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Helping Even Though it Hurts

Sam Jawhari said working with Community Parent is difficult, but helps him "heal" from his daughter's death

Sam Jawhari often breaks down in tears.

After the heroin overdose death of his 17-year-old daughter Briona earlier this year, he has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. He has had to relive his daughter’s death more than once. He’s heard the again and again.

Somewhere, however, he said his daughter is looking down and telling him, “Get out of bed dad. Go live.”

And that’s why Jawhari keeps fighting the war against drugs in the Fenton area with the .

 “It helps me heal,” said Jawhari, who shed tears Tuesday while talking about his daughter. “If we can just help one person, it’s worth it.”

The Community Parent formed after the e to “provide the community resources to educate and ensure the safety for all children.”

Jawhari is just one member Community Parent, a group that is determined to make a difference.

The group met Tuesday and it was clear the fight against drugs in the Fenton community has not slowed down, in fact the Community Parent’s efforts have picked up the pace. Nearly 100 residents, students and public officials packed the for the meeting.

After a brief update, the group split into breakout sessions, focused on certain areas, with the goal of putting a plan of action in place.

“There is not any one approach we can take to wipe this thing out,” said one of the Community Parent’s founders and Fenton Township trustee Tony Brown. “Not one of us has the power to do that. That’s why the groups are so critically important.”

Those groups included  legislative/judicial, community/family outreach, mentorship, law enforcement, fundraising, kid/peers, activities and more. The goal is not just to discuss the problems, but make solutions happen.

“We need to come up with ideas and turn them into action plans,” said Community Parent director of operations and Genesee County Commissioner Joe Graves. “We want to be flexible and we want to create resources for parents, teachers, schools and law enforcement that helps them do their jobs.”

The group has put on a “” drug awareness program in and Linden schools.

Ray Lord, of the Southern Genesee County Democratic Party, offered bumper stickers that read, “be a hero, turn in a pusher.”

“If it doesn’t break your heart, there something wrong with your heart,” Lord said of the recent drug deaths. “Students know who the pusher is. We want to know who the pusher is.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Genesee County Sheriff’s dispatch at 810-257-3422 or the drug tip line at 810-424-4444.

 Brown said he hopes more people attend the group’s next meeting at 7 p.m. April 26, at Fenton Township Office and Civic Community Center.

The group is also on the verge of becoming a non-profit and is accepting donations.

Checks can be made out to Community Parent, Inc. and sent to the Fenton Township offices, attention Community Parent, 12060 Mantawauka Dr., Fenton MI, 48430.

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