Walk to stop opioid abuse on tap March 31

Adam Urquhart Ward 4 Alderman Tom Lopez spoke to the crowd on stage at Greeley Park at the start of Awareness is Healing: Walk to STOP Heroin/Opioid Abuse.

NASHUA – After leading the first Awareness is Healing Walk to STOP Opioid/Heroin Abuse back in 2015, organizer Darlene Pina’s passion to put an end to this crisis continues with the fifth walk set for

March 31.

“We want to do our best to help people recover, and the walk right now is the simplest thing I can do,” Pina said.

The walk will start at 11 a.m. at Greeley Park, leading people down to City Hall and back to the park – roughly a 3-mile walk. However, she advises people to come early if they’re looking to find street parking nearby.

Previous walks drew crowds that varied in number of attendees, although one past walk did reach upwards of 800 people.

“We’re powerful in numbers,” Pina said. “The hardest part for anyone struggling is getting up and saying I need to line myself up with people who are going to push me along to do this.”

So, many will gather to do just that, all while raising awareness and showing support to others in this healing event.

“If I have to get one thousand people to walk down the street to change the mind of one young adult I will,” Pina said.

This walk is already gaining traction with hundreds of people showing interest on Facebook, which can be found at www.facebook.com/events/224032148168590/?active_tab=discussion.

“I think people are becoming more familiar with it now that it’s the fifth time we’re doing it,” Pina said. “It’s almost like it’s becoming a brand, like the Nashua walk. It’s something I want people to really associate the community with.”

With the help of her two co-leads, Stephanie Palermo-Murphy and Meg Doucette, Pina hopes to connect people in the community who are passionate about the cause.

An event like this is a community thing, according to Pina. It has to happen frequently, which is why she holds two of walks per year, in March and October.

“The heroin and opioid thing, that’s something we really need to come together for and keep yelling about because if you can change one mind that’s bigger than anything,” Pina said.

She’s expecting a number of vendors also to be present in the park for the event. This walk is sponsored by Mayor Jim Donchess and the City of Nashua. Donchess will also be speaking at the event.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.