The Times West Virginian

November 3, 2013

Prayers for Hope and Healing vigil Tuesday

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — The Project SLB Foundation will be holding a candlelight vigil Tuesday called Prayers for Hope and Healing.

Michelle Swearingen, substance abuse and prevention manager for the foundation, said the vigil is for those who are suffering and for people to remember lives lost to substance abuse.

The vigil will be at 7 p.m., in front of the Marion County Courthouse in downtown Fairmont.

“We’re going to be lighting candles as Tim Polis leads us in a prayer of healing,” Swearingen said. “We believe we can bring peace and healing to the souls of those who have lost loved ones to death from drug addiction.”

Swearingen said the vigil is a nondenominational event. She said at the vigil people dealing with substance abuse can come and be prayed for.

“They can be asked to be prayed for healing, and there will be someone there from local churches that they can talk to,” Swearingen said. “They will be handed resources for rehab services and different contacts for counselors.”

Swearingen said in Marion County there have been 47 drug-overdose-related deaths since Jan. 1.

“We’re working in our community to spread hope,” Swearingen said, adding that those who have been affected by substance abuse in any way should attend the vigil.

“If they’ve lost a family member due to drug addiction, if they’re now struggling with drug addiction at home, or if they are addicted to substances themselves,” she said. “They should come out and be prayed for because we believe they can be helped.”

With Project SLB Foundation recently developing, this vigil is the first for the organization. The foundation held an event releasing candles into the Monongahela River on Sept. 11 for World Suicide Prevention Day.

“Since we’ve planned this vigil, I have been approached by others in Harrison and Monongalia counties to have a vigil in their counties as well,” Swearingen said.

Swearingen said the foundation is continuously working with the Family Resource Network and other organization dealing with substance abuse. She said their mission is to stop suicide and substance abuse by public education, awareness campaigns, and making a difference by working in the community to provide support, hope and healing.

For more information about the vigil, contact Swearingen at 304-365-3032.

Email Emily Gallagher at or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.