Life after baseball

Butler County Connect reporter had the opportunity to speak with former MLB player Darryl Strawberry to learn more about what Darryl and his wife Tracy Strawberry have been up to since Darryl’s days of wearing a professional baseball uniform ended. He was quick to reveal that he has been sober for 14 years and Tracy for 17 years. The couple works together at to teach others how to “help people to help people.” They were at Breiel Blvd Church of God in Middletown Ohio teaching Pastors, church leaders, and concerned community members a faith-based solution for the Opioid Crisis. Ohio ranks as number one in opioid-related deaths nationwide and Butler County coroner has reported over a 20% increase in deaths from 2017. The crisis is real. Some estimates show over 50% of Ohioians are dealing with this issue in some manner.

A Wayne County Minister had a dream

Rev. Jerry O’Brien, a minister from Wayne County Ohio developed an interest in solving the Opioid crisis. Pastor O’Brien is very active in the community where he serves as the Faith Representative for Wayne County’s Opiate Task Force and has recently been named as the Wayne County P3 Representative for the FRC (Family Research Council).  A few years ago, Pastor Jerry O’Brien had a dream that he would work with Darryl Strawberry to help begin to solve the opioid crisis in Ohio. Pastor O’Brien left a voice mail for Darryl Strawberry and a few days later the Pastor received a call from Mr. Strawberry. A few months after the initial contact The Strawberry’s agreed to help the Wayne County Ohio ministers and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to develop a plan to help Churchs play a significant role with the Opioid crisis in Ohio. There are four areas “the experts” focus on to eradicate this crisis; treatment, prevention, intervention, and support.  The Pastor developed a plan to help in the areas of prevention and support.

Strawberry Ministries

Tracy Strawberry developed a curriculum called “Clean Sober and Saved,” She used her personal experiences with addiction and her faith to shape a curriculum which would be relevant to many facing the same challenges. She and Darryl have a goal to “help people to help people” and through Church leadership, the couple is doing just that. Recently, The White House invited the Strawberry’s to visit and discuss the problem and possible solutions. The couple has been asked to return to The White House later this month to continue discussions and to formulate a plan “to help people to help people.”

An Epicmedic of Hope

Briel Blvd Church was packed with local Pastors, Church leaders, Community leaders and concerned citizens.  The organizers of this event delivered on their promise;