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The award was presented during the national Living Free Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee, an annual gathering of similar ministries focused on providing faith-based education, support groups, and referral to residential programs for individuals battling life-controlling addictions

Clayton Arp, vice-president of Living Free Community, Louisville, presented the award to Lifeline Washington County members Tracy Weaver and Sarah Leach, who attended the Chattanooga conference.

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Lifeline Washington County began in 1999, when a group of individuals met together, looking for help for family members who were struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Seeing no local solution that fit their need, they gathered information about Teen Challenge, an organization that provides faith-based residential programs all over the United States. After several individuals from Washington County attended a Teen Challenge program in Athens, WV, the original group of concerned persons organized Lifeline Washington County. Their vision was to provide help and support for people that cannot attend residential programs, as well as support for their family members.

The “core team” of Lifeline began meeting monthly to discuss needs in the community as they arose. Weekly classes were started, which focused on how the Bible addresses the needs of those seeking to overcome addiction and dependencies. The first community meeting and fundraiser was held at Steven’s Museum in Salem in 2003. Arp, who was the director of Kentucky Teen Challenge at the time, was the keynote speaker.

Over the years, Lifeline has continued training more facilitators, and offer classes for those who are looking for answers and support. Hundreds of individuals have attended these support groups, or received help from Lifeline to develop a plan of treatment for a family member. With the generosity of the local community, Lifeline has raised thousands of dollars to fund entry fees for individuals who wish to seek treatment in a residential facility like Teen Challenge. Local support groups continue to be offered for family members, to help them understand the role they can play in helping a loved one overcome addiction.

Lifeline also works with several other local organizations, including CARE Pregnancy Center, The Center for Women’s Ministry, Freed From Within, local churches and many others in their effort to meet the needs of the hurting and addicted in our community.

For more information visit the Lifeline Facebook page: facebook.com/LifelineWashingtonCounty or web site www.wc-lifeline.com.