Adult Prom

Adult Prom

The 2nd Annual Adult Prom is Coming! w/ an 80s twist!

Dust off your dancing shoes and order that wrist corsage! To The Moon and Back (TTMAB), the advocacy non-profit dedicated to supporting children born substance exposed and their caregivers presents its 2nd annual Adult Prom Night benefit fundraiser on Friday, September 27, 6:30 to 11 pm at Alden Park Bar and Grill, 160 Colony Place, Plymouth.  Proceeds support TTMAB’s mission, supporting the smallest victims of the opioid epidemic.  A silent auction and sponsorships are available to support the cause.

In its most important fundraiser of the year, To The Moon and Back’s Adult Prom Night pulls out all the stops and nostalgia for an adults-only party for the ages.  Step onto the red carpet as beautiful Alden Park is transformed into a swank nightclub with dancing and live music entertainment provided by Soul City Band, rocking the stage throughout the night. Embrace teenage sentiment by pre-ordering a corsage or boutonniere from Steven’s Florist, stepping into the Pilgrins Photo Booth, or dip the ladle in Alden Park’s special spiked punch!  Nominate your favorite glam guests for Prom King or Queen, and watch as three couples are voted onto the Prom Court.

“As we enter another year of providing services for these children and families the need continues to grow. We’ve been asked support communities across the commonwealth and even outside of the state. The need is so great and these funds are so important to us to be able to continue to support the innocent victims of the opioid crisis,” shares TTMAB Founder Theresa Harmon.

Got a date?  Enter the Promposal Contest to win a limousine ride for up to eight guests to and from the event, courtesy of Special Occasion Limousine!  To enter, email your Promposal video to andy@2themoonandback.org, entries will be shared on TTMAB’s Facebook page.  The Promposal receiving the most Facebook likes wins, to be announced on September 13, 2019.  The earliest applicants have the most opportunity for likes before the deadline!  Applicants must be 21+ and reside in the region between Hingham and Mashpee, and no further west than Bridgewater.  The prize is not inclusive of Prom ticket purchase.

Nominate your friends to royalty by suggesting your preferred Prom King and Queen by emailing the couple’s names and your reason to vote them into the court to andy@2themoonandback.org.  Adult Prom Night’s Prom Court honors three of the nominated couples, selected by a live vote on the night of the event by attendees.

Proceeds from TTMAB’s first annual Prom allowed the organization to launch an expansive list of programs its first year, and expand to the second chapter in West Virginia, serving even more communities deeply in need of services and support.  Initial programs include a caregiver support group, kids group, community presentations, consultations to other U.S state programs, and the premiere Beyond NAS Conference, where more than 350 attendees gathered for a full day summit of learning from the top minds that fuel best practices in care for children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

According to a 2018 study by Vanderbilt University, a “child is born in the United States with withdrawal symptoms every 15 minutes”.  Recent statistics released by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission indicate that more than 10,000 children have been born opiate-dependent or exposed in Massachusetts since 2010, many suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is the withdrawal syndrome that some children exposed to drugs of dependency in utero may experience at birth.  Currently, limited research on the long-term consequences of NAS suggests that children born with the syndrome can experience hearing and vision problems, fine and gross motor delays, behavioral and cognitive problems and more.

Initially launched as a peer-to-peer support group for caregivers in 2017, To The Moon And Back’s leadership immediately recognized the struggle to find appropriate resources and support as a global issue for affected families. TTMAB also recently released its resource book for those affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.  “The Caregiver’s Guide To NAS & Beyond” which was developed for families on the South Shore that are caring for substance-exposed children, the first of its kind.

Tickets to Adult Prom Night are $100, available at adultpromnight.eventbrite.com.   VIP tickets guarantee a seat at the bar and a special swag bag for $200.  Group tickets for eight guests or more are available at $75 each.  Your ticket includes passed hors d’oeuvres, food stations and a complimentary glass of spiked punch.

For more Adult Prom Night information, sponsorship or donation opportunities, contact Andy Harmon at andy@2themoonandback.org.  For more information on To The Moon and Back or to donate online, visit 2themoonandback.org, and follow To The Moon and Back on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @tothemoonma.


To The Moon And Back is a 501(c)(3) Massachusetts-based non-profit in 2018, To The Moon and Back, Inc. (TTMAB) is an advocacy organization founded by Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW. The organization is dedicated to supporting children born substance exposed and their caregivers. TTMAB provides twice-monthly support groups (for foster and adoptive parents, relative and non-relative caregivers) of children born with substance exposure. The organization serves as a welcoming resource for caregivers to connect with their peers. Expert speakers experienced in children with substance exposure are engaged to educate caregivers and inform communities on the latest in research and best practices for this population. Support programs provide a safe place to discuss parenting and share best practices for caring for children with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or substance exposure with peers. Education programs provide expert speakers and training to industry health providers and social services to help guide the care of those affected. TTMAB is committed to forging one voice as advocates for children. 

In alignment with its mission, TTMAB provides advocacy and recommendations to local and state leaders on the unmet needs of the population and gaps in services for children born with exposure as well as their caregivers. The organization is committed to supporting legislation progress that aspires to ensure that children born substance-exposed have all the tools needed to thrive. Initially launched as a peer-to-peer group at the Plymouth Recovery Center in 2017, TTMAB has now expanded, serving more of the Eastern seaboard with a new chapter in West Virginia. For more information, or to donate please follow To The Moon and Back on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @tothemoonma.  #BeyondNAS

Open Letter

Open Letter

A Letter from the Children of the Opioid Crisis

I was born opiate dependent with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. I am not just necessary collateral damage as a result of the opiate crisis or an afterthought. I am a tiny human who deserves your respect just like my mom, who struggles with Substance Use Disorder. My mom may have gotten hooked on illicit drugs, prescribed opiates following an accident, or may have actively chosen to engage in Medication Assisted Treatment to keep herself well and to give me the best shot at improved outcomes. I went through active withdrawal at birth, the same withdrawal that adults experience without the understanding of what was happening to me. I may have had muscle tightness, vomiting, GI upset, fevers, tremors, irritability, sensitivity to sensory stimuli, and that high-pitched cry. My parents will never forget that high pitched cry. They sat with me through it. They rocked and swaddled me, they held my hand, they told me they loved me. These symptoms may have lasted up until I was several months of age. I may not have been a happy or comfortable baby but every time I smiled my parents knew that I was going to be ok.

Hopefully I was immediately hooked up with Early Intervention, a free federally funded program that works with me to help me meet my developmental outcomes like my peers. Here in Massachusetts I am given one year of automatic eligibility based on my NAS diagnosis. Due to my muscle tightness I may need physical therapy to loosen me up, so I can roll, crawl, and walk. I may need occupational therapy to make sure that I can manage the sensory environment around me which can be difficult for me because of my exposure. They may teach my family how to swaddle and soothe me, how to keep a predictable routine, low lighting and voices, and minimal visitors. I may need a speech language pathologist to help me coordinate suck, swallow, and breathe so that I can learn to eat. Nurses may help me work through my GI upset and teach my parents about ways to keep me comfortable and what formulas or medicines may help. I can get these services until I am three years old and often need them throughout.

In 2010 there was a significant uptick in heroin abuse. This means I am in your elementary schools. Schools that maybe weren’t prepared for me and the extra needs that I often have. Due to my hypertonia I may have trouble grasping and holding a pencil like my peers. Due to my deficits in executive functioning I may be a little rough because I don’t understand how to apply proper pressure and may not understand my body in space. People may say I have “behavioral problems” but really, I have issues with sensory processing. Like when I was a baby, things may be too loud, lights may be too bright, smells may be too smelly. I crave routine and extra time for transitions. I need time to organize a new activity or experience. Sometimes I need a break from the classroom. All of this extra work my brain and body has to do can make me really tired. I may take some extra time to respond to you or ask you to repeat things a lot because my working memory may be impaired, and my processing speed may be a little slower.

I understand that you may not know all of this by looking at me. My parents may have not told you about my background because they were worried that you would treat me differently or stigmatize me or even them. You may have certain feelings about them and what has happened to me but please know that my parents, they too are victims of the opioid crisis. They may be working towards recovery or in active recovery. They are doing the best that they can and deserve your support and respect. I may be being raised by foster, adoptive, or relative caregivers. They too need your support and resources.

When it’s all said and done I need your help NOW. I don’t have time to wait for your research, your “stats” and your “numbers”. I have long term developmental consequences that my family and my community are seeing. I need you to talk about me, not just my mom. You see, not talking about me is delaying the funding that I need to get the services that will help me. I need the medical community to listen to what my mom and dad are telling you about what they are seeing and to stop minimizing their experience. I need people to stop believing that these issues are not due to opiate exposure, instead of insisting that my troubles are caused by alcohol or tobacco exposure. We know that opioid exposure to an adult brain has lasting implications so why would my developing young brain have no impact? Help me now, help me early, help me beyond early intervention. Early intervention is not a magic wand. I still need help beyond three years of age. Get me adequate behavioral health services, occupational therapy, physical, and speech therapy. Know that with continued services, and a stable and loving placement I can do really, really well. You can help me meet my true, full potential. Help my parents. When you help my parents you ultimately help me. However, don’t forget my needs are sometimes separate from theirs, and cannot, should not be ignored. Doctors: Talking about my needs will not deter my mom from Medication Assisted Treatment. I need you to know that you underestimate my mom. Provide her with education that Medication Assisted Treatment shows best outcomes for her health and safety as well as mine. Empower her to make informed decisions about what is right for her and me. It is your job as a doctor to give her the benefit of all the information available. Talk about me because I am important. I am a person. I am not just collateral damage or an afterthought.

Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW, Founder & Executive Director of To the Moon and Back.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to supporting children born opiate dependent with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and the families that care for them.

Promposal Contest Launched!

Promposal Contest Launched!

PROMPOSAL CONTEST

As To The Moon And Back’s 2nd Annual Adult Prom is fast approaching it is time to think of who you will go with!  That is why we are launching a Promposal Contest!  To enter email your Promposal to andy@2themoonandback.org and we will upload the Promposal to our Facebook page.  The Promposal with the most likes will win a limo ride for 8 to and from Prom by Special Occasion Limousine.  Winner announced September 13, 2019.  Must be 21+ and live from Hingham no further south than Mashpee and no further west than Bridgewater.

Tickets to Adult Prom are not included in this.  For tickets visit: adultpromnight.eventbrite.com.

Alden Park Bar & Grill in Plymouth, MA on September 27, 2019 from 6:30pm until 11pm.  This event is 21+.

At this time, one child is born every 15 minutes with NAS.  Please join us in raising funds to support the smallest victims of the opioid epidemic.

To The Moon And Back, Inc

For more information on To The Moon And Back or our Promposal Contest please contact Andy Harmon at andy@2themoonandback.org.  You may also visit our website at 2themoonandback.org or visit us on social media as @ToTheMoonMA.

Early Bird Discounted Prom Tickets Released!

Early Bird Discounted Prom Tickets Released!

Early Bird Discounted Prom Tickets Released!

Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Adult Prom fundraiser at Alden Park Bar & Grill on September 27, 2019.  This event will sell out and these ticket prices will not last.  Purchase general admission prom tickets at $75 each until July 1st when tickets will be regular price of $100 each.  Hope to see you there!  More information coming soon 😉

If you have any questions regarding sponsorships or want to be involved in this event, please email Andy Harmon @ andy@2themoonandback.org!

To buy tickets online visit: adultpromnight.eventbrite.com!

To The Moon And Back, Inc

Founded as a 501(c)(3) Massachusetts-based non-profit in 2018, To The Moon and Back, Inc. (TTMAB) is an advocacy organization founded by Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW. The organization is dedicated to supporting children born substance exposed and their caregivers. TTMAB provides twice monthly support groups (for foster and adoptive parents, relative and non-relative caregivers) of children born with substance exposure. The organization serves as a welcoming resource for caregivers to connect with their peers. Expert speakers experienced in children with substance exposure are engaged to educate caregivers and inform communities on the latest in research and best practices for this population. Support programs provide a safe place to discuss parenting and share best practices for caring for children with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or substance exposure with peers. Education programs provide expert speakers and training to industry health providers and social services to help guide the care of those affected. TTMAB is committed to forging one voice as advocates for children.

In alignment with its mission, TTMAB provides advocacy and recommendations to local and state leaders on the unmet needs of the population and gaps in services for children born with exposure as well as their caregivers. The organization is committed to supporting legislation progress that aspires to ensure that children born substance exposed have all the tools needed to thrive. Initially launched as peer-to-peer group at the Plymouth Recovery Center in 2017, TTMAB has now expanded, serving more of the Eastern seaboard with a new chapter in West Virginia.  Also, see new additions to TTMAB, SENSE Collaborative and Nurture A Superhero projects. For more information, or to donate, visit www.2themoonandback.org, and follow To The Moon and Back on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @tothemoonma.

Beyond NAS 2019 Conference

Beyond NAS 2019 Conference

BEYOND NAS 2019 CONFERENCE – 5/10/2019

Join some of the top minds behind research and best practices in care for children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). The Beyond NAS 2019 Conference is for families caring for children with NAS as well as providers such as behavioral health clinicians, teachers, nurses, pediatricians, early intervention providers, early childhood educators,..

Dr Elisha Wachman (Boston Medical Center) and Dr Grossman (Yale New Haven), the founders of Eat, Sleep, Console will present. Dr Marilyn Augustyn (Boston Medical Center) will be discussing the long term developmental outcomes of children with NAS. Meghann Perry, CARC, will discuss parenting while in recovery. Lauren Langevin, RN from So Bay Early Intervention, SENSE, & To The Moon And Back will discuss early intervention and NAS. Ed Jacoubs, MSW, LICSW will discuss trauma informed care. We’re also excited for our Caregiver’s Panel to give the perspective of foster, adoptive families and grandparents raising children with NAS.

Enjoy a continental breakfast and lunch. Opening remarks from State Representative Mathew Muratore and Plymouth District Attorney Tim Cruz!

If you have any questions or want to be involved in this event, please email Theresa Harmon at theresaharmonLISCW@gmail.com or Lauren Langevin at lauren@2themoonandback.org!

To register online visit: beyondnas.eventbrite.com or you can download the registration form here.

To The Moon And Back, Inc

Founded as a 501(c)(3) Massachusetts-based non-profit in 2018, To The Moon and Back, Inc. (TTMAB) is an advocacy organization founded by Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW. The organization is dedicated to supporting children born substance exposed and their caregivers. TTMAB provides twice monthly support groups (for foster and adoptive parents, relative and non-relative caregivers) of children born with substance exposure. The organization serves as a welcoming resource for caregivers to connect with their peers. Expert speakers experienced in children with substance exposure are engaged to educate caregivers and inform communities on the latest in research and best practices for this population. Support programs provide a safe
place to discuss parenting and share best practices for caring for children with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or substance exposure with peers. Education programs provide expert speakers and training to industry health providers and social services to help guide the care of those affected. TTMAB is committed to forging one voice as advocates for children.

In alignment with its mission, TTMAB provides advocacy and recommendations to local and state leaders on the unmet needs of the population and gaps in services for children born with exposure as well as their caregivers. The organization is committed to supporting legislation progress that aspires to ensure that children born substance exposed have all the tools needed to thrive. Initially launched as peer-to-peer group at the Plymouth Recovery Center in 2017, TTMAB has now expanded, serving more of the Eastern seaboard with a
new chapter in West Virginia. For more information, or to donate, visit www.2themoonandback.org, and follow To The Moon and Back on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @tothemoonma.

TTMAB Expands to West Virginia

TTMAB Expands to West Virginia

Substance Exposed Child Advocacy Organization Expands to West Virginia

PLYMOUTH, MA and FAYETTEVILLE,WV Issued February 4, 2019… As West Virginia struggles with its identification as the U.S. state with the highest rate of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) births in the entire country, one Massachusetts support organization bolsters its battle against substance abuse’s nationwide epidemic.  To The Moon and Back, Inc. announces an important expansion from its Plymouth, MA headquarters to launch a new chapter in Fayetteville, West Virginia, offering services to support the families and communities in a rapidly growing population.

To The Moon and Back, Inc. (TTMAB), an advocacy non-profit founded in 2018 by Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW, is dedicated to supporting children born substance exposed and their caregivers.  Its Fayetteville location will be led by newly appointed Chapter President Cindy Chamberlin, MSPT. The expansion announcement immediately follows Chamberlin’s appearance lobbying at the West Virginia State Capitol Thursday in support of West Virginia’s “2019 Year of the Child Day”, supporting a year-long advocacy campaign created to gather West Virginians as advocates for children affected by the widespread opioid crisis. Chamberlin, accompanied by a lobbying committee of industry leaders, spoke with state officials about the impact of NAS on development in young children, and aspirations to improved legislature supporting the cause.  During the day’s activities, a foster care reform bill (HB2010) passed in the House, and is headed to a Senate vote, an education reform bill (SB 451) is in its final reading, but Chamberlin insists there is still more to be accomplished.  “We will continue to actively collaborate with our legislators to advocate for the important needs of these children,” shares Chamberlin. Amongst her first tasks in this new role will be fulfilling an invitation to present NAS training to the local foster families in March.  She also plans to collaborate with foster care agencies and children’s organizations in the region to raise awareness, provide strategies and bolster support for childcare providers and caregivers.

“We’re behind the curve on research and best practices for the care of our children,” states Harmon.  “We want to communicate a unified front across state lines to the entire world.  We’re aggressively working together as a cohesive team to improve the care for this community and for the sake of all children.”  The issues that substance exposed children face come as no surprise to Harmon, who first launched her career in the child welfare industry, serving Florida’s Department of Children and Families, later working in early intervention, as a daycare teacher and as a school social worker.

Chamberlin first became acquainted with Harmon following a segment interview for a NOVA television network documentary on addiction and children diagnosed with NAS.  “The segment was never aired on the network, but went viral when posted to social media.” Upon viewing the video, Harmon connected with Chamberlin, and immediately distinguished her a kindred spirit and true fellow advocate for the cause.  Conversations revealed Chamberlin’s extensive background in the NICU at Raleigh General Hospital, as an advocate for quality and equal education serving on Fayette United for Safe Education’s Board, as a Board Member of Fayette County Health Department and in Clay County school district.  Excited about their aligned passion, the two later made the decision to work collaboratively under the existing nonprofit.  

As a physical therapist in the West Virginia “Birth to Three” program, Chamberlin is passionate about the road she plans to forge ahead.   “I am excited to propel To The Moon’s second chapter to inspire increased awareness, and to educate and empower caregivers facing trials in this rapidly growing population,” shares Chamberlin, “I’ve seen the effect that increased incidence of NAS and the drug crisis is taking in our school setting.  Amazing teachers are struggling, so we will continue to educate and empower them with resources to help alleviate the consequences of this epidemic.”

With substance abuse in the United States at an all-time high, TTMAB’s new chapter arrives at a pivotal moment.  During 2018, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) released data on county-level Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) data from 2017 demonstrating that the overall incidence rate of NAS was 50.6 cases per 1,000 live births (5.06%) for West Virginia residents along, making it the highest incidence rate in the country.  (Source: dhhr.wv.gov/bph) Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is the withdrawal syndrome that children born drug dependent experience.  Currently, limited research on the long-term consequences of NAS suggests that children born with the syndrome can experience hearing and vision problems, fine and gross motor delays, behavioral and cognitive problems and more.

The national problem, as stated on TTMAB’s website, indicates that a child is born in the United States with withdrawal symptoms every 15 minutes (Source: Vanderbilt University, 2018).  This is a marked increase from 2015 when one child with withdrawal symptoms was born every 25 minutes (Source: March of Dimes, 2015).  In 2017, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health estimated that 21.4 out of every 1000 live births were children born opiate dependent, a drastic increase from 14.5 per 1000 births in 2015.  Similar to West Virginia statewide, the Southeastern Massachusetts region has the highest rate of children born dependent, more than twice that number, at 46.2 per 1000 births (Massachusetts Department of Public Health: 2017).

Initially launched as a peer-to-peer support group for caregivers in 2017, To The Moon And Back’s leadership immediately recognized the struggle to find appropriate resources and support as a global issue for affected families.  Foster and adoptive parents, relative and non-relative caregivers experienced similar long-term consequence of their affected children’s exposure.  Seeking to fill the obvious need, TTMAB became a non-profit in April of 2018 to aid in its mission to support children born substance exposed and their families.  The organization is about to launch a resource guide for families as well as a family grant to aid needy families with funds for uncovered medical expenses (i.e. – weighted blankets, nutritional supplements and therapy copays).  A quarterly children’s group focuses on teaching kids and families skills to assist in their identified needs through programs like yoga, mindfulness, sensory based activities and karate. 

Early on, TTMAB made great headway supporting an effort to launch legislation with State Representative Matt Muratore in collaboration with Boston Medical Center. The amendment, on the docket in the opioid addiction prevention and treatment bill, has been postponed for approval with aspirations to pass in 2020.  If the amendment passes, it would provide grant funding for programs and services for substance exposed children beyond birth. The achievement would allow service organizations to establish best practices in care and pull longer term data to best understand the population and serve in its care.

In addition to legislative goals, TTMAB organizes expert speakers experienced in children with substance exposure in educational events for caregivers and to inform communities on the latest in research and best practices. Specialized programs provide a safe place to discuss parenting and gain support in caring for substance exposed children with peers. Education programs provide expert training to industry health providers and social services to help guide the care of those affected, as well as recommendations to local and state leaders on the unmet needs of the population and gaps in services for children to thrive beyond Early Intervention programs.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle McGrath, PR | Media Relations,
michelle@mcgrathpr.com, 339-832- 0820, mcgrathpr.com

Resource Guide & Training

Resource Guide & Training

RESOURCE GUIDE
Best of care for children born substance exposed

At the Plymouth Recovery Center on November 27, 2018 from 5:30-7pm.  Join To The Moon And Back founder, Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW, as she provides a training and an opportunity to be part of a resource guide on the needs of children born substance exposed and their caregivers.  Dinner will be provided by the legendary Stephen Coe of the SWAT Culinary Assault Vehicle.

Are you a provider with expertise in caring for children born substance exposed and want to learn more to help your families?  This will be a great opportunity for Pediatricians, Daycare’s, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Behavioral Health Providers, and the like to learn more..  All who receive this training are eligible to be listed in our resource guide which will be distributed to the entire South Shore of Massachusetts.

Registration for this event is needed as space is limited.  Please email Theresa Harmon theresaharmonLICSW@gmail.com to sign up today!!

At this time, one child is born every 15 minutes with NAS. 

To The Moon And Back, Inc



For more information on To The Moon And Back or the Resource Guide Training please contact Andy Harmon at andy@2themoonandback.org.  You may also visit our website at 2themoonandback.org or visit us on social media as @ToTheMoonMA.

To The Moon and Back: Plymouth nonprofit strives to support substance-exposed children and those who care for them

To The Moon and Back: Plymouth nonprofit strives to support substance-exposed children and those who care for them

By Ann Luongo of Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine:

Substance abuse in the United States is currently at an all-time high. You can hardly turn on a news channel or open a newspaper without reading about the opioid crisis and the sad news of daily overdoses. Newborn babies are the most helpless victims of this crisis, born to mothers who use, and with the chemicals already inside them. There are those, however, who have made it their mission to help those who care for these infants – the caregivers who have willingly taken on the challenge or have suddenly found themselves as guardians – and are in need necessary, even crucial, support, services and resources for children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

In the fall of 2017, Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW, launched a peer-to-peer group for caregivers of children born substance-exposed at the Plymouth Recovery Center. “As an adoptive family we knew many children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and caregivers who were struggling to find information on their children who were born with NAS,” said Andy Harmon, Theresa’s husband, and co-founder of To The Moon and Back, Inc., a 501(c)(3) dedicated to supporting children born substance-exposed and their caregivers.

“This group brings caregivers together in a safe place where they can share their experiences and resources with one another.” Theresa holds a Master’s Degree in social work and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who started her career in child welfare, working for the Department of Children and Families, in Florida. She also spent time working in early intervention, as a daycare teacher and school social worker. “All of these positions gave me a lot of insight into child development,” she said. “Currently, I work for Brigham and Women’s Harbor Medical in High-Risk Case Management. I work with adults that have serious comorbid medical conditions coupled with mental illness or Substance Use Disorder.”

Andy and his father run a Property Maintenance company out of Plymouth. “Our company has been in business for over 30 years and, during my time here, I have learned a lot about business, marketing, and building strong relationships.” From their nonprofit group, the Harmons learned that many of the children they encountered were struggling in the same areas and had similar needs. “At this time there is little research around the long term needs of children born with NAS,” Andy said. “Realizing that there was such a huge need for resources for these children and their families, we became a nonprofit on April 20, 2018, in the hopes of providing additional services.

Our goal is to give these children and their caregivers the necessary tools to reach their full potential.” Like many others, the Harmons have lost both family members and friends to this epidemic. As an adoptive and foster family, they’ve seen the effects that this disease has had on some of the smallest victims and their families. “We’ve had experience caring for children with substance exposure and seen how challenging it can be to receive proper guidance in caring for these children with no current best practices in care beyond the NICU,” said Theresa.

“As a social worker, navigating systems and advocating for underserved populations is a big part of what I do. Despite my background, we’ve still found it challenging to get what we need for these children.” Nevertheless, in less than a year, the couple has established the caregiver support group and given countless presentations on the ongoing needs of children born with exposure. “The thing that I am most proud of is the legislation we had passed with State Representative Matt Muratore and Boston Medical Center,” said Andy. “It was passed as part of the opioid bill in August and will provide grant funding for programs providing services for children born with exposure as they grow. In providing these services it will establish best practices in care and allow us to pull data on children as they mature so we know how to best care for them.”

He said they will also be developing and publishing a resource guide with area providers with experience caring for children with exposure. The booklet will explain what each service is and signs your child may benefit from the service. The group plans to launch a grant for which families can apply for uncovered expenses such as therapy copays, nutritional supplements, or durable medical equipment like weighted blankets.

They’ve started quarterly children’s groups with various activities tailored to kids with exposure, and also have plans to develop an online video series for families by families, discussing what to expect when bringing a child home from the NICU with NAS. “The limited long-term research that exists suggests that children born with NAS can have hearing and vision problems, fine and gross motor delays, behavioral and cognitive problems,” said Andy. “From the group, we’ve discussed these in addition to feeding issues, sensory processing problems, and issues of executive functioning.”

In five, or even 10 years, Andy said they’d like to be even further established with an even greater variety of services for children and families. They would love to extend their services throughout Massachusetts. “We also hope, by that time, that research has caught up and what our families report anecdotally is supported by quantitative research so that these kids can get the early services that will help that reach their full potential.

Additionally, we hope that the opiate ‘crisis’ will have diminished so that these kids, who are without a choice in the matter, will no longer have to be exposed in utero.” To the Moon and Back will be hosting its signature fundraising event, Adult Prom, on Nov. 2 at Alden Park and Grill in Plymouth. The event will feature DJ Lisa Z of iHeartradio’s WCOD and Cool102, 3rd Left with Jimmy Calandrella, a complimentary signature cocktail and tastings from Dirty Water Distillery, amazing silent auction items, passed hors d’oeuvres and more. VIP tickets have almost sold out. To purchase tickets, visit totheprom. eventbrite.com or buy them in person at Alden Park. Visit TTMAB’s Facebook page to learn how to win a limo ride for eight to and from the event. “People can also donate directly on our website, www.2themoonandback.org, or by mail to TTMAB, P.O. Box 1078, Plymouth, MA 02362,” Andy said.

“We are located in Plymouth, and hold our peer-to-peer group at Plymouth Recovery Center on the first and third Tuesday of each month. We’ve also been excited to see how interested people are in getting involved and sharing their precious time with our cause. We are always looking for volunteers and anyone interested should reach out to me at andy@2themoonandback.org.”

Original Post located at capeplymouthbusiness.com

Promposal Contest

Promposal Contest

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Andy Harmon
Vice President | To The Moon And Back
andy@2themoonandback.org

PROMPOSAL CONTEST

As To The Moon And Back’s Adult Prom is fast approaching it is time to think of who you will go with!  That is why we are launching a Promposal Contest!  To enter email your Promposal to andy@2themoonandback.org and we will upload the Promposal to our Facebook page.  The Promposal with the most likes will win a limo ride for 8 to and from Prom by Special Occasion Limousine.  Winner announced October 26, 2018.  Must be 21+ and live from Hingham no further south than Mashpee and no further west than Bridgewater.

Tickets to Adult Prom are not included in this.  For tickets visit: totheprom.eventbrite.com.

Alden Park Bar & Grill in Plymouth, MA on November 2, 2018 from 6:30pm until 11pm.  This event is 21+.  Join Emcee State Representative Mat Muratore for a night to remember.  Prom band is none other than local favorites 3rd Left who will be joined by Jimmy Calandrella.  Lisa Z from iHeartradio’s COOL102 and 106WCOD will be DJing in between sets.  Photographers Kate Donovan and Loryn Irwin will be shooting Prom photos all night long.  Corsages will be available at event from Stevens the Florist and with Dirty Water Distillery serving up a complimentary “Spiked Punch” cocktail this event has all the fixings of an amazing Prom. 

At this time, one child is born every 15 minutes with NAS.  Please join us in raising funds to support the smallest victims of the opioid epidemic.

To The Moon And Back, Inc

For more information on To The Moon And Back or our Promposal Contest please contact Andy Harmon at andy@2themoonandback.org.  You may also visit our website at 2themoonandback.org or visit us on social media as @ToTheMoonMA.

Adult Prom

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Andy Harmon
Vice President | To The Moon And Back
andy@2themoonandback.org

ADULT PROM

At Alden Park Bar & Grill in Plymouth, MA on November 2, 2018 from 6:30pm until 11pm.  This event is 21+.  Join Emcee State Representative Mat Muratore for a night to remember.  Prom band is none other than local favorites 3rd Left who will be joined by Jimmy Calandrella.  Lisa Z from iHeartradio’s COOL102 and 106WCOD will be DJing in between sets.  Photographers Kate Donovan and Loryn Irwin will be shooting Prom photos all night long.  Corsages will be available at event from Stevens the Florist and with Dirty Water Distillery serving up a complimentary “Spiked Punch” cocktail this event has all the fixings of an amazing Prom. 

VIP and General Admission Tickets are on sale now at totheprom.eventbrite.com.  VIP Tickets give you a reserved seat at the bar and a swag bag to take home!  Proceeds from this event support To The Moon And Back, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to children born substance exposed and their caregivers.  To The Moon And Back (TTMAB) began as a support group for caregivers of children born substance exposed in 2017.  TTMAB launched as a 501(c)(3) in April 2018 to make sure that all these children’s needs are met.  In less than 4 months this organization worked with State Senator Mat Muratore and Boston Medical Center to pass legislation that will support long term research on the effects of children born substance exposed.  This was step one.  As TTMAB works to better educate and spread awareness of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and the effects of substance exposure on newborns, we ask for your support.

At this time, one child is born every 15 minutes with NAS.  Please join us in raising funds to support the smallest victims of the opioid epidemic.  

To The Moon And Back, Inc

For more information on To The Moon And Back or Adult Prom please contact Andy Harmon at andy@2themoonandback.org.  You may also visit our website at 2themoonandback.org or visit us on social media as @ToTheMoonMA.