Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Boy strives to help others stay clean after rehab

Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Boy strives to help other stay clean after rehab

PITTSBURGH — “That’s me and that’s her, in our old apartment,” said 11-year old Preston Robinson of Washington, Pa.

A day doesn’t go by that Robinson misses his mom, Melissa Moeller, 27. She died February 13, 2017, her obituary reads “lost her battle with addiction” and Robinson remembers the last words his mom said to him.

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“She went to a hotel, said I’ll be back,” said Robinson.

Rhonda DiBello, Robinson’s grandmother and Melissa’s mother said it was a shock, “This last rehab I thought she finally had it.”

DiBello says shortly after Melissa’s death, her grandson was inspired to help other families. They had a lemonade stand in Dibello’s salon, where Robinson spends much of his time.

“We did this because I didn’t want other kids, and community to go through what I had to go through,” said Robinson.

In last two years, he’s raised $550 for Harmony Life Center, a non-profit which strives to offer programs for those recently out of rehab and recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. But this year with the pandemic, Robinson decided to decorate a bucket and leave it on the salon counter.

Harmony Life Center Board Chair, Karen Bennett said Robinson’s visit left her in awe. “In he walks with an envelope with $611, that he handed over to us in memory of his mother. So I was just overwhelmed.”

An online fundraiser page was also set up, while the Center was part of a National Fundraiser. In the last few week’s Preston’s raised an additional thousand dollars which will go to Harmony Life Center. It’s located in Downtown Washington, and they opened it’s door month’s after Moeller’s death but the family knows it could help help her recovery.

“It’s like a safe haven, and I wish more people could see that,” said DiBello.

The center offers 52 meetings a month right now and prior to Covid-19 they offer more than 70.

Bennett says the work they do is very important during a time of so much isolation, “one thing that’s been missing is a connection between treatment, and the streets and the community. I think people who end up going to rehab they get out and they need a connection and that’s what Harmony Life Center does.”

The money raised will help the center keep it’s doors open as they help nearly 600 people each month.

“I always wanted to help people out this is my opportunity and glory,” said Robinson.

Preston Robinson is making us Proud To Be From Pittsburgh.

Anyone interested in supporting Robinson as he raises more funds for Harmony Life Center in memory of his mother, Melissa, can make a donation online.

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