Hugs not Drugs aims to provide education, awareness

The 5th annual Hugs not Drugs event will be Saturday, Nov. 4 at Heartland Church (1410 Mokane Rd.) in Fulton.

The event is made possible by the William C Potter Foundation, with the purpose of the event to educate people on social issues.

April DeTienne, the founder of the William C Potter Foundation and organizer of Hugs not Drugs, explained the aim of the event.

"We want to educate and make people aware of issues that are not often talked about, with many speakers and organizations available at the event," DeTienne said.

The issues that will be spoke about will be human trafficking, addiction and people who go missing.

"We are having people come to the event who have survived through these issues, to talk about the struggles they experienced," Detienne said.

Through this, they hope too not only to educate and teach the attendees about these issues, but to also give hope and inspiration to ones who are experiencing the same issues or who have experienced them.

"We want people to know no matter what they go through, they can recover from all these things and be productive members of society," she added.

No MO Deaths and Missouri Institute of Mental Health are some organizations that will attend the event.

The event will distribute free NARCAN and educate people on the use of it to help prevent deaths from drug overdoses in Missouri.

"The community involvement has been amazing, with members of the community being supportive of the event," said Detienne.

Hugs not Drugs is free to attend. It will begin at 8 a.m. on Nov. 4.