….giving back to my community is what I have decided to do with my life.
I will accomplish this by putting my complete support behind Freedom House’s Building Hope campaign.
I put aside my writing months ago, discouraged with my lack of response to my last clinical trial. I was beaten down and it seemed I was struggling to live thru each and every moment- literally praying every minute of every day.
Somehow, some way, God had seen fit to give me my mind back and I intend to use it for as long as I can.
Early in 2020 I met a man who would change my life. I stopped in my favorite cigar store and retreated to the porch for a leisurely smoke. A young gentleman was on the porch working furiously on a document.
Again, nosy me being me, I struck up a conversation- ever curious I take opportunities to learn….
Turns out the gentleman’s name is Houston Core and he is the Executive Director of Freedom House. The more we talked the more excited I became. Freedom House is an addiction treatment program for mothers with children whose parental rights are in jeopardy- but it is markedly different from almost all other programs. The program includes the children who live in a residential environment with their mothers and get to experience a “normal” life. They learn how to be Moms, how to cook and eat properly, they get hands on job training and a safe place to live. Most importantly they learn how to stay sober.
The entire program is a 12-step program based on fundamental Christian principles which are “time tested”.
The elements of the program are truly unique and over the next weeks I will describe how it is unique in any level of detail one wishes.
There are a few key points that have my attention:
1. Freedom House is a 501c3 in operation since 2006 and operates in the black- no red ink! 15 years of proven success.
2. No public funds- the organization is self-funded.
3. Over 94% success rate- success being anyone who reaches the end of a 90 probationary period graduates the program after a year and most stay in active support of the organization.
4.tThe program supports our local community- let’s break the generational cycle and improve the future of our community!
5. Most importantly the program breaks a cycle of family disfunction that haunts our society for generations- we seek generational change.
I am 62 years old, have lived in the Greensboro community for most of those years, and never heard of Freedom House.
I am also a 62 year old recovering drug addict, with incurable cancer who relies on drugs to get thru the day.
I have lived hopelessness and helplessness with no lifeline and now I find myself in the fortunate position of being able to contribute both financial resources and my experience leading several businesses. If I can help one person overcome the demons, I will find deep satisfaction.
As I dug into the organization, I met the founder, Ann Reilly. Ann is a licensed social worker, and this is her baby. Besides being a delightful woman, her passion for this mission is palpable.
In our first meeting she asked me what and why my interest.
My answer is simple: I am most likely going to die from this disease and before I go, I want to leave my community better than I found it and by focusing on Freedom House I know I can.
My affiliation with Freedom House is simply as a volunteer- I have no formal role with Freedom House.
The purpose of this writing is to kick off our Building Hope campaign.
In a nutshell Freedom House has acquired an ~110 acre campus in Greensboro- debt free. We have 3 treatment houses completed on the property – all paid for- no debt.
Building Hope, when completed, will consist of 8 treatment houses, a farm stand, a community center, a very successful farming operation (strawberries, tomatoes, and blueberries)- the farm was proven last year.
Our goal to complete the project was $1.85M and, to that end we have $250K ready to deploy.
Continuing profitable operations will be critical in helping fund the remaining needs but we will need the community’s financial support.
This is a one-time goal not a perpetual ask for donations. At completion, any decision to expand will be discussed but for now we have a beginning, a middle and, most importantly an end.
If you choose to follow our progress, I promise to keep you up to date.
In the meantime, I will introduce the key leaders, volunteers, and other critical supporters.
Many of my friends across the country have contributed to this effort and to them, a heartfelt thank you!
The correct web address: is help.freedomhouse.org