By Sadie Hunter
Gina Bardach’s enthusiasm to help struggling heroin addicts and their families is more than just a calling to engage in community service.
For nearly three years, Bardach’s son, Brandon, 24, has been clean.
But after seeing 20 of Brandon’s friends, all from Hamilton Co., die from overdose, she said she knew she had to do more.
So in October 2014, Bardach, 46, founded the nonprofit Hope and OVERcoming, Inc.
The organization serves as a support group for addicts and their families and friends, but also helps addicts find long-term treatment options by advocating for families to send their struggling loved ones to treatment and rehabilitation facilities in Arizona and Florida for up to six months.
Since its inception, Bardach says the organizations has grown to more than 1,300 members, approximately 70 percent of which she says are from Hamilton Co.
“It’s the fastest, largest-growing organization of its kind in Indiana – and most effective,” Bardach said. “We do advocacy work, so we helped with legislation at the statehouse to get Aaron’s Law (SB 406) implemented for Narcan … the antidote to overdoses.”
Continuing her community work, Bardach has organized Face the Music, a free music festival fundraiser for anyone who wants to come and those involved with the nonprofit.
“All the money is going to be used to open a sober living facility for women,” Bardach said. “We’ve got to start somewhere, and I’m going to start here because Hamilton County is drowning in heroin addiction, and (awareness) is just not out there.”
The Face the Music festival will have, for sale, raffle tickets, merchandise and T-shirts and food from City Barbeque.
GO TO THE FESTIVAL
When: 3 to 9 p.m., Feb. 27
Where: The Loft in The Mill Top Banquet and Conference Center, 802 Mulberry St., Noblesville