UNION CITY, Ind. – In lieu of the traditional sermon by Pastor Geoff Grow, the Wesley United Methodist Church welcomed guests as they honored three of Union City’s stellar citizens Sunday morning.
Kevin Lawrence, Lisa Lyons and Sharon Price were each presented with the national Honor Award for Public Service for all their hard work and continuing efforts to help fight to save their town from the grip of addiction through the Union City chapter of A Better Life – Brianna’s Hope.
The local chapter of the faith-based support group was launched in Union City in March 2016 in hopes to find a way to reach and help drug addicts that feel lost and hopeless in their addiction.
The group meets each week at the church and continues to witness God at work in the lives of the those who come in search of a better life.
Lawrence, Lyons and Price were nominated for the distinguished honor by the Union City Indiana Police Department through the American Police Hall of Fame’s National Awards Program that was started more then 40 years ago to fill the void of recognition for worthy Americans.
As stated on the nacoponline.org website, the Honor Award for Public Service may be issued to law enforcement officers, elected officials or citizens whose leadership skills are outstanding in reducing crime or assisting departments in volunteer activities.
“Many addicts feel like there is no way out, but these three work to show them there is hope.” said Union City Indiana Police Chief Cobie Wells. “They have sacrificed time with their families and friends to be with these individuals to help them.”
In addition to weekly support meetings, the trio sacrifice even more time and respond to any addict that asks for help finding resources for recovery as part of the “Angel” program that was also started last year in Union City.
“We had an addict come to the police department crying and asking for help…and within five minutes these three were at the station,” Chief wells continued. “Their passion to help others is just amazing to me and thanks to people like them and their leadership through serving the Lord, it is making a difference!”
Close friends took a moment to share what makes Lawrence, Lyons and Price special during Sunday’s ceremony – and even Brianna’s Hope board president Randy Davis pre-recorded a message to all three that was played on the screen at the church.
“I am quite surprised to receive this award and what a great honor it is,’ Lyons said. “It is a lot of work and we may not always get the results we would like to see, but when something good happens then we are reminded of why it is all worth it.”
‘We want to thank the church and everyone who has helped out,” she added. “It takes a village to help these people and we truly appreciate everyone.”
“Being a mother of an addict, I sometimes just want to give up and feel like we are not reaching people,” explained Price. “If we can plant seeds and help just one person, then that is God’s glory at work!”
“Before we first started Brianna’s Hope, I always heard that nobody cares,” Lawrence stated. “Now the people know that community members, the police department and churches care about what the addicts are struggling with and want to help give them a choice and options to have a better life.”
“Our biggest struggle right now is needing more rehab facilities and help from the medical community, but being able to share the love of Christ with the addicts is a great tool and is the best we have to offer right now. It may not make an instant difference in their lives, but a seed is planted and hopefully something good will eventually grow from that seed,” concluded Lawrence. “You can see it in their faces as they attend the meetings…they are changing how they feel and realize people around here do care and want to see them succeed.”
Union City meetings of A Better Life – Brianna’s Hope are open to anyone struggling with addiction. Meetings are held every Sunday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Wesley United Methodist Church at 515 W. Oak Street.