DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – At the third annual Good Shepherd Ministries Christmas tree sale, shoppers can not only find a beautiful tree to decorate their homes, they can also help give back to their own community.
Good Shepherd Ministries focuses on “restoring individuals in reentry and recovery.” The group provides shelter and aid to recovering addicts through a group of three homes on Linden Avenue.
The sale, located at 1115 E 3rd St, will be running until Christmas day. It runs daily from 11am till 9pm.
The annual Christmas tree sale is used by the service to fund the restoration of the recovery homes, as well as continue to provide services throughout the community.
“We set it up for the families,” said member Andrew Leadford. “A lot of the families in the neighborhood are struggling, so families can come here like the good old fashioned days. Beautiful trees, hot chocolate, food, it’s just a cool family event.”
This year focuses on the recently donated fourth house for the members. Located on Xenia Ave, the older house needs to be completely restored with new walls, electricity, and space for the group work.
In the WDTN.com Web Exclusive, view a complete walk-through of the just purchased home with two members and the construction they have been able to complete so far in the house:
Unlike other recovery groups, Good Shepherd assigns jobs and tasks to its members as well as providing group sessions and treatment. The members wake up each day and are assigned jobs throughout the community. Services can include helping the elderly move, cleaning out abandoned homes, tornado recovery, and other charitable, free-of-charge labor.
“I’ve been trying to get clean for a while now,” said Leadford. “Most of my experience with other organizations is you go into the house and you’re sitting around and waiting around. That’s about it. Here we are nonstop out in the neighborhood, always busy, always helping people, always doing the next right thing. That’s what makes this place unique.”
“It’s benefitting all of us addicts and alcoholics,” said member Dantione Lynce, known to his friends as Tone. “It’s giving us new opportunity.”
The members also work to restore the very recovery homes they are living in. Many members previously worked in various areas of maintenance. They divide the work up by skill. Many members end up learning how to do the multiple kinds of work and gaining new skills over the course of their time in the homes.
“It teaches guys how to get up in the morning,”said member “Once they get out in the real world, [they’re not allowed] to say they don’t feel like working. You need to make a living or you’re going to be right out there with a bottle in your hand, a needle in your arm, or a meth pipe.”
Members said the work is an essential part of their recovery. It teaches them the value of labor, committing to an eight hour workday, and the emotional fulfillment of giving back to others. They also said it helps keep them busy and surround themselves with a positive environment.
The third annual Christmas tree sale is one of several projects the ministry uses to raise funds for their recovery homes and continue to reach out to the community.
View photos from the Christmas tree sale in the gallery below:
The group said they believe it will take about 6 more months worth of grants and fundraising until they are able to complete the house.
For more information on the organization or to contribute to their cause, visit their website.
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