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Heartland congregation unites against opioid epidemic to raise $70,000

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    Stefanie Robinson, executive director of Hope Recovery Community, speaks at Heartland Community Church recently about the programs her nonprofit is offering for recovering addicts. Mike Suit, Heartlands associate pastor of connections, is also pictured. Heartland raised $70,000 to be used to fight the opioid crisis.

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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MEDINA TWP. — It was a call to action that some may feel was massive, but some may also say that the drug epidemic sweeping the community is massive as well.

Members of Heartland Community Church were called on in late 2018 to donate to recovery efforts in Medina County to the tune of $50,000.

On Sunday, it was learned the answer to that call was more than what church leaders could have dreamed.

After a drum roll that only helped to build anticipation, it was ecstatically announced that about $70,000 was raised, said Carissa Steinhart, associate pastor of communications.

“That’s incredible,” she said. “We announced it on Sunday. A couple people came up and thanked the congregation. There was a drum roll. People freaked out. It was a real neat celebration. We’re excited about what’s going to keep happening.

“We have some very generous people. They’ve used their resources to help.”

Steinhart said she has a simple answer to why so much money was collected with no special fundraisers by the 1,800-person congregation.

“It was God,” Steinhart said. “We started talking about it at the end of November or the beginning of December.”

The money will be earmarked for three efforts in particular to combat the opioid crisis in Medina County. It has not been decided how much each will receive.

The three efforts are:

  • Hope Recovery Community, an organization that aids recovering addicts.

Hope Recovery has partnered with Cornerstone Chapel, 3939 Granger Road, Medina Township, to host a recovery dinner on Saturdays that has grown in popularity.

“They will have some money set aside for larger community events,” Steinhart said.

Stefanie Robinson, executive director of Hope Recovery Community, said Tuesday that she doesn’t know exactly how much the organization will receive, but said she has been told it will be a substantial amount.

“There’s been no specific allocation,” she said. “We hope the money will go toward the doors being open more at the Highland house and help fund the launch of that this year.”

Hope is moving into a property at 200 Highland Drive that it will lease from the Medina County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health board.

The ADAMH board bought the former home of the Children’s Center of Medina County for $160,000 last month.

“It will allow us to be open more and serve more people,” Robinson said of the organization’s new home. Hope could move in to Highland Drive as early as March.

Robinson said she was grateful for the church’s donation.

“We can be long-term partners (with Heartland),” she said. “To see the community rally behind us and support Hope Recovery Community, is amazing to see.”

She added that Hope’s nonprofit status is not done yet, but it’s in the works.

  • Heartland’s Celebrate Recovery program.

The program — 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at the church, 3400 Weymouth Road — is “designed to help those struggling with hurts, hang-ups, and habits by showing them the loving power of Jesus through the recovery process,” according to Heartland’s website.

“A lot of people that attend Heartland are involved,” Steinhart said. “Everyone is really passionate about. It’s not just targeting addicts.”

Child care is available up to fifth-graders, according to the website.

  • Heartland’s teenage recovery program, The Landing.

“It’s for teens that don’t feel they have any resources, like addictions, mental illness or eating disorders,” Steinhart said. “There is a place for them. There are not a lot of resources for teens.”

For more about Heartland Community Church, visit www.heartlandcommunity.org, email church@heartlandcommunity.org or call (330) 725-1948.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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