Posted July 22, 2018
On Jan. 15, 2009 we lost our beloved daughter, sister, mother and friend, Jennifer (Jen) Marie Reynolds. Jennifer was a loving and caring person, whose life was high jacked by a substance use disorder, which ultimately claimed her young life in Largo, Florida. That tragedy began “THE JENNIFER ACT”. This mission work, dedicated in memory of Jennifer, was started to help others who struggle with chronic substance use disorder/addiction find their path to treatment and recovery.
I believe God launched me in this purposeful mission to address improving commitment laws and substance prevention. It grew to be so much more than I ever set out to do. I knew God had a plan for Jennifer’s life and for mine. I have spent 9 and a half years fulfilling that mission as a ministry to help families in the grips of addiction and share Jennifer’s journey with students in many schools to aspire them STOP, PAUSE & THINK before making a decision to use harmful substances that could result in addiction or even death.
I have been honored and blessed to know so many wonderful people and students over the years and am so honored that they trusted me as they shared their pain of how addiction touched their families. I am so blessed to know so many friends who have also lost their child to overdose and share our tears and pain. I have united and supported many organizations who address addiction issues. I have lead and participated in many Candle Vigils in memory of lives cut short and done recovery rides, recovery walks, and advocated for grandparents visitation rights.
Over the past nine years, I have had the privilege to work along side dedicated Law Enforcement officials, State Senators and Representatives on policy and legislation and had the honor of getting to know Indiana Governor Mike Pence and volunteer with the Governor’s Opioid Task Force. The Jennifer Act (INDIANA HB1448) was signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence in 2015, INDIANA SCR 7 passed in 2012 and INDIANA SCR 41 passed Feb. 20, 2018. I have testified at Congressional hearings and to members of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on critical legislation that addresses the opioid crisis. My last trip to Capitol Hill to speak with Congress members will be July 25, 2018 to address legislation of non-opioid pain medication alternatives. My last speaking engagement is Sept.15, 2018.
I will close the mission work on Sept.30, 2018 that began Jan. 15, 2009. I am humbled to have been a voice for those families in crisis and those who felt helpless and misunderstood. Addiction can affect any family. Addiction is a family disease, because everyone suffers when a loved on is addicted. No one grows up aspiring to be a person with a substance use disorder/addiction and parents don’t need to feel false shame or blame if it happens to their son or daughter. Families in crisis need compassion and support and not judgement and condemnation.
I praise God I have had this opportunity to volunteer, to minister and serve families, children, teens and communities. As this mission comes to a close, It is my hope and prayer that Jennifer’s life and legacy will live on for generations to come and lives will be saved and lives are enriched and knowledge given on the subject of substance addiction, treatment, legislation, prevention & education. As this chapter of ministry comes to a close, I rest assured, knowing God has a new path of ministry, awaiting.
Thank you to each and every person who has prayed for me and blessed and enriched my life. —
(Founder of The Jennifer Act) (Jennifer Reynolds Mother)