NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA) — A local family who is turning tragedy into hope is being recognized for their battle against opioids in Northwest, Arkansas.

Brittany Kelly lost her older brother, Matt Adams, two years ago on September 12, to a heroin overdose.

Matt Adams, Courtesy of Brittany Adams

“He got into some really hard spots in his life that he really couldn’t climb out of and didn’t have the tools to figure it out,” Kelly said. “He didn’t have ways to cope with things in the way he needed to and he turned to drugs.”

Since her brother’s passing, Kelly and her family decided to keep his memory alive by starting the Matt Adams’s Foundation.

“I am humbled to have accepted the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Non Profit of the Year 2019 Excellence in Business Award on behalf of the Matt Adams Foundation. Tomorrow is the two year anniversary passing of our beloved Matt. This award has so much blood, sweat, and tears poured into it. We are so gracious for the community and the outreach we have gotten and the open hearts people have shown us.”
– Brittany

On Wednesday, September 11, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce named it the nonprofit of the year, a day before Matt died.

“I was shocked because we have only been hitting the ground running since the beginning of this year,” Kelly said.

The Matt Adam’s Foundation distributes naloxone kits to law enforcement agencies who can’t afford them.

The family even gives them out directly to people who they see in the community.

“We’re on the ground, we are working with families, were training people on how to save lives,” Kelly said. “We are saving lives.”

Matt Adams, Courtesy of Brittany Adams

Kelly said she wants her brother to be remembered as the fun, loving, generous, person he was.

“We know he had his moments through his addiction,” she said. “When he wasn’t in active addiction he was one of the most amazing people you have ever met.”

The nonprofit has shown more than 800 people how to properly use naloxone in order to save lives.

“When we started our thought was if we save one life then we’ve done Matt good, but now we are up to five in the last two months,” Kelly said.

Matt Adams, Courtesy of Brittany Adams

The Matt Adams Foundation for Opioid Recovery is supported entirely by donations.

For more information on the foundation, click here.