LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A foundation that launched during the pandemic to help children impacted by a loved one’s drug use is having its first in-person kick-off event Sunday.
What You Need To Know
- The Savannah Smiles Foundation launched during the pandemic to help children impacted by a loved one's addiction
- The nonprofit is holding its first in-person kick-off event on Sunday in New Albany, Indiana
- The foundation is named after Savannah Stephens, who died last year after her family said she battled mental illness and opioid addiction
- A Louisville woman whose children participated in the program will be volunteering at the event
The Savannah Smiles Foundation helps families find counseling and offers free art classes and activities for children in Kentucky and Indiana who have been impacted by someone’s addiction.
The nonprofit is named after Savannah Stephens, who died last year at 29 after her family said she battled mental illness and opioid addiction.
"She was a ray of sunshine," said Stefanie Probst, who had known Stephens since she was a teenager. "She was so funny. She was all about her kids too, I’ll tell you that."
Probst had struggled with opioids herself, she told Spectrum News 1.
"I wasn’t me," she said. "I wasn’t the person that I knew I could be that I was before, you know, like my attitude was foul, and I wasn’t a really good mom."
Probst has been sober for more than two years and last year, her children participated in some of the activities offered by the foundation, she said.
"It’s art therapy for them," she said. "My children love it. It helps them express themselves because they don’t always have the words to express how they’re feeling at a certain time."
Probst will be helping with a painting activity at the event on Sunday.
"Savannah was very important to me, so if there’s anything I can do...for this foundation, I’m definitely in."
The Savannah Smiles Foundation will hold its kick-off event this Sunday from 1-6 p.m. at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater.
Editor's note: Garreth Stephens, one of the founders of the Savannah Smiles Foundation, is a Spectrum employee.