After the death of his 53-year-old son Charles Michael “Mike” Niles to a heroin overdose in 2015, Charles Niles Jr. decided he wanted to prevent other families from suffering the same grief.
Niles Jr., 83, passed out 3,000 water bottles with anti-heroin messages like “Heroin kills you” and “Be Smart Don’t Start” to local Little League teams.
“After losing my son to an overdose, I wanted to make a difference and spread the message to stay away from this stuff,” he said.
Butler County politicians agreed to help pay for the anti-heroin campaign out of their own pockets.
Now the message is being spread again as Niles Jr. has ordered 6,000 more of the water bottles for young athletes in Hamilton, Fairfield and West Chester Twp.
Butler County commissioners, Prosecutor Michael Gmoser, Sheriff Richard Jones and Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller have helped finance the anti-drug messaging bottles out of their own pockets. Businesses including Jungle Jim’s International Market and the Ford Motor Company have also contributed to the effort.
Moeller called the anti-drug messaging effort by Niles Jr. a very important mission that can hopefully save lives.
“Charlie is on a mission. I don’t say it lightly but based upon his life experience, he is on a mission from God,” Moeller said. “He loves people; he loves youth baseball; and he loves giving.”