MACEDONIA A ministry led organization is seeking to help defeat the opiate epidemic and is asking local residents to pitch in.

Jody Ulrich, a local volunteer with Hope Over Heroin, said the group will be holding monthly meetings the first Tuesday of each month at Faith Fellowship Church in Macedonia to plan an event, which will be held in downtown Akron this summer. The first meeting will be April 4 at 6 p.m. Those who can't make it to the April meeting are invited to attend subsequent meetings.

"We are seeking volunteers for various committees; really there is something for everyone," Ulrich said, adding they will need help with set-up and tear down, marketing, food, fundraising, altar call, and gathering resources such as representatives from rehabilitation centers and other such services.

She said the event will cost $15,000, including permits, technical support and other rental costs. Ulrich said donations are welcome.

Hope Over Heroin was formed by four pastors after 14 deaths from heroin overdoses occurred in one week in Hamilton County. Ulrich, a Northfield Village resident, said she became involved with the group after looking online for resources due to family members who suffer from addiction and seeing the group.

"I just looked online and saw one of their songs and thought 'I need to be involved in that'," she said. "I called them up and volunteered. It was that simple. It was meant to be."

A Hope Over Heroin event is a sort of street evangelism which brings resources and prayer to the communities affected by the opiate epidemic.

For more information about the group visit hopeoverheroin.com. For more information about the upcoming event or the meetings call Ulrich at 216-816-5842 or Cynthia Johnson at 440-241-3331.

Briana Barker: 330-541-9432

bbarker@recordpub.com