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Harvest House For Women: A Place Of Hope Needs Your Help

For 39 years, Harvest House for Women in Estes Park has been providing help for women who have fought drug, alcohol, and other addictions and are ready to begin life anew. Now it’s Harvest House’s turn to ask for help.

The nonprofit, 501(c)(3) ministry has found itself short on the donations that provide food, a home, and life-altering love and support for women and their children. The economy has redirected funds that normally come from churches, religious organizations, and private citizens across the country, leaving Harvest House without enough money in their monthly budget to pay staff and support their current household. They only have 20 residents right now because that’s all they can financially support – they would love to be able to be home to twice that number.

Bob and Sharon Vigil, who started Harvest House in 1971, would like to continue their ministry, although their plan to do so may take them away from the Estes Park community that has treated them so well. Their ranch on Highway 36 east of Estes is currently for sale; they have found property near Frederick, north of Denver, that they will be able to purchase using cash from the proceeds of their current property. That will leave them without a mortgage and will greatly reduce their monthly expenses.

The goal of the Vigils and the two of their four children, Linda and Bobby, who help them run the ministry, is to duplicate in Frederick the warm, comfortable atmosphere they have created in Estes Park that has helped hundreds of families – women and their children — over the years.

Many times these families come to Harvest House with nothing but the clothes they’re wearing. The women have reached the very bottom because of substance abuse, domestic violence, or other circumstances. Often they have lost custody of their children or had to give them to friends or family to raise because they were no longer capable of doing so.

Through an abundance of faith, hope, love, and support, Harvest House helps these women get back on their feet. They get away from the drugs and alcohol. They leave behind their abusers. Then they get their children back. They get an education. They find employment. They once again become contributing members of society. And they all love Harvest House for making it possible.

Women come to Harvest House from around the country and beyond, referred by detox centers, law enforcement agencies, churches, and acquaintances. JuJu and her four children – her fifth was born two months ago during her stay at Harvest House – is the third woman to come from the Hawaiian island of Molokai, where drug abuse among the native people is commonplace. She was referred by a friend, who had also been referred by a friend, and all three have overcome their addictions at Harvest House.

JuJu is halfway through her minimum eight-month stay at Harvest House, and she can remain there for up to two years. She is learning to be a good parent to her children, which her drug habit previously left her unable to be. Her four older children, the oldest of which is 10, lived with different family members and friends when she was in Hawaii because she couldn’t care for them. Now they are all part of a loving, blended family with the other women and children, plus “Grandma” Sharon and “Grandpa” Bob, at Harvest House.

The stories of most of the women who come to Harvest House are similar to JuJu’s. Many are suicidal when they arrive because they just can’t handle the downward spiral of their lives any longer. And the love and care provided by the Vigils and their staff members, several of whom are former residents who want to help others the way they were helped, bring these women back to life.

The Vigils remain optimistic about their ability to continue their ministry. They would love to stay in Estes Park but feel their location is less important than their need to continue to provide help for women and their children. Monetary assistance is greatly appreciated – and tax deductible – and they also welcome food donations. To make a donation or learn more about their ministry, visit their website at www.HarvestHouseForWomen.org or call them at 970.586.1745.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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