The Kingfisher Project is a volunteer-based community information project aimed at creating greater awareness and understanding of the heroin and opioid epidemic in our community and across the nation.
As part of the initiative Kingfisher Project volunteers produce radio segments that air on WJFF public radio in Jeffersonville, NY, 90.5 fm.
Kingfisher Project volunteers also work to create awareness in other ways and to raise funds to sustain their awareness work.
The project was established in 2014 to honor the life of a young woman, Rebecca Pisall, 20, who was shot and killed on June 20, 2014, due to her addiction to heroin. (Hear the story of Rebecca here in the initial Kingfisher Project broadcast.)
The project is named for the injured bird Rebecca wrote about in her essay about the value of every life while a senior in high school, before she became addicted. Her former teacher, John Ogozalek, read the essay at Rebecca’s memorial service and a few days later, he read the essay and an intro to it on the public radio program Making Waves. Since then, Rebecca’s mother Julie, her teacher, Mr. O and a number of people decided they wanted to remember Rebecca by doing something that might be useful.
What Will We Do?
* produce community radio segments that tell the stories of those affected by addiction to heroin and other drugs
* gather and provide information that might be useful to anyone who needs it
* honor the lives of everyone affected by heroin, opiates or other substance use disorders
* remember the talents, dreams and good hearts of those who have died
* keep the conversation going about heroin and the disease of substance use disorder
* help to hold public systems accountable when it comes to legislation, policy changes, funding and other mechanisms that might help curtail the many devastating effects of substance use disorder and addiction
How Will We Do It?
* by telling the stories of people involved through their own words in the Kingfisher radio segments
* by hosting or attending roundtables and meetings and by giving coverage to meetings and events organized by others
* by crossing boundaries – from schools, to law enforcement, rehabs, jails and prisons, churches and houses of worship, work places and private homes – to shed light on the issue and to diminish the stigma attached to addiction
* by connecting people with each other and with resources by means of community radio and social media
* by holding accountable those who have the power to do something about the issue
* by publicizing best practices that have worked in other places or at other times
* by avoiding despair and promoting hope