The Marah Project: One Woman’s Campaign to End Teen Addiction
Living a richer life ® Examples Within our Community
The Marah Project, founded by a Brighton Jones community member Penny LeGate, was created with the goal of supporting and educating kids, parents and the public about the disease of addiction. During the last four years, Penny has worked tirelessly to share her daughter Marah’s story following her tragic death from a heroin overdose at the age of 19 in 2012. Her goal is to change the conversation around addiction and work towards tangible solutions for what is a current public health crisis across the United States. Because of her hard work and diligence, she has brought Marah’s story to the front lines of the opioid battle.
Penny and The Marah Project were included in the Frontline documentary “Chasing Heroin” on PBS, and Penny has been featured by The Seattle Times multiple times talking about the disease. After years of dedication, and with a passion only a mother could have, she has undoubtedly succeeded in changing the conversation about opioids.
Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Patty Murray shared Marah’s story on the Senate floor, while urging the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Penny and Sen. Murray have been able to share in a small victory, with nearly $3 million in new federal funds being allocated to community centers in the state of Washington, part of a much larger $94 million in funds allocated nationwide aimed at treating an epidemic of opioid addiction, including prescription painkillers and heroin.
Penny was also recently named to a new King County task force charged with finding ways to expand treatment for heroin addiction. Due to growing support of The Marah Project, Penny was also able to purchase $4,000 worth of Narcan kits for the Seattle Police Department who were able to begin training to use the antidote earlier this Month. Narcan is a drug that can reverse a heroin overdose when administered quickly enough.
Since its founding, The Marah Project has garnered tremendous support and established critical partnerships within the Seattle community. In partnership with Kids Without Borders, The Marah Project began by providing at-risk teenagers with paid internships in nonprofit community service organizations. Under Penny’s guidance, The Marah Project helped marginalized teenagers to learn structure, responsibility and give them a path to a stable future.