It’s expected many of the area’s finest leading citizens will willingly turn themselves in for a timeout in jail on Monday. And anyone who wants to, can play along while supporting two organizations that help people during their darkest times.
New Beginnings Medical Equipment Loan program and its sister organization New Beginnings Grief and Loss Support Group are throwing people in the pretend-slammer and hoping the “Bail or Jail” money raised does everyone some good.
“Jail” for a cause
Participants or “defendants” should “turn themselves in” on Monday at The White Magnolia, 210 E. Woodlawn Dr., Leadington, at 8:45 a.m. for the first session, or at 12:45 p.m. for the second session. Upon arrival, their mugshot will be taken and their unofficial “charges” will be declared.
Anyone who wants to play along is welcome, said Kathy Grogan, the creator of both New Beginnings programs.
Each person will be “sentenced” to three hours of mock jail time and be allowed several calls on their own cell phone to raise bail money to get out of “jail” — and support the efforts of New Beginnings programs for the community.
As soon as the defendant collects $300, they are free to go. Participants are asked to bring their cell phones and are encouraged to bring their list of phone numbers so they can phone friends to help raise their bail.
Grogan can be reached at 573-760-3609 for further information. Anyone who wants to donate can make checks payable to New Beginnings, P.O. Box 132, Park Hills, MO 63601.
New Beginnings for all
Grogan coordinates both groups under the auspices of a board of directors and Community Services Inc. New Beginnings Grief and Loss Support Group has offered men and women help in a group setting for over 20 years. The medical equipment program has been running for more than 10 years.
“Some people come to the grief-and-loss support group through the medical equipment program,” she said. “They’ve had family members who have been getting medical equipment from us. We get attached when people come in over a period of time. Especially when it’s children– we have some very, very ill children in the area.”
Grogan said the support group for grief and loss is free of charge, and the medical equipment program relies on donations of equipment and other medical products, but there’s still expense involved in running both programs, and the Bail or Jail fundraiser is important.
“We don’t have a set charge for anything. As a matter of fact, there is no cost involved at all with the grief and loss program. With the medical equipment program, we ask people to make a donation if they can, and if they can’t, they get the equipment just the same,” Grogan said. “But you know, we do have to make our rent payment and our insurance and the electric and the repair parts and things like that. So you know, we have to be realistic, or we would have been gone a long time ago.”
Grogan said it’s inspiring when people the programs help wind up giving back to the programs so they can help others, too.
“We had a lady some time back that contacted us and bless her heart, her electric wheelchair had gone out and the company she had gotten it from was going to come pick it up and repair it, but they would not send somebody to her house to fix it. It had to be picked up,” Grogan said. “They would rent her another chair, but it was $500 a month, and she had to sign a contract agreeing to rent it for a minimum of three months. Who could afford that? And insurance wasn’t gonna pay.”
Grogan said they happened to have an electric wheelchair on hand for her until her own was fixed. Grogan said a year or so later, when it was giving her trouble again, she borrowed from the medical equipment program again until the company fixed her wheelchair.
“Bless her heart. Sometime after that, she passed away but she left her chair to us,” Grogan said. “I’ve seen beautiful friendships made throughout both programs. People with health issues, they want to be able to live as independently and yet feel as safe as possible. People with grief issues, they want to feel understood and they want hope. With both programs, it’s been a pleasure to see both happen.”
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor of the Daily Journal.