Leader photo/ALY GIBSON Harpist Anna Hagen plays during the second annual Hope’s Door Garden Party fundraiser in Cassopolis Sunday afternoon.

Archived Story

Garden party raises funds for recovery

Published 6:50pm Sunday, September 9, 2012

With just under 50 attendees last year, the Hope’s Door Garden Party fundraiser more than tripled its numbers for Sunday’s second annual event in Cassopolis, welcoming more than 160 guests.

Women from throughout Cass County gathered to help fundraise for Hope’s Door, of Dowagiac, a women’s recovery ministry that helps area mothers. Patti Helmuth, founder and executive director of Hope’s Door, welcomed the ministry’s first resident in January 2010. By working with the Cass County court systems, Helmuth welcomes mothers who are struggling with addiction and have had their children removed from their care. Helmuth, a recovering addict for more than 25 years, helps the mothers regain stability and their health while working to regain custody of their children.

“I kept seeing women repeating the same pattern, coming back through jail or prison for the same things,” Helmuth said. “That’s where the relationship with the courts started.”

With a location in Dowagiac, Hope’s Door houses nine residents and has begun what is called “stage two,” when recovering moms find help obtaining permanent housing, something Helmuth said can be difficult when there is a history or abuse, neglect or felonies.

“We work with a lot of agencies, and I’m on three court teams,” Helmuth said. “The whole thing is a collaboration.”

The garden party, which saw 48 attendants last year, hosted 161 women, including 12 residents of Hope’s Door who chipped in.

“To see them come back and join us is a good feeling,” Helmuth said. “For me, it’s all about the children and that starts with making sure the mothers are taken care of.”

Helmuth said the process is life-changing for all who are involved and she said she was happy to see a bigger turn-out.

“It’s becoming a tradition,” Helmuth said. “It’s amazing what God’s done this past year.”

For more information on the ministry, or how to donate, visit www.hopesdoorministry.org or call (269) 591-4404.

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