Who is LRF and What do We do?
The “R.E.A.L.” in the Live R.E.A.L. Foundation (LRF) name is an acronym that represents how life changes when you live Relational while being Empathetic, Authentic and Loving. I chose this name after over 100 young adults told me that their friend “POM” lived this way. Their friend was my first-born son, Alex who died at age 20 from a fentanyl overdose in August 2019.
LRF was created to fill the absence of awareness and education in the dangers of substance use in our communities. In 2020, over 96,000 people died from all types of drug overdoses in the United States alone. Illinois had 2,944 opioid overdose fatalities – more than twice the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents and more than twice the number of homicides. The increase in the number of fatalities is attributed to the rise of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. Since 2013, synthetic opioid deaths in Illinois have increased 2,736%. In 2019, the overall age-adjusted drug overdose mortality rate in Illinois was 21.9 per 100,000 population Illinois ranked 24th in the country for overall drug overdose fatality rate in 2019.The pain from my son dying and knowing that Alex did not get the help he needed because of shame from the stigmas & lies of substance use dependencies was turned into a purpose. The average person knows about 500 people at any given time so that would mean over 48 million people have been touched by an overdose death each year! I know the pain and I don’t want that number to continue growing at this alarming rate. I am a believer of THE world won’t change until I change MY world to inspire you to change YOUR world so you can inspire others to change THEIR world. Together, we can make a positive difference in our communities.The Live R.E.A.L. Foundation was founded in 2020 and as of 2022 our Board of Director has 4 active officers along with me as the Executive Director. We are a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides advocacy to fight against the stigma of mental illnesses and substance use dependency, awareness of the dangers of the new millennial drugs, education on opioids, overdoses & naloxone and support for those left behind from substance use or mental illness deaths.
We sell blank note cards and prints on Etsy of paintings that were created by the young man who inspired us to open LRF. As a child, Alex loved to paint and had an obviously natural talent. We use the proceeds to fund all programs of the Live R.E.A.L. Foundation.
Join the movement of positive change by Living Relational, Empathetic, Authentic and Loving Every Day!
Opioid Data is from https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/opioids/idph-data-dashboard.html
Interactive Community Events - Advocacy, Awareness & Education of opioids, substance use, addiction risks, overdoses & mental wellness activites
Livin' R.E.A.L. Facebook Group - a place where our community members share R.E.A.L. events & examples they have witnessed
Livin' R.E.A.L. Blog - Stories of Bev's Journey Through Life
FREE Opioids, Overdose & Naloxone Training
Community Training - open to the public & FREE
Occupational Training - 1 hr training presentation for employees
Pop-up Training - Random locations, walk-up 5 minute quick trainings on how to use Narcan
Opioid Overdose Death Prevention Kits - Valued at $100 & given free to everyone trained
Education Seminars— 3-night series
Get REAL About Drugs: We’re Not in the 80s Anymore
- 1 Substance Use Prevention, 2 The Reality of Social Media & 3 Rescue, Recovery & Resources
Support Instead of Stigmas— 1 The 5 W’s of Stigmas, 2 Personal Journeys, 3 Role Playing
Founder and Executive Director, Bev Pomering
President, Christopher Doering
Treasurer, Nannette Reid
Nannette Reid grew up in Rockton, IL and lived in the Roscoe/Rockton area until marrying her current husband more than 20 years ago and moving to Wisconsin for his job. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, traveling, exploring Wisconsin on her ATV, and crafting with friends. Her greatest joy though is her grandson.
Living R.E.A.L. is a very personal journey for Nannette, especially after losing her nephew, to a fentanyl overdose in 2019. She grew up in a dysfunctional home in northern Illinois surrounded by alcoholism and mental health issues. As a child, she felt unworthy, ashamed, and isolated. When she turned 21, she started attending Al-anon meeting, where she began to learn that she wasn’t any of those things. When her son was born in the mid-80’s, she was determined that she would somehow “break the chain” and that he would always know that he was loved and important. Then in her mid-thirties, she had the opportunity to work for Hazelden Foundation (now Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation) for almost 10 years where she learned more about the addiction disease and her own co-dependency shaped lifestyle.
To Nannette, it’s an ongoing journey to fill her life with empathy, authenticity, and love in a relational manner. Her desire is to help change the world so that it’s one filled with understanding and compassion for everyone.
Sherry Spring is a Senior Accountant for a multinational financial services corporation. She has lived in Ogle County her
Mental wellness, acceptance and stopping stigmas has been become a personal journey for Sherry. She strives to better the world around her by living a R.E.A.L. life.