Miriam Gardner-Engel is a busy New Yorker with a demanding business career. From her office near the Freedom Tower, she is reminded daily of the global dangers most of us can avoid thinking too much about. But it’s a danger facing us all closer to home that led to her launching a website, www.doingdrugs.sucks. Six years ago, Gardner-Engel’s brother died of a heroin overdose.
In her grief, she saw the unspoken effect of a such a death on the family. She felt that if kids – before they can be seduced by drugs – knew the toll, it would be an extra incentive to avoid the trap.
“My brother began using drugs in high school but I think if he knew the effect his addiction would have on his family he would not have done it,” Gardner-Engel told me. “That is my goal, to give kids information on the effect of taking drugs; not just on them but on loved ones.”
Her first step was to write a book (available here) aimed at kids in the first-to-fifth grades. Titled, “I Love My Brother,” it seeks to expand the child’s awareness of those who care and are affected by his or her drug use.
“I wrote the book with the hope of saving lives,” she said. She has twin boys of her own and “I wanted to get the book published before they were 6-years-old” and in 1st grade. She did.
It was the Advocate’s Program at Vox Populi Registry that gave her an idea about how to extend her reach and her message. The Advocate’s Program provides financial, marketing and technical support to “out-spoken registrants who do not now have a web presence. Those who, using their free speech rights and passion, can help make the dotSucks top level domain, an essential destination.” She applied and was accepted.
“I am honored to have been accepted by the Advocate’s Program and when I tell people the website address, they love it because it is real. It is perfect name for my mission,” Gardner-Engel said. So much so that she has added it to the book.
With all proceeds from the sale of the book going to families who have lost a loved one, Gardner-Engel hopes her effort can lead to fewer being so affected. She is working with organizations who share the same goal.
“By having this website and educating children, I hope they will give a second thought before doing drugs,” she said. We wish her great success.