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Give & Take: Support a Cause that Makes a Difference to You

Rebecca Shpektor

Working out of a WeWork, the Prosek Partners Boston office often hears about great opportunities to network and volunteer within the local community. In the fall of 2018, we were introduced to a new organization called Shatterproof through the building’s staff promoting a walk in partnership with another company located in our building. Given this week is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, I’d like to share my experience supporting Shatterproof and its mission to reduce the impact of addiction on families.

For starters, I’ve never heard of Shatterproof or even been a participant in any walk before the promotion came across my desk. I’ve always been a huge advocate for volunteering, having spent time at nursing homes, hospitals and with displaced children in Israel where overcoming the language barrier was the least challenging task. I was keen on trying something new, so I took some time to research the organization before jumping in.

From my research, I learned that Shatterproof is a non-profit organization that works to reduce the impact of addiction on families all across America – a message and mission that resonated with me. There were multiple powerful “call to action” messages on the website – one even calling out that every four minutes a mother loses a child to addiction.

Growing up in a quiet suburb outside of Boston, I was somewhat sheltered, so it wasn’t on my radar how drugs could completely take over someone’s life. That is, until 2013, my senior year of high school, when a close friend went through some tough family changes and turned to drugs as a way to cope. This led to his downward spiral from taking off one semester off college, then another, then losing a scholarship, then jumping in and out of rehabs. Watching his life become so derailed was both eye-opening and heartbreaking, and I became very conscious of how lack of education and awareness about drug abuse have contributed to the current addiction epidemic in the U.S.

When I learned more about Shatterproof, I found that its mission paralleled with my belief that we can help spread awareness about drug abuse so that parents and friends can support children to prevent addiction and/or provide access to treatments and long-term recovery programs. Before my friend’s experience, I admit that I was ignorant to the issue and did not view addiction as that hard to avoid or fight off. Being so close to someone battling addiction, seeing how much it affected him and his family, and finding myself unable to help made me come to terms with how important it is to address this crisis through organizations like Shatterproof.

Partaking in the walk that took place in October 2018 was empowering for me, and I believe those who joined felt the same. By fundraising and participating, we were able to actionably contribute to supporting the community of individuals experiencing the same struggle with addiction as my friend. Hopefully our participation, Shatterproof’s efforts, and spreading the word through conversations and platforms like this blog will help build awareness and ultimately grow the resources available to address drug abuse in the U.S.

When I joined Prosek, I did not expect how important it would be for me to work for a company that supports meaningful causes and encourages its employees to give back, especially in instances that really hit close to home. In my experience, volunteering becomes even more meaningful when you search for that deep tie with your own experiences and core beliefs. I’d encourage everyone to find that trigger point and dedicate time to supporting a cause that makes a difference, not just to the organization but to you.

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