Nonprofit Profile: HOPE Sheds Light — founded in grief, helping through hope

In brief

Location: 253 Chestnut St., Toms River.
Serving: Ocean and Monmouth counties in New Jersey, nationally on the web.
Key members: Co-founders Ron Rosetto, Arvo Prima and Steve Willis; CEO Pamela Capaci.


HOPE Sheds Light was started after Ron Rosetto lost his son, Marc A. Rosetto, 32, to a hard-fought battle against substance abuse and heroin experimentation on Nov. 21, 2012. Since the family and friends of those with addiction problems often feel isolated, ashamed, overwhelmed and hopeless, Rosetto, alongside friends Stephen Willis and Arvo Prima, whose sons also were battling addiction at the time, founded HOPE Sheds Light. Shortly after, Willis’ son, Mark Kyle Willis, 31, lost his battle with the disease of addiction on Sept. 15, 2013. A few years later, Prima’s son, Paavo Jaan Prima, 25, lost his fight with the disease on April 5, 2017.


The mission of HOPE Sheds Light is to raise awareness and educate individuals, families and the community about the impact of addiction by having the courage to share personal experiences and offer strength, wisdom, hope and resources that lead to positive community change and long-term recovery. 


Our primary goal is to reduce the negative effects substance use disorder has on families and in our communities. We accomplish our goal by aligning our programs with the recognized best practices in peer-to-peer recovery support services. In 2020-2021, our goal is to expand our services to young people and families in recovery.


Since 2016, HSL has assisted 1,948 people seeking support through our 24/7 help line and has met with 534 people in person for follow-up support. We ended 2019 by expanding our physical location in order to designate space specifically to launch the Hope Recovery Center, a hub for community members to access peer-based recovery support services, participate in social recreational activities, receive education, academic and vocational training and become active members engaged in the solution by delivering Hope for Recovery through volunteerism and advocacy efforts.


  • An educational website with up-to-date resource listings;
  • Weekly support meetings for individuals, family and community members impacted by addiction and the opioid epidemic;
  • A weekly grief and bereavement group in partnership with the Office of Mental Health;
  • Programming designed to help our youngest victims of the opioid epidemic — children separated from their parents and/or removed from their homes due to parental SUD;
  • Special recovery services to parents in early recovery.
  • In 2020, we launched:
  • Recovery Speaks, a yearlong project to reduce the stigma related to addiction;
  • Recovery High School planning grant, exploring the feasibility of opening a school in Ocean County;
  • Recovery Housing Assistance, funding to help residents secure sober living placements.


HSL offers a diverse set of donation opportunities throughout the year, both on- and offline. We accept one-time and recurring donations from our individual supporters in the community, provide sponsorship opportunities for area businesses and as well secure grant funds through our federal, state and county partners.


A testimonial: “I called HOPE Sheds Light when I was experiencing homelessness. I was sitting at the Toms River Library, recently discharged from my treatment facility with no plan. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then, a woman at the library gave me the number for HOPE Sheds Light. HSL was able to assist me, first by just listening and then by providing me with a lot of recovery support services. HSL arranged for me to get housing in a sober living home as well as assisting me with funding for the sober house. An HSL volunteer connected with me and helped me stay actively engaged with my recovery. During this time, I had to leave my job because of the drug use taking place there. I decided it was unsafe. HSL helped me find another job at a small deli in Bay Head. When COVID hit, I lost that job, too. Because of my connection with my volunteer recovery coach from HSL, I stayed motivated and didn’t give up. I am now working at Philly Pretzel Factory and I am up for a promotion to a manager position because of my work ethic. I am getting manager training at different locations and I am excited for my future. When I was using drugs, I was separated from my kids. Since getting back on my feet and feeling good about my future, I have taken the steps necessary to be back in my children’s lives. I am so proud to share that I just had my first visit with my kids in months and am now becoming an active part of their lives.”

Conversation Starter

For more information please contact Pamela Capaci at:,
or call 732-244-0783.