On Monday, December 11, 2015. The Raye of Hope for Recovery Crusade announced it has selected Sheila Raye Charles, as its National Spokesperson. Ms. Charles, a book author and vocalist, is the daughter of the legendary music icon Ray Charles. Ms. Charles has agreed to serve as ambassador for the national initiative with enthusiasm. The project's National Director Ron Brown stated, “When I saw Ms. Charles’ video autobiography testimony, narrated by actor Louis Gossett Jr. I was impressed with her heart felt ability to resonate with the many demographics that are affected by the drug epidemic across this country. Everyone talks about the harm and pitfalls of using drugs but Sheila also spoke about the glory of recovery, thus giving people hope. That’s what people are looking for in their lives, hope, something positive."

Currently Ms. Charles travels and addresses audiences nationally with her personal experiences and life story. Her testimony is one of recovery, abused as a child, her fight with an addiction to crack cocaine and three terms in federal prison. Ms. Charles states "Today, I am more committed than ever to saving the lives of those individuals who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction". "In my line of work", states Mr. Brown "I have never found an individual more suitable by her experiences than Ms. Charles to spearhead a campaign such as this. She connects with audiences of all ages".

The Raye of Hope for Recovery Crusade is a prevention and humanitarian project designed to raise awareness, and educate individuals about the acute chronic and fatal dangers of drug use and abuse; centering especially on today's issues surrounding heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Ms. Charles serving as an orator gives her personal testimony of the challenges of substance abuse addiction, in addition to the challenges and benefits in achieving recovery after ten years. The second part is a musical performance by Ms. Charles, dedicated to the legacy of her father the late Ray Charles. Ms. Charles an accomplished vocalist who has performed throughout the United States and Europe.

The Raye of Hope for Recovery Crusade will target fifteen states starting January 13 2016 in Austin Texas Travis County. The Crusade will collaborate with local and national community collaborative partners who are interested in education and preventive measures of addressing issues surrounding the effects of drug abuse/addiction and its fatalities. The Crusade will also offer an opportunity of community empowerment. Through facilitating workshops and discussions for community leaders, human service workers, law officials, legislators, private and faith based establishments. Nonprofit agencies, private sector businesses, local and national government entities will be able to discuss feasible solutions and ways to cooperate for the safety and good of the community.

Sheila Raye Charles states, “It is unfortunate we had to lose so many individuals like Whitney Houston, Phillip Seymour Hoffman Jr., and River Phoenix before the devastation of these epidemics are brought to the forefront. But there is a Whitney, Phillip and River in every city and community across this country."

Currently there are a number of congressional leaders who have introduced bipartisan legislation to address the heroin epidemic and related activities. One of the most recent was the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015, introduced by U.S Senators Whitehouse, Portman, Ayotte, Klobuchar, Coons, Kirk, and Congressmen Sensenbrenner and Scott, S. 524/H.R. 953 which is gaining a wealth of support across the county.

Please see on the web: Lou Gossett Sheila Raye Charles Documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDbh-H8tp6g 

Any agency or organization interested in more information on The Raye of Hope for Recovery Crusade or interviews with Ms. Sheila Raye Charles.

For information contact Patricia Maltz: Director of International affairs, 612-876-7964 or email pmaltz@aol.com .

Her tentative schedule is:

Jan 12 - Hays Hills Baptist Church 7PMpm Buda TX

Jan 13 – 7am Voice of Austin KAZI 88.7 FM

Jan 13 - 10:30am - 1:30pm Travis County Jail

Jan 13 - First Baptist Church 6:30pm Belton TX

Jan 14 - 10:30am -1:30pm Travis County Jail

Jan 14 - Salvation Army 5:50pm Austin TX

Jan 17 - First United Methodist Church 10:45am Smithville TX

Jan 17 - Mt Zion Missionary Baptist 6pm Temple TX

Jan 18 - State Capital 9:30am Martin Luther King Celebration

Jan 18 - Austin Oaks 7pm Austin TX

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