GREENVILLE — Amanda Moore DeJohn has started a Facebook page, dubbed Hand Up.
Hand Up is a program focused on women who are struggling with or have struggled with addiction and are learning to live life clean and sober.
She has also started a women’s clothing bank for clothes, shoes and accessories for those women who do not have the means to go buy new clothes (office-type attire business/casual dress( for an interview/job.
“I have a personal interest in helping those with addictions,” said DeJohn, who is a registered nurse. “I see around town a lack of resources for women. There is no women’s group.”
She said a lot of women come out of addiction with no self-esteem or self-worth.
“They may have grown up in a home thinking it (the addiction) was normal,” DeJohn said. “They get into drugs or get pregnant young and don’t know what normal is. I want to empower women in a sober environment…to realize their self-worth Sometimes they need a little seed planted in them to let them know that they can do it.”
DeJohn is also developing a curriculum for a series of classes on various life skills for them.
She is doing this at 118 W. Fifth St., Greenville.
“Word was out that a place was needed for meetings, and the probation department heard about it,” she said. “I met with Judge (Jonathan P.) Hein (Darke County Common Pleas Court), and he is all for this program. The building was formerly the Visitation House and owned by the county. They allowed us to use this building and let me have space for the clothing bank. Probation has gotten good feedback from the gals.”
She said her ultimate goal is to have a Sober Club.
“We are meeting here on Wednesday evenings with open recovery meeting with addiction issues,” she said. “We focus on getting them successfully independent. We plan to take on community projects, and we will eventually have a fundraiser.”
Meetings are also held Sunday mornings and Friday afternoons, in addition to Wednesday nights.
“Last week we had a good turnout, with 18 attending,” DeJohn said. “I started the beginning of February, and we have from three to 18 attending with an average of eight to 10 a meeting. We have a core group of regulars. We have a good time,and try to make it lighthearted at times.”
Some of the women are married, some divorced, some are mothers, homeless and have lost jobs, and there is a mixture with professional women among them.
At the Hand Up gatherings, she works with them on interviewing skills and money management as well as on social skills.
She is planning to eventually get the program nonprofit status.
DeJohn said she has been kicking this idea around for awhile and felt called to do it.
“I wanted to decrease the stigma of addictions,” she said. “My passion is trying to do my part in this little tiny piece of the world. It’s kind of like finding your own spirituality. We do the Serenity Prayer at the beginning of the meeting and the Lord’s Prayer at the end to help them.”
DeJohn, daughter of Ken and Becky Moore of Greenville, said her motto is “We’re better together.” “Be part of a change you want to see,” is another one of her sayings.
She does all of this while holding down a full-time job for a company that does medical billing and physicians practice management and being a wife and mother.
A 1991 graduate of Greenville High School, DeJohn graduated with bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1997.
She has been married two years to Paul DeJohn, and has a 14-year-old son Alex, and 1 1/2-year-old son Nicholas.
Those wanting to learn more about Hand Up can go to Facebook.