• thesunrisefund

Today is Jill’s birthday. Today she would have been turning 38 years old. It’s still so crazy to even say the words out loud, because it will never seem real. I miss her so much. If there is one thing I am sure about, it is that she is looking down and proud of what we started in her memory. Jill would help out anyone in need, especially if they were struggling.

Seems ironic that this blog is written on her birthday, to acknowledge one of our female scholarship recipients, Kristina, celebrating a year in sobriety. The moment I spoke with Kristina on the phone for the first time, before she headed to detox and onto the Plymouth house, she reminded me of my sister. Her shaky unsure voice telling me “I know. I know I need to do this”. Almost in tears. It was the voice I had heard so many times before... but somehow could never actually help.

I knew we needed to help Kristina.

A year later, Kristina is sponsoring other women, driving them to detox, and not taking a day of her life for granted. Here is Kristinas letter to the sunrise fund.

I’m standing here on a Saturday morning, just put some laundry in, cleaning up the dishes from breakfast. I keep glancing over at my 4 year old daughter, McKenna, working on a puzzle. My eyes fill with tears...it’s been so long. So long since I could do something as simple and “normal” as laundry and feed my daughter without being tortured by my addiction. My years with her and the ten years prior had been consumed with drugs and alcohol and everything that comes with it: my family terrified and broken, lost jobs, overdoses, arrests, treatment facilities, loss of self respect. I was a bystander in my own life, unable to stop the horror show it had become. My sweet McKenna couldn’t save me.

But The Sunrise Fund did. I know that’s a heavy statement…may sound cliché and trite. But had I not been given the opportunity to put the necessary work in this past year, I honestly don’t think my daughter would have a mother anymore. My Mom and Dad wouldn’t have a daughter. My brother wouldn’t have a sister. The Sunrise Fund enabled me to heal and above all, work as hard as I possibly could on my recovery. I was in treatment for almost a year, separated from McKenna. Jackie and Christian had my back and I didn’t understand why…why me? I still ask myself this. But thank you God.

So today…I live in a safe stable apartment, reunited with my daughter. I show up everyday at a job I’ve been employed at for a year. I see my family all the time. They can sleep at night. And best of all, I pay it forward. I help other women find what I’ve found. I lead by example and show them there is a way out of the despair and darkness. We alcoholics and addicts are not doomed, no matter how low we get. I never thought I’d find freedom and I humbly remember each day where I came from.

So Jackie, Christian, the whole Sunrise team…you not only saved my life and gave my daughter her mother, but you are helping many others as I pass along the message of hope. I believe in these women when they don’t believe in themselves because that’s what you taught me.

Forever Grateful. ❤️

Happy Birthday Jill

Love, Jackie

(pictured: Kristina with daughter and close friends new baby.)

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  • thesunrisefund

Spring has finally sprung! We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, and doing the best they can as we navigate through these unprecedented times together, as a community. Let’s try to remain hopeful and remember that better days will come as will the fresh ocean breeze and warmth of sun.

We would like to fill everyone in regarding the happenings so far this Spring.

The Cape Ann Community has played a major role in the success of the Sunrise Funds ability to help people, and now it’s our turn to give back. A few weeks ago, we were able to donate an entire dinner to the homeless shelter at the YMCA, which wouldn’t have been possible without the gracious help of Jess at Capt Hooks. We have been witnessing countless people going to extreme lengths to help each other: to get someone’s groceries, to make sure someone has a mask, and even to purchase gifts and prizes for people on the front lines of this crisis, and it’s truly amazing. There have been so many uplifting stories! We hope the residents at the shelter enjoyed their meal, as it is our way of giving back to the community.

We are also thrilled to announce that we have received a very generous grant from the Alces foundation. The Alces foundation is a private family foundation that was started in Hamilton MA to help fund growing non profit organizations that the family chooses. We are so happy to be picked as one of those organizations! We applied for the grant in April and just received it this week! We would also like to thank Rose and Kayla (sunrise recipient) for having birthday fundraisers to raise money for us this month! These funds are so crucial at this time as we have had to postpone two events so far this year. You guys are awesome, hope you both had a wonderful birthday!

On a more somber note, we want to recognize and thank the families of Daniel Balbo, Michele Gates, and Brandi Mitchell. These three families have recently endured the loss of a loved one and graciously directed donations in their memory to the sunrise fund. We would like to send them virtual hugs and support, as its never easy to lose someone, especially during these troubling times. Families should never have to grieve alone. We want them to know that we are grieving with you, and we are here for you. Each donation we get in their memory will be a step forward in helping us end someone else’s struggle. We thank you for thinking of the sunrise fund.

*Also for anyone who is making a donation in memory of a loved one, please make sure to note that person’s name in the Paypal instructions or notes. We will also be making an “in memoriam” page on our website. If you would like us to put a picture of your loved one and their story, please reach out to us by email- thesunrisefund@gmail.com.

As for our sunrise fund recipients, up to date we have spent just over $60,000 and sent 19 people into treatment. Our girl Kayla, who we blogged about previously, is coming up on 11 months sober!! Another recipient is currently in treatment up in Portland and is celebrating 7 months sober this month!! It’s amazing because these are some of the first people to receive funding from us, and for them to still be doing this awesome in their recovery, makes us feel good.

Stay safe everyone,


  • thesunrisefund

As beautiful as Winter can be here on Cape Ann, it can also be the toughest time of year for many people, especially those dealing with mental health issues, homelessness, and addiction. It is during these months that the detox and treatment beds are usually full, and if it isn’t for treatment of their addiction, it is simply for a warm bed. The summer months tend to not be as full because people are more apt to seek shelter outside when the weather is nice. We understand the struggle of finding a bed during these months and, especially, the feeing of hopelessness that accompanies it.

What's New with 2020?

We held our first fundraiser at Giggles in Saugus to kick off the New Year right! The performing comedians, Johnni Pizzi, Kathy Gilmour, Lenny Clarke, and Dave Russo, brought their A game and had people in tears. If you asked us who was funniest we couldn’t tell you, even though Dave’s impression of Robert De Niro is going to be something we will never forget because it was dead on!

The night was filled with great raffle prizes, including a 50 inch flat screen TV, delicious pizza and drinks. AND not to mention, we raised $6750.00 for the sunrise fund in the process! Thank you so much to everyone who donated and bought tickets! We may even repeat the event next year!

What are the latest happenings with the sunrise fund?

In the last two weeks we have funded two more women into treatment. To date we have funded 5 women and 7 men into drug treatment or sober living placements. These twelve people have put recovery above all else in their lives. We were even so lucky to have two of the women and recipients families join us at our Giggles fundraiser! It really is a great feeling to have helped transition an addict from a point of such desperation to a point where they are doing so well in their program they are able to join and laugh at the fundraising event that got them there. And it’s an even better feeling to see their families laughing and smiling again.

We also have two new members on our board of directors that we would like to introduce to the community! Jessica Lindley and Elaine McKechnie have joined our team, bringing years of non-profit experience. They are both very eager to start helping the sunrise fund expand our network and help as many people get into recovery as we can. We are very excited to have them! Keep an eye our for their pics and bios on the website soon!

Thank You     501 (c) (3) #83-2740134       

the sunrise fund in memory of Jillian Latham

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