Canaan Foundation/Path of Grace Newsletter
December 2010 NewsletterDear Friends and Supporters,
2010 has been a year of challenges and signal accomplishments. Most of the challenges have involved our growth and building toward the future that our vision encompasses. Our mission is not now and, hopefully, never will be a "numbers game". Each life we touch and help to transform is a meaningful and powerful contribution to God's work of redemption in our community. Alcoholism and Addiction are desperate and fatal diseases of the mind, body and soul. These diseases and their victims are not easily understood and are extremely difficult to treat. The most crucial factor in overcoming them is the victim's acceptance of their condition and willingness to change.
That we have accomplished so much in the short time since our inception with a small and extremely dedicated staff is evidence that our work is pleasing to the Lord. At every turn we have seen His hand at work through the generous help and service of volunteers from the community. We have never gone "in the red", His provision has been perfect. We thank each of you who have supported us financially, prayerfully or otherwise for being one of the fingers of the Hand of God.
Since we opened the doors of the Path of Grace two and one-half years ago, sixty or so women and their families have been blessed with an opportunity to change their lives. These women found a safe refuge, founded on strong spiritual principles and providing the tough love proven necessary to bring about redemptive change. The Path of Grace is primarily a sober-living facility and our residents are expected to work, pull their weight and focus completely on their recovery.
We began on a small scale with a big heart of service. From the start we were often at full capacity, a mere seven beds, and had to turn away some women who seemed ready and desperate to change. Last year a building to expand our program was offered to us by the St. Joe Company and we accepted it, beginning our growth process.
This building was moved to our property, which we had recently acquired, a few months ago. Shortly thereafter, as we wondered how best to adapt it to our use, we were visited by a delegation from the Dugas Family Foundation. They met with our staff, and saw for themselves the work and challenges our mission faced. We were bestowed a grant from them that will meet our needs to remodel the building to our use, expanding our capacity by at least ten beds--and the building has immense potential for community betterment. They also provided funding for a professional counselor to be added to the staff and seed money for a Foundation-owned thrift store location. Some of the scholarship money they provided for indigent women seeking help has already been put to use.
In March of this year we opened a Thrift Store in Freeport to provide needed goods to the community and so the women at the Home would have a safe place to work. The proceeds this year have met 30% of our budget and the potential with a new location is even higher. We appreciate every donation and community response has been great.
Marilyn and Jayne, our resident staff members in recovery, have met the challenges their positions present on a daily basis. These exceptional women live with the residents and lead them by their example, demonstrating how the program has worked in their lives. Their hard work and dedication have also helped make the Thrift Store the success it is proving to be. We thank full-time Volunteers Kathy A. and Pat J. for their work, sponsoring our residents, leading our studies and sharing their 40 years of combined sobriety.
Some of the other highlights of the year:
A special thanks goes out to our Circle of 100 Members who have helped with their continuing contribution of $1000 yearly. Your dedication in these troubled financial times is greatly appreciated.
- wrote and performed a new one-women show about Gracie Allen raising over $5000 for our cause
- Verlon Thompson delighted a small crowd at Stinky's and once again Jim Richard and his staff shined as our generous hosts--we got valuable exposure and raised $1000
- a family practice physician in Panama City and a dentist in FWB agreed to do pro-bono services for our residents
- Art and Marty Dees again included a food drive for us in their cooking school event
- The Ecumenical Choir made a generous contribution to our efforts
- one of the many local churches who support us, Rosemary Chapel, surprised us with extra support money after one of our graduates shared her testimony
- First Baptist Church in DeFuniak Springs hosted a food drive and we went to worship with them
- the Seagrove Garden Club again provided gift cards for the residents to make their Christmas merrier
- Three women graduated from our program representing fulfillment of a life-changing commitment
- Beach Bingo opened and will hopefully be a source of income for our mission as one of the several in the community they selected to help
- Pat Howes dedicated herself to leading the weekly Bible Study at the Path of Grace;
I am extremely honored and grateful to be leading this team that is fighting the devastation of addiction and bringing hope to individuals and families in their struggle to recover. Thank you and may God bless you in 2011.
John Broussard, 850-737-0376
388 Bayou Circle, Freeport, FL 32439