BLANCHESTER — “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
This quote from Colossians is featured on the back of the pamphlet for the Hope Warriors support group in Blanchester.
The group got its start in September 2016 as a way to help addicts and their families with support, education, and resources during their recovery journey.
“The primary focus is on education for families, support in whatever way we can. Loving on them. Showing them support and love,” said Lisa Haynes, one of the founders.
Haynes told the News Journal that her grandson’s mother was an addict and she wanted to walk the recovery journey with her and wanted to learn more. Haynes, along with Angela France and Lisa Jackson, started talking about starting a support group.
Then came the day that cemented their decision.
“Angela and I were at church and a mother requested prayers for her child,” said Haynes. “It really hit home then. We looked at each other and we said we needed to start this group.”
At their first meeting they only had a couple people, but now they have around 20 per week.
While many have moved on from the group, others stay for continued support, and others who came needing help are now there to help others.
“It’s great to have more support. The more support the families, the recovery addicts have, the better off everyone is,” she said. “More people on the team that have different experiences, the better off we are as a group; we’ve got more legs to help in different situations.”
She said she hasn’t lost a child to addiction. But Roger Winemiller, a support member, has lost two adult children, and so his experience may help someone who also lost a family member.
At Wednesday’s meeting, there were about 14 people in attendance. Everybody introduced themselves, told of a positive of the past week, and — if he or she is an addict — where they are in their recovery journey.
Also at the meeting, support member Terry Gregory gave a presentation about not letting one’s emotions hijack their mind and how to deal with those moments.
The group recently started Hope Warriors Jr. This program that started about two months ago with Carolyn Schumacher develops a curriculum to help and educate kids who may come from addictive families on healthy ways to resolve conflict and build their social and mental health.
Haynes is excited about the growth of the group and expects more when word of mouth spreads. Later this year, the group plans on launching a campaign with yard signs stating, “Addiction is a disease, be brain smart.”
They hope to have the signs all throughout Blanchester and Clinton County. They’re also planning on having pamphlets at the Blanchester Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office, the schools, and local businesses.
“We’re going to keep plugging away,” said Haynes.
If anyone is interested in checking out or wants to recommend Hope Warriors, call Haynes at 513-518-6011, Winemiller at 513-479-3875, or Jackson at 937-509-0330. They can also email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their Facebook page for Blanchester Hope Warriors.
The group meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at 203 S. Wright St.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574