LOCAL COMMUNITY LENDS HELPING HANDS: Local residents offer donations, volunteer time at new ARC addiction recovery centers in Gainesville
When Theodosia resident Dorothea Smith read a Nov. 1 article in the Ozark County Times about the new Action Recovery Centers (ARC) opening in Gainesville, she was inspired to help.
The article detailed the ARC residential 9-month drug and alcohol addiction recovery program which provides those enrolled with three home-cooked meals a day, guaranteed employment, clothing, all living necessities and other needed framework to help clients become sober during their time enrolled in the program.
In the article, board member and building owner Amber McGinnis mentioned that she wanted to outfit each of the buildings in a cozy way, so the spaces would feel like home for the men and women who resided there. Among the items she still hoped to source was artwork for the empty walls. Dorothea knew she could help in that department, so she reached out.
“She asked me to take every painting off the walls in every room of her house,” Amber told the Times. “She only kept one of herself... She just wanted to see someone enjoy them.”
Dorothea and her husband moved to Ozark County in 2014 from the Chicago area. Amber says there are 37 paintings in total, and they will be split between the 13-bed men’s ARC facility, and the six bed women’s facility.
Amber said organizers are incredibly grateful for the donation.
“I can’t even imagine the value. Every one of them had an originality card on the back along with an insurance amount... it was a very expensive collection. She took all the cards, and I promised her that they would never be sold.”
Other helping hands
Amber said that since the newspaper article was printed, organizers have been getting multiple phone calls a day about ways people want to help or donate to ARC. Other calls are inquiries about the program itself and how people can become enrolled.
Amber says there are three full-time residents now enrolled and living at the men’s home, and they’ve had multiple other applications submitted. The men’s facility includes 13 beds, and applications are continually accepted. The women’s facility will have six beds and will open in a couple months.
Donations they have received include multiple financial donations from businesses and individuals, donations of new boots, belts and food items including steaks for the men enrolled. A licensed therapist has also volunteered and is now offering counseling sessions for residents.
“All of [those who donated] read the article and said that’s why they reached out,” Amber said.
What is still needed
The ARC center is still gladly accepting donations. Current needs are financial donations for day-to-day expenses and the donation of the following items: a deep freezer, food items and pantry staples, new clothing items, weedeaters and push lawn mowers, a power washer, gardening tools, landscaping stones for the gardens that will be built (new or used stones are fine - and residents can provide labor to remove the stones). The facility is also welcoming volunteers for various jobs - in whatever way people feel like they can help.
An account has been setup for financial donations to be submitted at Century Bank of the Ozarks. To make a donation, bring a check into any Century Bank of the Ozarks location and tell the clerk to deposit it into the Action Recovery Center account or mail checks, made out to Action Recovery Center, to Century Bank of the Ozarks, PO Box 68, Gainesville, Mo. 65655.
How can the residents give back?
Amber says that ARC residents have become involved with the community and are giving back by volunteering for various community service jobs.
The residents have volunteered time at the Ozark County Food Pantry and with the Ministerial Alliance since the centers opened early this month. They’ve also volunteered to fix multiple things at the ARC building itself.
Now, ARC organizers are looking for other volunteer opportunities with area charities or non-profits where the ARC residents can help.
Amber said they’re especially interested in providing disabled residents, senior citizens or veterans with help for various tasks that would be helpful to them, and she encourages those residents to reach out if the need help with anything. “...Wood stacking, yard work, just whatever they need.”
The ARC men’s facility opened at its location on Highway 5, south of Gainesville, on Nov. 1. The women’s facility is set to open Jan. 1, 2024, in a three-story historic yellow home on Third Street, a couple blocks off the Gainesville square.
For more information, to arrange a donation or to volunteer, contact the ARC office at 417-372-1002 or email@example.com.