Fifty-eight white crosses dotted the lawn outside the Vance County Courthouse on Sunday afternoon July 25, 2021. Each represented a life lost to drugs. Or, as Patricia Drewes has said, drug-induced homicide.”
Drewes lost her daughter, Heaven, to a drug overdose. Since her daughter’s death, Drewes has worked to raise awareness and help find resources for families struggling with addiction.
The July 25 event was one way to raise awareness of addiction and its effects on families.
Each cross bore the name, birthdate and date of death of loved ones.
The names and photos also appear on a banner that Drewes said she will carry to similar events across North Carolina, as well as a national event in Washington, D.C.
The heat kept some people away, Drewes said, but she estimated that 150 people turnout out for the afternoon event.
“The most memorable thing was not so much what was said, because we all have the same story,” Drewes told WIZS News Friday. “The most memorable (part) was at the end when the church bells tolled.” Although unplanned, she said hearing those bells was a blessing. “It was a message from God,” she said.
Drewes created a Facebook group called Forgotten Victims Vance, Granville, Franklin, and Warren Counties N.C. which has helped families work through their grief as well as providing support and awareness. “You don’t have to go this alone,” she said. “We’re here to help you as much as possible.”
The harsh reality of addiction is all around, Drewes said. “Don’t ever say ‘not my child’” she warned. (Addiction) doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone’s child,” she said.
To learn more, contact Drewes at 252.204.9611 or via FB through the Forgotten Victims page.