blessed with an amazing group of supports from all across the United States. The one thing I know for sure is we will make an even bigger impact over the next 10 years as we continue to support, inspire and empower those affected by substance use disorder.” – Kevin Mikolazyk, Executive Director
Herren Project is committed to empowering people everywhere to live happy, healthy, fulfilling lives free from the effects of addiction. Herren Project provides free resources for the treatment, recovery, and prevention of substance use disorder. Learn more about Herren Project.