Tony Luke Jr. founds #BrownandWhite to fight addiction
Tony Luke Jr., co-founder of the popular Tony Luke's brand of cheesesteaks, lost his son Anthony III to a heroin overdose on March 27. He has since created the #BrownandWhite campaign after realizing that heroin-overdose victims seem to be viewed by society as people whose moral failings (rather than medical or psychological conditions) led them down the path to addiction.
"The addict, they set you up to fail, you go to rehab where you're told you're loved and you're supported and we have your back, then they come home and they're treated as if they're something to be thrown away, a problem," he said.
To alter this perception, and to honor those who died as well as their grieving survivors, Tony came up with the idea to ask anyone who has lost a loved one to heroin to wear something homemade — such as a ribbon or bracelet — in their memory. He chose “brown and white” because those are the two colors of heroin.
#BrownandWhite "was a way for me not only to let the addict know that they are supported and loved but families to help heal them," Luke said.
He is asking families to go on social media and post pictures of their loved ones who are addicts and let the world know that they weren't weak that they were a human being that "they loved and lived and struggled and some died some of them fighting this addiction."
If anyone has been affected by a death from heroin, simply create a ribbon or a bracelet. Wear it. Share it. Talk about it. We’re in this together!
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