- Our Mission
- Our Start
- What We do Now
- Celebrate Recovery
- Celebrate Recovery Inside
- Twice Blessed Thrift
- Manna House
In 2006, after Carol Mitchell had returned from a mission trip to Ghana, God birthed a passion in her to “get up out of the pew” and go out those who are hopeless, and without direction. James tells us that “faith without works is dead”, so Carol set out to do God’s work. Carol joined the team from the Grove City Alliance Church who was going to the Mercer County Jail every Tuesday night for bible study. It was during these studies that Carol witnessed the joy that filled the women when they embraced the message of salvation. She knew that this was the place that the Lord had called her to serve. However, she also realized that 97% were suffering from addiction, and she began to pray for a Christ-centered recovery program.
In 2010, God opened the doors to start Celebrate Recovery in the jail. Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program for hurts, habits, and hang-ups based on Scripture. The Beatitudes were used to make the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery, and the 12-steps in Celebrate Recovery have biblical comparisons. The program originated in the Saddle Back Church, in California, when Reverend John Baker, an alcoholic himself, sought Christian-based recovery.
The Lord then brought Linda Porter and several other volunteer women into the ministry. Every Wednesday, this team (who we now call our CR Inside Team) shared the program with the women. The team also developed into our “prayer warriors” who pray for these women weekly. Despite success with the women inside the jail, it soon became evident that unless there was a ministry to follow up with these women when they were released, it was very difficult for them to rebuild their lives. Many of the women were released with only the clothes they wore into the jail. They had no place to live, no employment… and if they returned to their old environment in a very short span of time we saw them back in jail.
The result of this realization was the establishment of the non-profit, Reaching Up & Reaching Out. During the five years of our official non-profit status, God has provided His guidance. Through fundraisers and faithful supporters, the ministry has grown quickly. We maintain the belief that we are guided by the Lord and we do not ask Him to bless our plans but seek where He is working and join Him.
We have been lead, over the past five years, to create additional programs/projects all under the “umbrella” of Reaching Up & Reaching Out to address the needs of those being released back into society. There are 4 programs/projects that we are currently accepting donations for; these programs include our “capital campaign” to raise funds for the purchase of a Manna House, the Life Recovery Program, CR Inside, and raising of additional “general funds” to support our ministry’s mission. Besides these program/projects, we have other programs that do not require funding, but run on the contribution of time from our loyal volunteers; these are our “prayer warriors”, and the pick-up of donated furniture.
Today, we have many generous donors to be thankful for! RURO raises funds through our participation in community fundraisers, and by organizing our own fundraisers. Our largest fundraiser of the year is traditionally held in October. We are also thankful for our devoted volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you! We have 10 volunteer board members to guide the direction of the ministry. Our office in Grove City is run by a volunteer staff. The board and the office staff are individuals that are “giving back” to the ministry, as some are women that have been in our Life Recovery Program. To keep all our donors, volunteers, and program participants “in the loop” on all the great things RURO is accomplishing, we mail our newsletter, named Newsbeat, quarterly. We also give constant updates on our progress and events on our Facebook page.
It’s hard to believe the blessings we have been given since the ministry’s inception! We pray that God continues to lead our ministry and show us where we can make a difference- with individuals, in Mercer County, and in the World around us!
Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program for hurts, habits, and hang-ups based on Scripture. The Beatitudes were used to make the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery, and the 12-steps in Celebrate Recovery have biblical comparisons. The program originated in the Saddle Back Church, in California, when Reverend John Baker, an alcoholic himself, sought Christian-based recovery.
CR Inside is the Celebrate Recovery Program for jails and prisons. Reaching Up & Reaching Out started CR Inside in the Mercer County Jail in 2010 in the women’s block. Since then, RURO has been bringing the Celebrate Recovery program into the Mercer County Jail every Wednesday evening. Volunteers with the CR Inside team introduce meeting participants to the program and it’s power, through Jesus Christ, to heal their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Many in the jail are bound in a struggle with addiction. In Celebrate Recovery, they learn how they can break their chains of addiction and be set free in Christ.
We provide meeting participants with Bibles, step-study workbooks, and composition books. We give out approximately a case of Bibles a month on the women’s block. These are $132 a case, and these needs are expecting to double as we expand this program to the men’s blocks. As of September 2015, we are excited to have male volunteers began CR Inside with the men of the jail.
Reaching Up & Reaching Out’s vision of Twice Blessed Thrift Shop provides an easy and enjoyable way for volunteers to get involved with the ministry; with set dates and times you can volunteer based on your availability. In the future, we will have some of our women volunteering in the shop as part of the Life Recovery Program, which will give them experience in the various skills necessary for employment. Twice Blessed Thrift Shop provides a unique and easy way for individuals to give to Reaching Up & Reaching Out’s programs by accepting donations of gently used items for re-sale in our store.
The overarching goal of Manna House is to serve as a central location in which to house the individuals participating in our program (more specifically those recently released and or participants needing housing). The goal of our programs themselves is and has always been to serve as something similar to the government’s CCCs but adding an additional component that is not traditionally addressed during their time of transition in these facilities. We will plug these individuals into our support system designed to foster the beginning of their journey to anew life. Within the framework of our program the participants will attend Life Skills Classes, Spiritual Enrichment Sessions, Work Therapy and Support Meetings. They will work with professional counselors, mentors, local clergy and lay personnel to deal with the underlying issues they have dealt with throughout their lives in an attempt to rebuild their lives in a new and more meaningful way. The program will maintain a strict adherence to the regimented accountability set forth and we are able to do so through the network of organizations we have developed who provide services to our participants.