One of the things that drew me to serve on the board of Common Ground was the willingness to take risk. Built into our DNA is the belief that the important work we do will be hard and often require us to take a risk and that God and people are worth the risk.
I was recently contacted by a young (21 y/0) from a surrounding community who was seeking Naloxone, an opiate/heroin overdose reversal medication I distribute freely through the JOLT Foundation. Naloxone is proven to save lives in the case of an opiate overdose. We have had our share of overdoses in Delavan.
I met this young person at our Common Ground Community Center where I was able to talk to him about treatment options, ways to stay safe, and ultimately how to save his and others lives that struggle to abstain from this highly addictive substance.
As he sat on the couch by the fireplace he expressed his concern for his friends and their desire to get help. This young man shared how he moved in and out of recovery over the last couple years and was now hooked again and couldn’t stop using, even though he desperately wanted to. He also lamented the lack of available or affordable options for getting that help. He then went on to express his gratitude for places like Common Ground that are trying to make a difference in the lives of people like him and his friends. I sat quietly listening but felt like would cry at any moment. I didn’t and he eventually left to take the Naloxone to his friends.
It wasn’t until later that it hit me and the tears came. This beloved young person came to Common Ground as a place of sanctuary and refuge. It scares me to know he will likely be using heroin again today, not because he wants to but because his body will attack him if he doesn’t. It also made me grateful to have a safe place to meet hurting people, a place where they sense they matter and are wanted. It makes me hopeful to know that Common Ground and all who support it and serve there will continue to walk bravely into the darkness that others live in, with the hopes of bringing rescue to them.
There is great need in our and the surrounding communities. I’d like to invite you to join the growing number of people who are willing to take a risk to help each other and those in need. There are so many ways to do this, all with difference levels of commitment. We need everything from snack providers to small group leaders, and everything in between.
Email us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you’d like to help. You matter, even if it’s to one young man who is trying to stay alive for another day.
Grace and peace,