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Harvest House of Hopes shares mission with Kiwanis Club

Harvest House of Hope Director, Cissie Franklin spoke to Kiwanis Club on Thursday about the nonprofit organization’s goals and how they help women who are struggling with addiction.

Harvest House of Hope was started on July 1, 2012 and is a recovery residence for women with drug or alcohol addiction.

Franklin found that when taking women to detox the next question became “now what?” The women needed a safe place to reprogram and see what areas they were struggling in. Thus, Harvest House of Hope was founded.

Since opening, the organization has had 180 women come through the program, with the youngest being 18 and the oldest being in her sixties. While Harvest House of Hope’s main goal is to help women recover, they are also a strong faith- based organization and believe a relationship with God can set women on the right path.

They partner with several churches and attend different locations weekly to see what best fits each woman. Some of the churches include Southwest Baptist Church, Antioch and El Dorendo.

Harvest House of Hope also partnered with Family Bank to fund a candle making location. It is one of the ways the organization fundraises money for the upkeep of the home. The residents create candles that have Bible verses on the back of them and sell them to the general public. Franklin said they will often set up at Walmart and can be distinguished by their purple Harvest House of Hope sweatshirts.

“While yes, we do hope to get some money back out of these candles, we see it more as a tool to tell people ‘you don’t have to keep living this way; there is a better way of life,’ “ Franklin said.

Although they do most of their own fundraising, Harvest House of Hope is a 501(c3) organization and can accept outside contributions, however they are not state funded. They accept women from all across the United States; Franklin said they’ve even accepted a woman from Washington State.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re from jail or Yale, if you’re ready for your life to change, we are here to help,” Franklin said.

Franklin did emphasize that the program is a very structured environment, so the women attending have to want this change for themselves.

Brenda Cloud from the Bowen Association visits the residents every Thursday and leads them in a Bible study. In addition to Bible study, the women attend AA meetings and Celebrate recovery at the church.

“Whatever it takes, you never know what might click or what one person might say that’ll make a light bulb go off and say ‘that makes sense’,” Franklin said.

While Franklin believes it is important to acknowledge overcoming addiction, she said their motto focuses on service. She does not want the women sitting around talking about the people they used to be and reading books on addiction, she wants them out in the community helping others and realizing there are a lot of hurting people out there that aren’t addicts, but still face hardships.

Through this, many women come to that realization and upon completion of their stay at Harvest House of Hope come back to be of service to Franklin and help other women.

For those who want to get involved in contributing, Harvest House of Hope is currently preparing for their annual golf tournament that will be held in July. They are looking for sponsors and teams as well. Forms can be found on their website at harvesthouseofhope.com