Letter from the CEO/Executive Director -
Kim Humphrey

Dear friends,

I am fairly certain I cannot come up with more adjectives to describe the times we are in. I hear “unprecedented, uncharted, crazy,” and many more. I know if you are like me you are tired of how frustrating life can be under this pandemic, the political environment and all of the uncertainty we are facing.  I find myself in a funk for no discernable reason, but then when you look at what life is like and this new way of living that seems to be “normal,” it makes perfect sense. All the more reason to pull out all the tools we learn to deal with what we can control versus what we cannot. 

Over these first 5 ½ years of PAL’s existence as a non-profit we have been blessed to be able to grow and meet more and more of the need surrounding families struggling with addicted loved ones.  Sadly, in these past few months we have seen a significant increase in the loss of loved ones to this hideous disease.  Many of you read, see, or hear the news and know that the drug issues, mental health issues, even unemployment and economic issues have led to a not-yet-fully understood major increase in overdoses and suicides. When you see that some states are showing nearly a 50% increase, if you are like me you cannot fathom how devastating this reality is that we are facing.

I think the problem is we become numb to statistics. We see the numbers of those dying from this COVID-19 pandemic with highs of nearly 3,000 in a 24 hour period. We are even told it’s unhealthy to dwell on this and continue to read about all this negativity. However, to me the saddest part is slowing down and remembering that when you see these tremendous increases in overdoses, we should not and cannot become numb and accept that this is the “new normal.”  These are individuals and families whose hopes and dreams for their loved ones have been dashed. We receive notices regularly from around the country of another life lost from a PAL family, and we see the name and sometimes a photo and we can only hurt along with each of these families.

PAL has received more of these notifications in the last few months than in the history of the organization. I don’t want to sound negative; I want to see this as a call to action. A time not to be accepting but to look for and bring hope to families.  Thank you to all our courageous volunteers that are braving this pandemic, that are either now meeting in person or virtually and the others that hopefully will start their meetings back up soon. You are needed and the demand is only going to grow. When the lens fades from COVID-19 even a little, the reality of this drug crisis will be in full view.  Let’s be prepared and be a part of the solution.

Please plan to tune in for our national broadcast, the Power of PAL event scheduled for November 13.  If possible, plan to get together with others to view this broadcast, of course in a safe and responsible way. We want to showcase the literal power of PAL and hopefully build more support to meet this coming demand. I also pray you continue to find our bloggers and testimonials inspiring and helpful in your journey. This month we have some great insight as you will see below.

God Bless!

Kim Humphrey
PAL CEO/Executive Director

Mark Your Calendar for this
MUST Experience Event!
Don't Miss It!
Join a national audience to experience hope!
Friday, November 13, 2020
8 pm EST • 7 pm CST • 6 pm MST • 5 pm PST

The Power of PAL is a FREE, 90-minute broadcast that will feature a mixture of motivational speakers, uplifting music, storytelling and a bit of fun and laughs. This fundraiser will benefit Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) as well as increase awareness of available resources and support for families with a loved one who is battling substance use disorder.

Be sure to register for both nights
SAVE YOUR SPOT - General Admission - Friday
VIP Pre-Event Access - $10
Thursday, November 12, 2020
8:30 pm EST • 7:30 pm CST • 6:30 pm MST • 5:30 pm PST

Exclusive access to a 30-minute program hosted by
PAL Founder, Mike Speakman and PAL CEO, Kim Humphrey

Be sure to register for both nights
SAVE YOUR SPOT - VIP Admission - Thursday
Leash Laws
PAL Blogger Ron Paterik 

A few months ago, a friend of my wife and I told a story about her dog, Billie.  They were at a coffee shop patio enjoying a morning coffee and a “puppuccino.”  Billie noticed another canine coffee-lover and tried to walk over and say “Hi.”  But try as he may, he couldn’t move.  Was the leash too short?  No.   Our friend was confused, but upon closer inspection she realized Billie couldn’t move because Billie was standing on his own leash!  Our good friend then quipped “How many times in my life have I stood on my own leash by not pursuing what I really wanted?”  This prompted a conversation about how we often stand on our own leash, why we do, and how to get off your leash.

Common reasons for standing on our own leash can be boiled down to four factors:

  1.  FEAR – you say “no” to opportunities because you are afraid of failing, making a mistake or looking foolish
  2. DISCOMFORT – you value the comfort of the known too much to take on a challenge that seems too hard and would require too much risk and disruption
  3. IMPATIENCE – you want quick results, so real or imagined setbacks lead to discouragement or giving up
  4. NEGATIVE MINDSET – you tell yourself discouraging messages like "I’ll probably fail,” “I’m not strong enough” or “there’s something wrong with me”
Take a minute and reflect on the above factors.  Any of these apply to you?  If so, read on. Embrace the following practical steps to ensure that you live out of your core values and begin realizing your goals.
Read More
Grab a Bargain!
Regional silent auction online Oct. 15-18, 2020
You know about the amazing Power of PAL event coming up Nov. 15, with a national silent auction chock-full of amazing items.
BUT, we’ve also gathered many great donations that wouldn’t be of as much interest to a national audience, based in the areas of our two banquets that had to be cancelled this year. As a result, we’re going to have a special regional auction for people in the Midwest near the greater Cincinnati Tri-State area (OH-KY-IN); and for those in Arizona. It will open at 8 a.m. PDT / 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 15, and close at 5 p.m. PDT / 8 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 18.
It’s smaller than the national auction will be, but that means you have more of a chance to win! And of course, it’s for a great cause, to help support PAL and help start new meetings around the country.
Some of the items you can expect to see include:

  • Dinner at Morton’s in Cincinnati and one-night stay at the Marriot RiverCenter
  • Dinner at Olive Garden and eight tickets to the Cincinnati Observatory
  • 21” Craftsman lawnmower
  • Two rounds of golf at the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club
  • Hair and makeup package at HEYLO Beauty in Phoenix
  • Tickets for the Elevate Christian Music Festival in June
The full list will be available on the silent auction website beginning Oct. 15 – we’ll be sharing the web address with you then. Come by to find some GREAT opportunities!
A Sister's Testimonial:
I knew what I had to do but I was so afaid to do it.

Life never turns out the way our parents plan for us or the way we plan for ourselves. I was 21 when my mom had my brother, Jacob. He was the baby of five kids and the only boy. So, it was easy for him to steal our hearts. Our mom worked a lot and depended on us three older girls to help. Being the oldest daughter, I took on most of the responsibility.  So my youngest brother Jacob and my baby sister Jessica, became the closest to me having kids. Everywhere I went, they went. Whether it was running an errand, going to the store, or going to an appointment. My life revolved around Jacob and Jessica. For a while, it seemed to work. Jacob and Jessica would often say, “They did not have one mom, they had four moms,” between my sisters and my mom.
I remember a time when Jacob was five, good-hearted, innocent.  We had taught him that guns were bad and only cops could have them, our mother was afraid of guns. One day Jacob was going to the store with me and there were police officers standing outside. Jacob noticed the police officer and said, “Melissa that man has a gun. Guns are bad.” The officer overheard our conversation came up to us and told Jacob that he was right, and guns were bad in the wrong hands, but he was trained on how to use a gun to protect him. The officer showed Jacob his police car and gave him a badge sticker. Jacob wore that sticker until it no longer could stay on.
Later when he was older it was hard to believe the path his life had taken. I learned that he first tried drugs when he was 13. Our cousin and a neighborhood kid introduced him to pot. He said that he liked it because it helped him forget what was happening in his life. During this time there was a lot happening and it was not good. However, it wouldn’t be until years later that we noticed he was in too deep.

Read More
Diane Buxton the first recipient of an Indiana regional award!
Congratulations to our own Diane Buxton, Regional Coordinator Consultant based in Indiana. She was named the first-ever recipient of the Hendricks County Recovery Advocate of the Year Award!

In announcing the award, they introduced Diane and this is part of what they said: "This year's winner is a passionate advocate in the central Indiana area, and a long-time friend ...: Diane Buxton.

"Diane is a regional leader of Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL), a nationwide system of local support groups for family members of people in long-term recovery. Diane consistently shows up for not only her PAL group members, but for the greater recovery community at large by sharing her family's story of recovery .... We applaud and celebrate you, Diane! Thank you for all that you do!"

We at PAL are so proud of you Diane - this is so well-deserved!
3rd Annual Indiana Golf Tournament
Four months ago, the Avon Indiana PAL Golf Committee was considering cancelling their 3rd Annual PAL Fundraiser. COVID-19 had hit.  Some golf courses were closed. Would they reopen? Would we have golfers?  Businesses were not donating as in the past 2 years.

However, the committee decided to go forward and host the golf event, even if it would be a bit smaller than in the past.  This year there were 48 golfers who arrived early in the morning on September 12 for a fun golf tournament on the beautiful Winding River Golf Course hosted by Bill Krohne.  The day was filled with great fellowship, good weather, generous donations and fabulous food including grilled bratwurst, hamburgers and hotdogs and much more.  The participants had the opportunity to win exciting prizes. The day of golf happened under the watchful eye of a Bald Eagle who sat in one of the trees at hole 14 to greet golfers.  

Everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed the event.  Committee members heard nothing but praise from many of the golfers and how much they enjoyed the event.  Despite the COVID-19 challenges the committee pressed on and netted over $3,200 to continue to support PAL.

A huge thank you to those on the committee, Jeanette Krohne, Diane Buxton, Dottie Grubb, Kathie Clemens, Darlene West-Heier, Carolyn Ogden and Bobbie Gagliardi and to all the PALs that donated money, prizes and helped to get the word out!
The Spirit of Friendship
PAL Blogger: Sean, In Recovery

I spent a good portion of my life isolated. Consistent feelings of shame and guilt underpinned my thoughts, my actions, and informed most of the relationships I had left. The disease of addiction became a vicious cycle, endlessly attempting to drown those “negative” emotions or feelings I had about myself while constantly strengthening and engraining them even further in the same process. “Living” was a miserably insufferable experience alone. Looking back from where I stand today, I can see how my own diseased mind worked against me, purposefully keeping me in the dark, isolated, with no real ability to reach out, be a part of, and be a friend to others. So often in this life I feel like we take people for granted; we anticipate or expect things to remain as they are in this very moment when the reality is, of course, much different. Our physical forms here are temporary. Things and people are always changing. Cherishing, nurturing, and remaining authentic in our relationships on a day-to-day basis is a vital need in the current world we now find ourselves living in, and one of the most important actions we can take is giving back.  
Recovery, whether from addiction or mental health issues is founded upon community. Its principles, its major facets are constructed around an individual’s ability to lean on others, to be a part of something greater than themselves alone. Connection. If there’s anything I’ve learned in this life, it’s that attempting to ride solo through your own B.S will almost always result in failure. I have historically, relentlessly tried to out-think my problems and it has often left me the worse for wear. My own personal recovery has resolutely depended on the action of reaching out to others, expressing what it is that I’m going through, and being open to suggestion and advice. I have always believed that God has spoken through others in my life; nowhere has this been truer than when people made themselves available to me. They put aside whatever it was they had happening during those moments to take my call, to meet with me, or to include me. They placed themselves in a position through their own work in recovery, their own trust in God, to be a tool for Him in my journey.

Read More
He did it!
Murtaugh magic:
A 22-mile run and a $30,000 goal!
This is the fourth year that Michael Murtaugh (Murt) has raced to raise money for PAL, his response to his own sobriety and gratitude to God for a new life. Each year has been larger and more challenging – you may remember that he (and PAL CEO Kim Humphrey) participated in the Escape from Alcatraz swim/race last year – with Murt wearing leg shackles for the swim, to symbolize his freedom from addiction. He raised more than $20,000 that year.
Setting records in 2020
In 2020 there were fewer races to choose from due to the pandemic, so Murt chose to commit to running the 22-mile Marvin Braude Bike Trail along the Pacific Ocean in Southern California on his 56th birthday, Sept. 27.
Even more bold, he increased his previous year's fundraising goal by 50%, pledging to raise $30,000 for the event, an amount much-needed as COVID-19 has impacted traditional fundraising efforts.
After months of training, Murt completed the run itself in 4 hours and 31 minutes. When he ended the run, he was only $535 short of making his goal – and that was donated within 12 hours. At the time of this writing his campaign had raised a remarkable $30,375! Thank you to all who contributed and thank you Mike Murtaugh for your passion and dedication.
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