Local organization calling on artists, families of lost loved ones to help bring awareness to drug addiction

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Seeking Action Raising Awareness and Hope (S.A.R.A.H.), a local organization advocating for all factors surrounding substance abuse and addiction, is searching for community members to participate in two projects leading up to its annual awareness-raising event and candlelight vigil at the Terrebonne Parish Courthouse Square in late August. 

In the “Call to Families of Lost Loved Ones” photography project, the organization asks families of lost loved ones to gather with a photograph of their loved one for a photo session to be a voice for those suffering or who have lost their battle with addiction. The family pictures will be displayed at this year’s event.

For the “Call to Artists” project,  artists are invited to submit original artworks on the theme of drug addiction and recovery. Artists may choose to donate at least one of their works to the SARAH organization for auction during the event, with proceeds going toward the organization. 

SARAH was founded by Renee Bertinot and Michelle Eschete. It’s named after Bertinot’s daughter Sarah Pellegrin — who, after struggling with addiction, lost her life after overdosing on fentanyl-laced heroin,

Bertinot and Eschete started the organization as a campaign to bring a transitional facility to the Houma-Thibodaux area for those in recovery, SARAH’s Place, as many addicts relapse after leaving rehab due to being thrown back in the same environment that encouraged their addiction. The organization also educates people in the community, encourages addicts in their recovery and helps all affected by the drug crisis. CLICK  HERE to read more about the SARAH organization.

Learn more about each project below: 

Call to Families of Lost Loved Ones

Renee Bertinot, co-founder of the SARAH organization, holds a picture of daughter Sarah Pellegrin, who lost her life after struggling with addiction.

Family Impact Photography Project

Seeking Action Raising Awareness and Hope (S.A.R.A.H.), an organization advocating for all factors surrounding substance abuse and addiction, including opioid overdose, is searching for participants to take part in our photo project. It is our hope to bring an end to the silence of addiction. Put an end to the stigma that keeps this problem locked up in a closet of lies even after we lose a child, a father, a mother, cousin, brother, or sister. Help us as we get ready to bring a successful SARAH event this year to our community. By taking part in this endeavor, you will have a VOICE for your loved ones that are suffering or have lost their battle with addiction. 

Addiction impacts families!! Every life is connected to other lives.  Addiction robs, steals, and destroys lives!  

When one life is lost, it has ripple effects and leaves a void!  No one is exempt from this problem.

Let us work together to make it a subject that people are not so afraid to speak of. 

What Participation in This Project Will Look Like?

We are asking families of lost loved ones to gather with a photograph of their loved one (can be in a frame or on a poster/canvas) for a photo session. These completed photos will be displayed during our S.A.R.A.H. Event and Candlelight Vigil this year. 

When Will the Photo Sessions Take Place?

The last weekend in July, we will have set-ups ready to go. Time and day depend on availability once bookings begin. Time of session should take less than thirty minutes. 

Things to Consider for a Strong Visual Impact:

Families may want to consider wearing black or solid color clothing. Sessions will take place outside.

Those interested in participating should contact Renee Bertinot or Michelle Eschete @ sarahsplace.houma@gmail.com or reneebertinot@gmail.com

Call to Artists

Eschete, a local advocate for mental health and suicide awareness, participated in the visual project following the death of her husband, who took his own life in 2018. She used the artwork for the cover of her book, “My Redemptive Heart,” a collection of poetry, prose and art.


S.A.R.A.H. – Seeking Action Raising Awareness and Hope

Houma – Downtown Courthouse Square

Saturday, August 28, 2021

4 pm – 8 pm

Submission Date: A picture of your work should be submitted by 

Monday, August 9, 2021, via email at


We are pleased to issue a Call to Artists to share in our project highlighting substance abuse, addiction and recovery. 

Substance abuse is currently our world’s biggest disease – responsible for cancers, strokes, accidents, suicides, murders, and violence.  The purpose of this project is to contribute to the concept that creativity and artistic expression can play a significant role both in recovery and in raising awareness of the personal and community tolls caused by substance abuse and addiction.  Artworks can give insights into the human experience of addiction, can spark dialogs, can teach, and can change perceptions. 

Artists are invited to submit original artworks on the theme of drug addiction and recovery (drugs include alcohol, tobacco, illegal or prescription drugs). 


Guidelines for Submissions



Artworks will be accepted in any size, completed in any year, and must be visual in the following mediums:

Oil painting, watercolors, acrylic, graphite, pencils, oil and chalk pastels. Work should be presented on canvas or appropriate paper suitable to the media used.


Artists may submit up to 3 artwork pieces via email by Monday, August 9, 2021, to shaneshelly0@gmail.com. The format in which they should be submitted should be jpeg. Each piece should be labeled with your name and the title of the work. (Artists can capture a picture of their artwork and submit it as a jpeg).


*Artists must submit a 100-200 word artist’s statement which describes the meaning of the artwork to enhance the audience’s understanding of it. Electronic copies of this statement should also accompany mailed images. 

Artists must complete a submission form via email. This form will be sent to the email address from where the artwork is sent. This will include:

 “Conditions of Participation” releasing any liability on the organization during the event. As well as giving permission for work to be photographed and used by SARAH Organization for press promotions as well as in newsletters or on websites.

Artist Under 18 – parent or guardian signature is required. 

Donation of Works 

If interested in doing so, artists may choose to donate at least one of their works to the SARAH organization for auctioning off the work during the event. All proceeds will be the sole ownership of SARAH Organization. A Form of donation will be sent for signature.