For What and Why?
I'm looking to raise money to help with the expansion of a web site I created in honor of my step-son who is a recovering addict. He was addicted to alcohol, drugs and even huffing canned air. Four years ago when all he cared about were his addictions, we knew he was either going to end up in jail or the morgue.
My wife and I had tried all we could to help him, only to be lied to, manipulated and used. I searched the Internet to try and find answers and to get the support we needed. There were lots of written information but nobody to engage in conversation with on a free basis. We wanted to talk to recovering addicts as well as family members or loved ones of addicts in order to get and offer support. At the time, we also wanted to stay anonymous. It surprised me with the trouble I was having at finding such a web site. I knew we couldn't be the only ones wanting free support in this way. After much time searching the Internet for a community of caring people willing to offer their experiences and personal advice on their battles with addictions, I became frustrated. I decided right then that I would create the web site that I envisioned in my mind that I was searching for. A site to get answers and advice from real people that have been there. People that were either recovering addicts themselves or loved ones that went through the same things we did. A site where it's a family type atmosphere that people would encourage and not judge. A site where you could chat with recovering addicts to get answers about why my step-son was doing the things he was and why he was treating the people that loved him as if they were the enemy. A site where people become members and create their own profiles. Where they can ask questions and have other members answer right away. To feel that sense of encouragement that we are doing the right things. So that is exactly what I did. I wrote down all my ideas on paper and hired a programmer to create the site that we needed but couldn'd find.
The Site Was Born
One of the most important things to me was what the web site would be called? It had to be something that related to what we were looking for. It had to have a catchy short name and easy to remember. I thought back to when I first started searching the web for answers. I wanted to talk to an actual recovering addict that had been where my step-son was and knew what he was going through. Who could give me honest real life answers about their life with addiction and what would help and what wouldn't. I wanted to get as close as I could to what was going on inside my step-son's head. I wanted to "Ask an Addict" these questions. As soon as I said those three words in my head, I knew that's the name I wanted for the web site. I just knew that with a name so fitting, surely that web site would already be taken. I began my search and to my surprise www.AskanAddict.com was available! I instantly scooped it up to stake claim to our new web site's name.
Many months went by working one on one with my programmer creating and building the site. This had to be a custom built site with many parts having to have code written to create what was needed. After thousands of dollars and much testing, the site went live in January 2010! It has grown organically since that time. We now have over 2,200 registered members on the site. A mix of recovering addicts, loved ones of addicts and even addicts looking for support to get clean.
I know how many people the site has helped so far but it's such a drop in the bucket compared to all the ones still lost and searching for support out there all alone.
What the money raised will be used for?
- Site expansion - With members and traffic growing, so do the needs. There needs to be a server upgrade to better handle the traffic and all the data on the site.
- Content - There are new sections of the site that need to be built (programmed and coded).
- Fixes - Current areas of the site need to be streamlined and upgraded.
- Mobile App - I would like to create a mobile phone app (I've got lots of great ideas how this can help recovering addicts or those affected by addicts).
- Get the word out - We need to reach more people searching for support. This site has only grown by word of mouth. I would love to be able to reach people on a much larger scale.
I know we could help save so many more who suffer with addictions. I know we can help recovering addicts stay strong with their clean time. I know there are so many more loved ones of addicts who need the comfort and support of others that have been in their shoes.
My step-son is doing amazing! March 3rd, 2014 will be three years clean! He has been helping others with addiction for the last 2.5 years. He is a member on AskanAddict and he gives lots of great advice and shares his knowledge with first hand experience with addictions. He wants to make a career out of helping addicts get and stay clean.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and any donation is greatly appreciated. We created AskanAddict with money out of our own pockets. The site is growing beyond what we are able to afford to keep it growing. We are excited to take www.AskanAddict.com to the next level! Even if you decide not to donate but you or someone you know may need help with addiction or just to talk to someone, please send them our way. They can remain anonymous and they will not be judged. We do not charge our members anything. It's free to join and participate on all areas of the site.