SALISBURY — Colleen and Gordon Bullard of Rockport were devastated when they lost their 30-year-old son Cory to drug addiction in 2017, but they have turned their grief into action.
Known as The CCB Foundation, the Bullards established their non-profit charitable organization, which helps fund recovery programs and investigates them as well, last February and capped the year by giving Salisbury’s Link House Inc. a check for $4,000 in December.
“We look forward to continuing to work with them,” Colleen Bullard said. “We were very happy with what we saw.”
According to his father, Cory Bullard had developed an addiction to painkillers from a sports injury many years ago.
“It was about a five or six year, on-again, off-again type of thing,” Gordon Bullard said. “At one point he wasn’t taking drugs but he started using alcohol. It was at that point that he actually got into treatment and went to the North Cottage Program down in Norton. That started him on a two-year sober period.”
Cory eventually got his own apartment, a full-time job and earned his accreditation to become a licensed substance abuse counselor when his father said fate intervened in August 2017.
“It was literally the day before he was going to start the new job when he, for some reason, relapsed and whatever he took, was laced with fentanyl and that’s what killed him,” Bullard said.
Although saddened by the loss of their son, the family drew strength in battling the disease which claimed him by establishing The CCB Foundation.
“It seems to be a common complaint that, when someone is ready and is desperate to look for help, they call around and there is not a bed available,” Bullard said. “We would like to try to help more treatment facilities have beds but we will also do the legwork for you. We will find out and vet these places so that you are not giving your money to a facility which is just a body shop that is not providing any treatment but just soaking the insurance companies.”
The CCB Foundation has donated funds to the Gavin Foundation Inc. in South Boston as well as the North Cottage Program. The foundation began looking into Link House Inc. late last year.
Link House Inc. executive director Gary Gastman said he was happy to hear from the Bullards, who found Link House on the web.
“They were impressed with the services we provide and we set up a meeting,” he said.
The Link House Inc. offers four separate recovery facilities in the area, the first being the Link House itself, which is a six to nine month men’s recovery program on Washington Street in Newburyport.
Salisbury’s Maris Center offers transitional housing with supportive case management services for women who can stay at the facility for up to two years. The Elms and The Progress House in Amesbury provide a similar service for men.
“We are providing more than just a bed,” Gastman said. “We provide services that will help them in all aspects of their life, including addressing any legal issues they may have, helping them with their financial history and the challenges around that. We help them with work and employment opportunities, career counseling, and also addressing their medical needs, as well by connecting them with primary care facilities.”
The Bullards were impressed by what Gastman had to show them, so they donated $4,000 to Link House Inc.and will continue to monitor the non-profit’s progress, moving forward.
“We feel it is part of our responsibility to make sure they spend the money the way they told us they will,” Bullard said.
The CCB Foundation website: www.ccbfoundation.com.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.