WVPA Sharing

New community garden to support women in recovery at Hope House Ministries with the launch of “Carrie’s Garden”

West Virginia Press Association

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — Coplin Health Systems, in partnership with Hope House Ministries, Home National Bank, and supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funding, announces the launch of Carrie’s Garden, an innovative community gardening project designed to support the residents of Hope House Ministries. This initiative not only aims to provide fresh produce but also to offer therapeutic benefits and foster community integration. 

Planted in Carrie’s Garden are a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and various peppers. These crops were thoughtfully selected by the residents of Hope House Ministries, ensuring a meaningful and engaging experience for those involved. The garden serves as a source of fresh, healthy food for the residents personally, to sell to support their stay at The Hope House, or even to donate to local pantries and those in need.

One of the main goals is to reduce stigma between recovering addicts and the medical community, as well as the general community. Gardening provides a sense of purpose and joy, enhancing mental health and fostering a positive community spirit. Many residents, who are expert gardeners themselves, are sharing valuable knowledge and skills such as which plants are the best to grow, what is best for plants, how to keep pests out, etc., creating a reciprocal learning environment. 

The idea for Carrie’s Garden and the partnership between Coplin Health Systems, Home National Bank, and Hope House Ministries was born out of a shared commitment to community well-being. All three organizations deeply care for the needs of their community, and using their combined resources helped make Carrie’s Garden a reality to better those in their community and beyond. 

Coplin Health Systems is committed to supporting and overseeing this project for at least five years, with the potential for expansion based on its success. Future plans may include moving to a larger space to accommodate the growing needs of the garden and the community it serves. Everyone involved looks forward to learning how to improve each year, with hopes that it is so successful a bigger space is needed. 

Coplin Health Systems chose to name the garden “Carrie’s Garden”, after the late Carrie Pennybacker, Chief Operations Officer who was a leader, friend, mentor, and inspiring presence for all employees at Coplin Health Systems. Her dedication to healthcare excellence and her passion for making a difference in the lives of those we serve have left an indelible mark in our hearts and our communities. Carrie’s Garden is named in her honor, reflecting her commitment to nurturing both people and projects that enhance community well-being. 

Holli Ludtman, River Valley Family Care Site Director, shared her thoughts on this initiative: “Carrie’s Garden is a testament to Carrie’s legacy of compassion and community service. She believed in the power of community and the importance of providing for those in need. This garden will not only nourish the body but also the soul, reflecting Carrie’s commitment to holistic health and well-being.”

The initial ribbon-cutting ceremony, planned by enthusiastic residents of Hope House Ministries has already taken place. However, Coplin Health Systems plans to hold a dedication ceremony when the garden’s sign arrives. More details will follow this ceremony as the date draws closer. 

For more information about Carrie’s Garden and related upcoming events, please contact Coplin Health Systems at CoplinHealth.com

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