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Audrey Vazquez, Home of Hope women's program director, checks to see if anyone needs more paper towels.
Audrey Vazquez, Home of Hope women's program director, checks to see if anyone needs more paper towels.
Lisa Graff

Lisa Graff

A fundraiser and a calling: Teen Challenge

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Several years ago, when I heard about an organization called Teen Challenge, I knew I needed to find out more about supporting its mission. Several members of my family have struggled with the disease of addiction, so I know how difficult and painful it is to love someone who needs sobriety.

Delmarva Adult & Teen Challenge in Seaford and Bridgeville helps people conquer their addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Executive Director Bob Carey said, “You may have a hard time believing there is a way out of addiction, but we can show you the way. We have a proven track record of helping people whose lives have been set on a ruinous course. We believe that wholeness comes by having your heart and mind renewed, and we believe in God’s ability to change a person’s life.”

Teen Challenge held one of its primary fundraisers Aug. 22 with the annual crab feast at Trap Pond State Park. This event typically draws 400-600 people. Ticket holders look forward to eating unlimited crabs and feasting on caterer Marilyn Hasting’s home-style cooking, including her renowned pretzel salad. The staff and program residents work as servers, and food is brought to your picnic table seat. Do you want chicken? Corn on the cob? Hamburgers? Lemon cake?

David Ritchie, an intern from Raleigh, N.C., kept smiling despite the heat as he restocked the crab trays for grateful guests who asked for second or third helpings.

Kyle P., who has been in the program for nine months, also kept busy delivering crabs for diners, but he said he really loves working in the Delmarva Teen Challenge Mega Thrift Store in Seaford, another fundraiser for the organization. It is the largest thrift store I’ve ever seen! Kyle invites everyone to stop by and say hello, and find a good deal.

Delmarva Adult & Teen Challenge women’s campus, Home of Hope, is located in Bridgeville. It serves women ages 18 and over who want to overcome life-controlling addictions. Clients include pregnant women and women with young children (under school age) who can receive childcare during the day while the mother is completing program requirements.

Home of Hope Director Audrey Vazquez said, “I love my job here. Right now we have seven residents, but we have beds for more.”

Teen Challenge has more than 200 residential programs across North America for adults and adolescents. Each center is part of a network of separate nonprofit corporations.

To learn more about the Teen Challenge program, go to delmarvateenchallenge.org or call 302-629-2559.

Write to lgraff1979@gmail.com

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Published in Cape Gazette on August 27, 2021. Read Here

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