Inspiring Good and Instilling Hope

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Unfamiliar with the Hilltop area of Columbus, Ohio, I had my turn-by-turn directions on my phone guiding me to Garrett Recovery for the first time. As I drove in the misty rain, I noticed boarded up houses and businesses along Sullivant Avenue. People walked the streets without winter coats, on a cold and wet February evening. I wondered where they were going – or if they even had somewhere warm to go – out of the elements. Before my map informed me that the destination was just up ahead on the right, I knew I’d found it. There it was – a can’t-miss sign on the sidewalk with “HOPE” in all caps – the HOPE Resource Center operated by Garrett Recovery, our first ever Inspiring Good grant recipient.

A true grassroots effort, Garrett Recovery was founded out of compassion to provide the resources, hope and love those struggling with addiction need to find a path to recovery. In addition to sober living, the house on Sullivant provides compassionate care and basic necessities through its drop-in resource center. For about 15 hours a week, the HOPE Resource Center opens its doors to women and transgenders struggling with addiction in the Hilltop.

As I walked in the back door, volunteers were preparing a hot meal (pasta and salad), a nurse waited patiently to treat anyone in need and a case worker sat with a woman discussing resources that may help her situation. I was greeted with a hug from April Caudill, executive director of Garrett Recovery. I quickly learned that whether you walked in the back door, or you walked in the front door from the street, you were welcome in this home – and more importantly, you were safe and deeply cared for.

Throughout the evening, I watched April greet every guest and volunteer, make sure everyone got a hot meal, a blanket if they needed it and warm clothing from the boutique of donated items. At the same time, she would answer the door to anyone on the street, including men, in need of food or a warm blanket. It was in watching her that I realized exactly why Inspire initiated the Inspiring Good grant geared towards small, start-up nonprofits with limited staff, but a wealth of compassion.

Inspire believes that young organizations, like Garrett Recovery, are not only driving change in our community now, but will have a lasting impact on the neighborhoods we call home for years to come. Once Inspire selected Garrett Recovery for the grant, we met with April and her team to discuss how we can best work together and assessed the overall communications needs of the organization. Realizing that they had been so focused on helping others and building the organization, they lacked in overall messaging and communications materials vital to expressing the nature of what they do so they could build overall awareness of their important work.

Since the partnership began in January, the Inspire team has drafted strategic messages about the history, programs and future of Garrett Recovery so that staff and volunteers can effectively share about the organization with key stakeholders such as donors, sponsors, clients and the community. Additionally, Inspire will be assisting with the announcement of a major grant Garrett Recovery received that will enable the HOPE Resource Center to increase its hours and resources.

Our desire is that our efforts will provide April and her team the tools they need to grow the organization and forge community partnerships that will enable Garrett Recovery to serve – and care for – more women desperately in need of support and a glimmer of hope.

Garrett Recovery invites the community to join them for an open house of its HOPE Resource Center on Wednesday, March 4 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 2596 Sullivant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. Everyone is welcome.