A mother in Santa Maria is turning her pain into motivation after losing her son to a drug overdose in July of 2018.
Danielle Murillo will be hosting the first annual "Let's Make A Difference" event Saturday at Rod Rodenberger Park in Santa Maria from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event aims to not only honor her son Jaycob's life, but also help other families who may be going through similar struggles.
Informational booths provided by Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley, The Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and the Santa Maria Police Department among others will also be in place at Saturday's event.
Murillo hopes the event will help raise awareness about substance abuse and help prevent overdoses.
"I don't want other families to have to go through what we go through and what we're dealing with daily and that void that we have in our lives," Murillo said.
Britt Stanley, the Director for The Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse program in northern Santa Barbara County says it's important parents start looking at the deeper issues that may be causing kids to seek help at earlier ages than ever before.
"Last school year, just from the Santa Maria School District, we had almost 300 referrals and a majority of those I would say is from drugs or alcohol," Stanley said.
A memory ceremony will also be held at 2 p.m. during the event for any families who wish to honor their loved ones.
Those who may be struggling with drug and alcohol abuse are encouraged to call the toll-free access line for the Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness which is available on a 24/7 basis. The number is (888) 868-1649 and their website is www.countyofsb.org/behavioral-wellness .
"Let's Make A Difference" in memory of Jaycob Murillo
August 31, 2019 at 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Rod Rodenburger Park (2725 Santa Barbara Dr, Santa Maria, CA 93455)
Bounce houses and cook your own barbecue available