In mid-September, Positively Naperville received a letter to the editor from Loren Michaels Harris regarding an NPR.org story about the Ohio police release of graphic overdose photos featured on Sept. 12, 2016.
As publisher of the hyper local monthly publication in a city focused on fighting addictions and drug abuse of all kinds, I was struck by Loren’s thoughtful, timely and meaningful words, especially as they related to local initiatives such as “Connect for Life,” “KidsMatter,” and Project H.E.L.P.
His reference to being a motivational speaker and his never-ending story of survival prompted my wondering about a presentation to our Rotary Club of Naperville-Downtown. Our small Rotary club is always looking for 30-minute programs. Speakers are invited to present educational topics such as the one addressed in his letter.
We talked, we met, Loren agreed and the date was set for Oct. 26.
Though electronics failed to connect that afternoon, preventing members from viewing Loren’s video introduction, he punted ably, landed on his feet and started from the very beginning of his 54 years. The trials and tribulations that have contributed to Loren’s strength of character and determination live within an engaging story of surviving one birth mother, one adoptive mother, and 20 foster mothers.
Against so many obstacles, Loren is a survivor of the foster care system who says his only source of continual healing from the scars of foster care comes from addressing the need for better protection of all children, especially from social media, neighbor to neighbor.
Rotarians experienced a very compelling presentation by a man who appears to be at home with his powerful story, one that needs to be told over and over—with or without the video introduction.