via Herren Project

On May 25, the Herren Project announced receipt of a $10,000 grant from the Newport Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation to support area residents impacted by substance use disorder. The Newport Fund is dedicated to the health and vitality of Newport County residents. Herren Project is a Tiverton-based nonprofit with a mission to support, inspire and empower those affected by substance use disorder. The organization was founded by former NBA basketball player Chris Herren and wife Heather, who are residents of Newport County. The $10,000 grant will fund outreach efforts to raise awareness of Herren Project’s support services available to residents and their families who might be affected by substance use disorder. Individual and family services include online family support groupsonline recovery meetings, free consultations with a clinical social worker, and treatment navigation. 

Newport County has seen increased overdose deaths throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as with other communities in the state and across the country. By focusing outreach in Newport county, Herren Project hopes to bring its muscle to serve area residents in a time of need. 

“For ten years, we have been helping people find recovery from drugs and alcohol, supporting their recovery efforts, and fostering prevention with peer-to-peer programming. We want people to know there is help in our community and hope in recovery,” stated Kevin Mikolazyk, Herren Project, Executive Director. 

Herren Project celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and is poised for the next phase of growth with a new endowment fund recently established at the Rhode Island Foundation. 

Mikolazyk added: “Herren Project is honored to receive support from the Newport Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. As a locally-based organization, our goal is to support our neighbors because we know that when we support one person, we support one family and the positive impact ripples throughout our community. That is the legacy and impact of Chris Herren and what we carry with us every day.” 

Herren Project aims to deepen its community roots by aligning with other organizations committed to building community resilience in the fight against addiction. In addition to treatment services for individuals and families, Herren Project implements prevention and community building initiatives in the area through Herren Project ClubsWellness Week with Herren & Team Herren Project

Other Newport County News 

Peyton Gardner, a Rogers high school senior, was awarded the Herren Project’s $1000 high school scholarship. Peyton was one of two seniors awarded the scholarship for her commitment to living substance-free and making healthy decisions, inspiring her peers to do the same. She will pursue a degree in nursing in the fall. 

Herren Project is pleased to partner with Be Great For Nate, a Portsmouth-based nonprofit. Be Great For Nate’s Substance Use Prevention team (SUP) is now part of our Herren Project Clubs initiative. Herren Project and the SUP team will also be co-sponsoring a screening of The First Day Film in the upcoming weeks at St. Barnabas Church in Portsmouth for all middle schoolers. (Date to be determined) 

The First Day Film chronicles Chris Herren’s journey revealing stories of struggle and strength. It aims to bring a powerful message to students, educators, community members, and parents to empower them to look within themselves to “Be You.” 

Since 2017, Herren Project has been a proud supporter of the BankNewport 10 Miler. Team Herren Project will host its 4th team on June 6, 2021, to support the community and raise funds and awareness for all those affected by addiction to drugs and alcohol. This program of Herren Project boasts a team of over 900 individuals who have participated in various athletic events across the county since 2014. They raise funds and awareness for the mission while providing a connected community that celebrates recovery, healing, and healthy lifestyles. 

“We want people to know we stand for them. We stand for healthy alternatives, healing, hope, and asking our neighbors, “how can we help?” We are committed to a high-touch approach as we walk with each individual on their journey, combating addiction one person, one family, and one community at a time.” Kevin Mikolazyk, Executive Director. 

For further information please contact Bonnie Sawyer, Director of Advancement at

Herren Project is a national nonprofit organization providing free resources and support for the treatment, recovery and prevention of substance use disorder. Herren Project was founded in 2011 by former professional basketball player, Chris Herren, who has been in long-term recovery since August 1, 2008. 

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