This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Most at-risk children to get 'hug from community' (North Carolina)

By Rochelle Moore Daily Times Staff Writer

Eva Rogers and Kirsten Poythress thanked members of a Wilson church Saturday for reaching out to some of the most at-risk children in the county.

Members of Wilson's First Seventh-day Adventist Church presented Rogers and Poythress "Bags of Love." The bags, filled with toys, a stuffed animal, handmade comforter and personal hygiene items, will be stored and later given to children who are removed from a home during a methamphetamine bust.

"This will fill a great need because their environment will be very toxic, and they will not be able to take their things with them," said Rogers, the district administrator of the Guardian ad Litem program. "When a child is found in that environment, they will know there are people in the community who care — like you."

Rogers and Poythress were given 10 Bags of Love Saturday by members of the church's women ministry, which prepared each of the age-specific bags through the support of the church's missions department.

"When the kids come out of a meth lab, they can't bring anything with them," said Poythress, a child protective services social worker with the Wilson County Department of Social Services. "This right here is a hug from the community.

"These are the most at-risk children we will ever see. These are the absolute worst situations."

Even though methamphetamine busts have become more rare in Wilson County, the drug trade is expected to move more from the west to the east, Rogers said.

When police arrive on the scene of a methamphetamine bust, the home is often closed off and eventually condemned due to contamination from the drug manufacturing process.

The church's Bags of Love are one step in preparing for future meth busts, which occur unannounced.

"It's coming here from the west," Rogers said. "We're trying to be really, really prepared."

Once a child is removed from the home, they are placed in the custody of DSS, and, through a court order, assigned to a guardian ad litem. Guardians serve as advocates for neglected or abused children in court.

Members of Wilson's Seventh-day Adventist Church, on Lake Wilson Road, decided earlier this year to help the children through its Bags of Love program.

"I don't know why but I have a burden for them," said Betty Cox, a member of the church.

The first 10 Bags of Love are only a start for the church, which plans to continue giving the bags to DSS as needed.

"We just felt it's something that's needed and overlooked," said Gary Williams, an elder of the church. "It's a traumatic situation and shock to them to be displaced and lose their family and every item they have." | 265-7818


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