Team Herren Project participates in events all across the globe, using the power of sport to raise funding and awareness for the work of Herren Project. With more than 750 ‘teammates’ from 35 states, Team Herren Project is a diverse community of individuals who help each other, and others, live stronger, healthier lives while working to promote the power of recovery and prevention.
WHY do folks choose Team Herren Project?
Herren Project helped me get my son into treatment and sober living on more than one occasion. In addition, I am a participant in a Herren Project family support group, lead by the most amazing woman, Rebecca O’Dowd. I am forever grateful and blessed for the love, support, encouragement, inspiration and hope shown to me from EVERY Herren Project team member. These members have carried me through some of my very dark days. Connecting others who suffer, and helping raise money for this organization, is the very least I can do to “give back” and show my gratitude. Chris Herren and Herren Project have completely changed my life and empowered me to help others do the same.
Patti Bergbuchler, Northport, NY
I wanted to run a race in honor of my brother and, to be honest, the Herren Project was the only team/group I could find that was running and raising awareness about the dangers of drugs, specifically opioids. My brother overdosed in 2013 from heroin. It helped me realize I am not alone and it’s nice to be able to connect with others without the stigma associated with drug use.
Jessica Bogosian, Johnston, RI
I run with the Herren Project because it allows me to remember and honor my late husband Matt and also provides me with a way to give back to my community. When I lost Matt, I needed a way to make sense of everything. I connected with the Herren Project and was able to give my running purpose. I remain committed to this organization, that has allowed me to heal, give back and simultaneously remember my Matt. Forever grateful! –
Holly Gifford, Arnold, MD
I run with Herren Project for a number of reasons, but first and foremost, I am a person in recovery, so I know first-hand what a dark lonely place a life of addiction is, and I want to do my part to help people living with substance used disorder. Herren Project has given me that platform. Being in recovery can come with anonymity, but in these times, people need to see and know that recovery is possible. When my community, where many knew me as an addict, see that I am out running marathons and raising money and awareness to combat substance use disorder, they SEE recovery is possible! For that matter they see that ANYTHING is possible!! Finally, I run for the people I love that have died as a direct result of drugs and/or alcohol. I run with and for Herren Project so they can look down on me and be proud and know they did not die in vain.
Glen Harrington, Saugus, MA
I choose to run with Herren Project because they changed my course. As a “closet recovering addict,” I hid behind a multitude of excuses to protect the stigma & embarrassment that I had a problem. Herren Project help(s) me know daily. It’s not an embarrassment. I am not weak. It’s the complete opposite; it’s takes massive courage and strength to be you without a red solo cup, straw, or anything that alters who I am. I run with Herren Project because I want others to know they are completely amazing just who they are. We are people who have been there, help them and watch them fly free, breaking the chains of addiction.
Pamela Hogue, Encinitas, CA
Why wouldn’t I run for Herren Project? There is a special energy and connection that happens when I train and run a race for this organization. I have met so many people that have provided inspiration and support during difficult times of dealing with family members that struggle with SUD. Running and being a part of this group have become a huge part of my life and I am grateful.”
Christine Hopkins, Swampscott, MA
I am running with Herren Project because of all the people in my family who are addicts. I am running because of the destruction that drug and alcohol addiction has caused my family and friends; because of the relationships and marriages addiction has ruined; because of the lies that addiction has told me; because of the secrets that addiction tells you to keep; because I’ve realized recently that I am also an addict and it doesn’t matter if you’re high-functioning or not, it still has you.
Marcus Lavender, Gordonsville, TN
I choose to run for Herren Project to help spread the message that there is help and support out there. As a teen and young adult, I didn’t know how to help friends and family who were fighting the battle of addiction and felt lost and hopeless. I am thankful for such an amazing organization and try and spread the word whenever I can. Hopefully it helps others know that there are resources to help.
Danielle Lussier, Jefferson, MA
I run for/with Herren Project for so many reasons. The connections, the difference it can make in people’s lives, the growth I have from being a part of something so great and for helping break the stigma of substance use disorder. Anytime I’ve been away from HP, I’ve felt a part of me was missing. HP is a beautiful place of healing, growth, and finding happiness in a very unhappy disease. Being a part of it all gives my life more meaning. I am thankful every day to be a part of every moment with my Herren Project family.
Jaime McDonald, Cornelius, NC
Running for Herren Project has provided me a sense of community, comfort and stability, reassuring me that I am not alone. I find strength and hope in my times of weakness as a family member continues to struggle with their own sobriety. Herren Project has offered me tools, knowledge and support to focus on my own mental health and recovery. 💜
Meghan Mullins, Poughkeepsie, NY
I choose to run with/for Herren Project because I feel welcomed; welcomed as a peer in recovery, a teammate, a friend, a part of this family. One of Herren Project’s mottos is Be You. This resonates with me. From the first day I joined Herren Project I’ve been me. I contribute my individuality to a community that welcomes it. My energies and efforts are not only recognized, they’re supported with an all-embracing kindness and love. What was so freely given to me has allowed me to be of service. Service promotes recovery which promotes unity. What a beautiful thing. So so proud to be with/on Team Herren Project.
Kevin O’Toole, Saugus, MA
I continue to do what I can because our family got the help we needed, when we needed it. The ongoing sense of how important this community is to so many people keeps us engaged. I have heard Chris Herren speak enough times to know the power of his message, particularly for high school students. I want to do everything I can to give him the ability to continue this work.
Jeanne Rees, Shelburne, MA
The truth is, I run in support of Herren Project because I have seen how desperately what HP does is needed, and I have seen what happens when recovery takes hold of an individual. I have a very personal connection to that process, and I can attest to the beautiful, miraculous results. The hope offered by true recovery is powerful, and I want to help Herren Project offer that hope to everyone who needs it.
Tom Rickard, Rocky Mount, VA
I choose to run for/with Herren Project because exercise is a component of not only my physical wellness but also my emotional health. Joining the Herren Project team gave me a purpose beyond just taking care of myself. I now get to spread the message of hope while doing something I love. It’s a win win.
Danielle Sharp, Boca Raton, FL
I run and support Herren Project as they helped me most in my time of need. They provided me with tools and knowledge on how to best approach my situation with my son and mother. They gave me support and love all while ensuring I was taking care of me. Even when the best thing for me was not a popular option in today’s society, (disconnecting with the toxic people). Any time I feel insecure or worried I know I am able to jump back in and it will be like no time has passed. I want to do my part to help ensure this service stays free for all family members.
Kristie Sievers, Willoughby, OH
As a person in recovery, running with Herren Project gives me a public platform to show others, that alcoholics/addicts and their families do recover. It has also enhanced my recovery by expanding my community beyond just those in recovery. Through Herren Project I have been able to connect with the families and love ones affected by addiction, providing me a whole new perspective on substance use disorder. As an alcoholic/addict I know how difficult it is for families to navigate recovery, especially in the early stages. I know firsthand the struggles I had finding treatment. I know the difficulty my wife had trying to find support services for herself and our children. I run with Herren Project because I never want another family to miss out on the gifts of recovery.
Walter Smith, Sea Cliff, NY
I run with/for Herren Project because the cause is close to my heart. It is a way that I can fight to make a difference and help others. Herren Project is filled with incredible, genuine, people and being around them and running for/with Herren Project makes me a better person.
Allison Terlacher, Akron, OH
I decided to run with/for Herren Project to support my friends and the cause that they believe in, because what are friends for if not to support one another. But the moment that really got me, was while representing Herren Project through the streets of NYC at the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon in 2019. It was my very first half marathon and I was feeling all the adrenaline – all the FEELS. But then I saw that bridge. I was TIRED. And there was nothing I hated more than an incline while I was running. But then it hit me, I GET to run. I GET to be out there on that course, putting one foot in front of the other. I was overcome with emotion. I thought of all the people that had not yet received the help from Herren Project and all the people that did. How difficult it is for them to put one foot in front of the other every day, but they do. And that’s when I knew, that running for Herren Project was what I wanted…as a testament to all of those suffering from substance abuse disorder…to put one foot in front of the other for them, and for myself. And since then, I’ve been hooked. Running has changed my life and running for Herren Project gives me the community to keep me going.
Kristina Vucetic, Putnam Valley, NY
When I became sober, I delved into questions like, “Why am I here…What is my purpose?” After a few books, prayers, and experiences later, I knew my purpose was to tout health and sobriety. I chose this purpose as a personal core value. Right around this time, I met Herren Project. I knew Chris Herren’s story already and got to meet him as well as a large amount of the HP team in Boston in 2017. The incredible energy around the group made me feel like, “Wow, I’ve met my people.” It was also perfect timing. Years later this energy is still going strong. The level of understanding and friendship my wife & I receive from this ‘family’ is such an amazing gift; such a boost of positivity in our lives. I consider interacting with our HP folks integral to our sustained growth and my ongoing recovery. I think it’s necessary to always help (and) remember that we’ve never truly ‘arrived’ at sobriety. That’s not meant as a bummer, but rather to stay excited about continued betterment. We need mentors and to mentor. There’s so much of this ‘giving and receiving spirit’ in HP amongst everyone. So, that’s why I run, write, and talk about Herren Project. I know we help each other be our best.
Scott Waldrop, Wake Forest, NC