Our Mission Statement:
Restoring Hope to all affected by drug addiction through education, advocacy and support.
Hearts of Hope was incorporated in 2002 after parents and family members began meeting together to share and support one another after learning that their loved ones had become deeply involved in drugs and alcohol.
After gathering together for support and fellowship we realized it was imperative that our voices be heard about this plight that had struck at our families and towns. We wiped away our tears, rolled up our sleeves and went to work alerting and warning others about the epidemic that was invading the quaint and affluent Fox River Valley.
Hearts of Hope has several very dear founding members who have lost their precious children to drug overdoses. They have become warriors in prayer and in action on behalf of others in spite of their own sorrow and loss.
The war on drugs is being lost in our communities and the victims are our own children. Like cancer, the danger of drugs and alcohol is everywhere. It is in your neighborhood and in the schools your children attend. It is a growing problem for all of us to deal with because it knows no boundaries within our society.
Our children are falling victim to the false promise of feeling better through drugs. We need to take action and address this crisis that is torturing our children. Too many have already paid the ultimate price. Too many have struggled to recover. The disease of addiction is sweeping your communities and demands your attention.
An interesting quote I heard, "Public concern is not proportional to actual risk." This is such a sad commentary but it is true. If it does not affect us personally it seems to not exist. I implore you to see that this vicious scourge truly does and/or will have a huge impact on you and your life. It is closer to your family than you know.
Our grassroots organization has been self-sustaining and completely volunteered driven. We have been funded through the graciousness of local businesses, private donors and our own fundraising events.
The personal pain we have endured has become our passion. "When you love one prodigal you love them all." We did not want other families to experience the pain and shattered dreams that we had. And from our first meeting we have worked tirelessly knowing that much is left to do.
Hearts of Hope serves Kane County in a variety of services. We offer Support Groups for families of addicts, Grief Groups for those who have lost loved ones to drug related deaths, "Life Skills" Classes to inmates at the Kane County Jail, Prayer Groups, 12 Step Bridge Groups for young people in recovery, Bible Studies, Drug Screening and Treatment Referrals, Relapse Prevention Counseling, Community Outreach Drug Forums and Mentoring programs. Our Web Site and Newsletter are free resources offering valuable insight and information to those who seek it.
We have provided funding for those in treatment, supplied medication for those in need, transported people to rehabs and court, visited those incarcerated, supplied books and resources to recovery homes and half-way houses. We have hosted many activities such as Pizza Parties, basketball, softball, relaxation therapy etc. for young adults and kids in recovery. We have held appreciation luncheons and awards dinners for those working in the front lines.
We have been to New York for strategic planning meetings with the Partnership for a Drug Free America, flown to Washington D.C. seeking treatment and drug court funding, stood up in Springfield lobbying for or against bills, dined with Generals from the Pentagon, marched with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, taken a Military Helicopter to view a school with a Judge/General, held meetings with the DEA about the War on Drugs in D.C. and Chicago, fought and conversed with many legislators…all for our cause of making a difference one life at a time.
We have aligned ourselves with the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court, supporting their endeavors to break the connection between alcohol, other drugs and related criminal activity. For the past four years Hearts of Hope has sponsored and hosted the Kane County Drug Court Graduation Ceremonies.
As much as Hearts of Hope values and supports drug courts, we stand in the gap advocating for those in these programs. We take this duty very seriously and feel at times the judicial and law enforcement systems fall short of effectively implementing the programs necessary to achieve the goal of rehabilitation. We have strategically placed ourselves in the role of friendly watchdog if you will; keeping our eyes opened and our hands outstretched offering assistance where ever we can be useful. We don't mind being called vigilantes for the victims of addiction. Our goal is to be just that.
Our objective is to maximize the benefits of programs like Drug Court, drug treatment, family support, counseling, maintenance medication and all the other facets that play a vital role in recovery. We understand that the disease of chemical dependency needs further studies and research to be more effective and have more successful outcomes.
"Relapse is part of recovery." Why? Oh how this pains the hearts of those who have lived with a relapsing addict to hear such a statement. It does not comfort nor come to the aid in this life threatening situation. No, there is just more suffering and dying.
One of my instructors in college (I went back to school to become an Alcohol & Drug Counselor) stated that when a person fails in treatment it is not the patient's fault but rather something is missing in treatment. A person's recovery is only as good as the counselor they have. We must claim responsibility here and look at how we fail these suffering souls time and time again. They have a disease. It is time to forge new frontiers and seek out better and innovative treatment. It is time to unravel the complexities of addiction so we can make more headway. This requires removing the stigmas and preconceived notions about those who are stricken with this disease. This will take money and commitment and falls on the shoulders of all of us.
Because the drugs of today are more potent and powerful even the experts in the field are baffled as to what to do. The substances of today, marijuana included, are highly addictive and are unlike the 1970's drugs. Don't be lulled into thinking that all kids smoke a little dope and it is a rite of passage, because you did! This is a totally different animal. What our youngsters are delving into have devastating consequences. These chemicals can steal their identities, their brains, their characters and their futures from them.
In closing, I want to state that Hearts of Hope believes in the power of the human spirit. All our triumphs and failures are based on our strengths and weaknesses - our humanity. Let all of us be the flag carriers and messengers for a new and better world, a world where our children can thrive and blossom as God intended.
Our Hearts are indeed full of Hope!
President: Lea Minalga
A. Fahmy, M.D., Medical Director