From Drug Addict to University Scholar
Posted on March 28, 2013
From Drug Addict and Ex-Inmate to University Scholar— A Determined Man Turns His Life Around
BESSEMER, Ala.—Recently Carl Finkbeiner was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to Alabama State University. The funds will cover his tuition, books, room and board and incidentals—everything he needs to pursue his dream of earning a bachelor’s degree in business. It’s an achievement to be sure for any young high-school graduate. But Carl Finkbeiner is a 60-year-old former drug addict and ex-inmate . . . and a graduate of The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center’s Re-Entry Program.
In 2006 a college education wasn’t in Carl’s future. That’s when he fled from Arkansas to Alabama to escape his past. “My problem was methamphetamine. I was in a desperate place. I lost my house. My wife left me. I was separated from my children. I had tried so hard to quit,” he says. Instead he ran, but he couldn’t run far enough. At 53 he was arrested and later sentenced to 17 years in prison. When the doors slammed shut behind him, reality set in. “Prison is a horrible, depraved place,” he recalls.
But during his incarceration he had the opportunity to work in the prison chapel. The peace and serenity it provided enabled him to steer clear of jailhouse violence and become a model inmate.
In 2011 Carl was granted early parole and scheduled to be released. He had no job and no family or friends to take him in. In prison he’d heard about The Foundry and its Re-Entry program that helps men like him get their feet back on the ground and transition back into society. “They opened their door to me so I had a place to go. The provided a secure way to find my way in life,” Carl says.
In The Foundry’s Re-Entry Program Carl was given shelter, food and clothing. He also received training in skills that would allow him to return to the workforce. He learned how to type, how to use a computer and how to demonstrate a strong work ethic.
Carl also learned he’s a good student. While in The Foundry’s care, he enrolled in community college and earned straight As. He was invited to the Lawson State Ambassador’s Program where his tuition was paid in return for community service. He used the opportunity to share with high school students the horrors of incarceration . . . and the blessings of second chances.
While working part-time and attending Lawson State, Carl applied for the presidential scholarship at Alabama State University. In February, he was notified he had been selected and will enter Alabama State this fall, majoring in business.
“If you asked me five years ago where I thought I’d be today, I would have said ‘prison’ or even ‘dead.’ Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would have this kind of opportunity—and I’m so grateful for everyone who believed in me and helped me get there. There’s always that question, ‘Can people really change?’ I’m proof that with the right kind of guidance, training, support and encouragement, it can happen. I’m a new man.”
Additional information on The Foundry’s programs, services is available at
www.thefoundryonline.org. Interview and photo opportunities are available by contacting Bobbi Jo Grady at 205-427-7737, ext. 26.
Substance Abuse is a Community Battle
Posted on March 05, 2013
Substance Abuse is a Community Battle
The Foundry is Available to Provide Information on this Pressing Issue
The death of country singer Mindy McCready brought national attention once again to the destructive consequences of substance abuse, a tragedy that touches nearly all of us in one way or another.
Maybe it’s an uncle who drinks too much at family gatherings. An associate who’s late to work all too often. An acquaintance hit by someone driving under the influence. A neighbor separated from her family because of her drug habit. A friend of a friend who died of an overdose.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports there are more deaths, illnesses and disabilities from substance abuse than from any other preventable health condition. Today, one in four deaths is attributable to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use. Yet as we know firsthand through our work here at The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center, the impact of addiction reaches far beyond the individuals themselves. Broken families ... domestic violence ... child abuse ... job loss ... homelessness ... violent crime—these are just a few of the tragic repercussions.
While the emotional and spiritual damage of substance abuse in our country simply can’t be measured, the financial toll can. The figures are staggering. Productivity and health- and crime-related costs exceed $600 billion annually and include expenses related to the use of illicit drugs, tobacco and alcohol. * When someone suffers from drug or alcohol abuse, we all pay the price.
Even with increased awareness and attention on a national level, the use of illicit drugs continues to grow. In 2011, an estimated 22.5 million Americans 12 or older had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (pain reliever, stimulant or tranquilizer) in the past month. That represented an 8.3 percent increase from 2002.*
At the same time, there is a frightening “gap” in treatment. Roughly 10 percent of Americans who need treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol receive it.*
We’re all too aware of this challenge at The Foundry. More than 600 men and women participate in our long-term addiction recovery program every year, while an average of 300 names are on our waiting list at any given time.
Organizations like The Foundry simply can’t wage this battle alone. While we continue to take a leading role in educating the public about the issues surrounding substance abuse, we must call on schools, churches and other organizations to join us in disseminating information, encouraging those suspected of substance abuse to seek help and providing a support network for these individuals and their families.
Representatives from The Foundry are available to speak to organizations of any kind on topics related to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. We encourage groups to take this opportunity—as national attention is focused on these issues—to schedule a speaker. For more information, contact Doug White at (205) 425-7737, ext. 23 or email@example.com.
The Foundry Thanks Donors and Sponsors
Posted on March 04, 2013
The Foundry Thanks Donors and Sponsors for Generous Support at Annual Benefit Luncheon featuring Pam Tebow
“We’re so grateful for Pam’s participation and truly appreciate every individual and organization who made this event a success.”
— Michele Heintz, Senior Director of Women’s Services
BESSEMER, Ala.—Over 600 guests attended The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center’s 2013 Hearts of Hope Benefit Luncheon on February 13 at the Cahaba Grand Conference center in Birmingham. The annual event, a major fundraiser for The Foundry’s Women’s Ministry, secured $117,500, exceeding the $110,000 goal.
Michele Heintz, The Foundry’s senior director of women’s services, attributes the record turnout and donations to the compassion of friends who care about women who are struggling with challenges like addiction, homelessness and poverty, and to the popularity of keynote speaker Pam Tebow, mother of Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who encouraged attendees to use their influence to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.
Pam cited the example of the staff and volunteers at The Foundry in helping to transform the lives of hurting women. “I love the theme [of this luncheon] because that’s what our world needs—we need hope,” Tebow said in an interview with CBS 42 during the event. “We’re desperate for hope. I think the Foundry offers hope to people who this is their last hope.”
“We’re so grateful for Pam’s participation and truly appreciate every individual and organization who made this event a success. That includes our Women’s Auxiliary and table hostesses, emcee Sherri Jackson, and our loving guests who contributed with such selfless generosity,” Heintz said. The Foundry also thanks event sponsors a2 Church; B.L. Harbert International; BB&T; EBSCO Industries, Inc.; King Acura; Mountain Brook Community Church; PangeaTwo; PetraLife Services; SourcePointe; Steward Machine Co.; The Foundry Dental Clinic; Valleydale Church; and Walmart.
The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center provides a place of hope and dignity for addicted and often homeless women who are ready to change their lives through a long-term residential Recovery Program. The Christ-centered curriculum helps women eliminate drug and alcohol dependency, regain their self-respect, develop essential life and job skills, restore family relationships and build stable and independent futures. The Foundry also offers medical and dental care, nourishing food, clothing, education and guidance for impoverished women.
Pam Tebow to Offer Keynote Address
Posted on January 02, 2013
Pam Tebow to Offer Keynote Address at The Foundry’s February 13th Hearts of Hope Benefit Luncheon.
“We look forward to the inspiration she will provide to our event guests, as well as the residents of our women’s Recovery Program, encouraging all of us to allow the Lord to guide our hearts and lives.”
— Michele Heintz, Senior Director of Women’s Services
BESSEMER, Ala.—The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center has announced Pam Tebow—mother of Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow—will offer the keynote presentation at their 2013 Hearts of Hope Benefit Luncheon.
The event is scheduled for February 13 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham and is a major fundraiser for The Foundry’s Women’s Ministry with a goal of $110,000.
In addition to providing a Christian foundation for their own five children, Pam Tebow and her husband, Bob, have touched the lives of millions of others around the world. The couple lived for a number of years in the Philippines, where they run an orphanage and Bob Tebow’s ministry continues to spread the Gospel. In recent years their son’s notoriety has provided a national platform for Pam Tebow to promote her family-values message. She is currently writing a book on parenting and enjoys speaking to women’s groups across the country, where she encourages attendees to trust in the Lord and to use the incredible influence He has given them to eternally impact their world.
“We’re excited and honored to have Pam Tebow as the highlight of this year’s banquet,” said Michele Heintz, Senior Director of Women’s Services. “We look forward to the inspiration she will provide to our event guests, as well as the residents of our women’s Recovery Program, encouraging all of us to allow the Lord to guide our hearts and lives.”
The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center provides a place of hope and dignity for addicted and often homeless women who are ready to change their lives through their Recovery Program. The Christ-centered curriculum helps women eliminate drug and alcohol dependency, regain their self-respect, develop essential life and job skills, restore family relationships and build stable and independent futures. The Foundry also offers medical and dental care, nourishing food, clothing, education and guidance for impoverished women.
Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. on the day of the event, with the meal and program following at 11:45 through 1 p.m. Tickets are $75 and guests will be invited to contribute toward the fundraising goal as they feel led to do so. Table sponsorships are also needed. Reservation and sponsorship information is available by contacting Bobbi Grady at 205.425.7737, ext. 26, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to its Recovery Program for women and men—with locations on the main campus in Bessemer and Foundry Farm near Cullman—The Foundry also offers a Re-Entry Program for ex-inmates transitioning into society and provides a number of outreach services to struggling families and individuals through their Community Outreach Center.
More information on The Foundry’s programs and services is available at www.thefoundryonline.org. For photos and interviews, contact Bobbi Grady at the number listed above.
Hot Strings Music and Arts Festival
Posted on September 04, 2012
Now in its third year, The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center’s Hot Strings—Music and Art Festival will again offer great Bluegrass music and local art with a focus on family fun, Sunday, September 30, from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. at The Preserve in Hoover.
Mandolin player, singer and songwriter Sierra Hull and Highway 111 will headline the festival, which will showcase more than three world-class bands, musicians and entertainers. Get your tapping foot ready as youth fiddlers gathered from across the region will compete and showcase their talents. Event guests will have the opportunity to watch the contest throughout the afternoon and then hear winners play together on stage as they open for Sierra Hull and Highway 111.
Another great act scheduled to perform — Three on a String. Be part of the crowd and enjoy the unique and pleasing blend of heartrending country and unexpected acappella mixed in with a little comedic entertainment that all their fans have come to love. An appearance by these three talented and experienced performers just can’t be missed.
In addition to these great acts, get ready to jump out of your seats for the red hot picking, soulful vocals and hard driving sound of the Newgrass Troubadours. Their performance is rich in the musical heritage of bluegrass, country, and rock music. The show doesn’t stop there as you listen to the fresh sounds of mixed traditional and contemporary bluegrass and country from Shannon and Heather Slaughter & Country Clare. County Clare promises a complete stage show designed for every fan's enjoyment.
“As a musician, music lover and resident of Birmingham, I’m thrilled to see a music festival here in our community that is bringing in the level of entertainers which will be showcased in September,” said Brent Warren, President, Alabama Bluegrass Music Association and Hot Strings Event Chairman. “You’ll hear a variety of styles from traditional bluegrass, newgrass, country, Americana, folk, blues, jazz, rock and gospel, all performed by some of the finest musicians you’ll hear anywhere.”
In the family-friendly, alcohol-free environment, youngsters will enjoy the marquis Walmart kids zone with inflatables, a fiddlin’ contest and other special activities, while adults will showcase their own pickin’ talents in a jam session led by local area musicians.
Hot on a Bun, Spoonfed Grill, Dreamcakes, Steel City Pops, and Kairos Kafe among others will be on hand to quell hungry appetites with their restaurant favorites and specialties along with the usual festival favorites.
“I am a proud three-year sponsor of Hot Strings. Not only does this event support The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center, but it’s a wonderful way for me to show my employees and their families my appreciation for the commitment to our company. And, with over 6,000 in attendance, it is good for business! Great music, fun for the kids, and an overall wonderful experience. I hope you will join me in supporting Hot Strings and The Foundry”
— Tommy Mayfield, Chairman of the Board, The Foundry
The Foundry is especially thankful to State Farm, a two year title sponsor and Walmart, a two year Kid’s Zone Sponsor.
Media Sponsors include: al.com, B-Metro, Fox 6, Haute Pink, Hoover Living, Lamar Advertising and WZZK.
“We’re grateful to the organizations that are helping us bring this fantastic afternoon of music and family fun to our area once again. Hot Strings is a great way to spend an afternoon with family, friends, and colleagues. This is a wonderful way to support the men,
women and children served through Foundry Programs.”
— The Foundry Executive Director Bill Heintz
Sponsorships are still available, 100% of the proceeds from this event benefits The Foundry’s programs and services of recovery, re-entry and rescue. For more information or to become a Hot Strings sponsor please visit our website at www.hotstrings.org
or contact Bobbi Grady at 205.425.7737 ext. 26 or email email@example.com
Tickets are priced to be accessible to all age groups and can be purchased for $20 in advance of the event at www.hotstrings.org or at the gate for $25 or $15 with student identification (high school or college). Children 10 and under attend for free. Additional details can be found on The Foundry’s website at www.thefoundryonline.org or www.hotstrings.org
The Foundry at Rutledge Middle School
Posted on May 31, 2012
Residents of The Foundry’s Recovery Program Share Personal Accounts of the Dangers of Addiction with Students at Rutledge Middle School
Last week, seven members of The Foundry staff and four residents of our men’s Recovery Program spoke to an assembly of students at Rutledge Middle School. The invitation to raise awareness and provide education on the dangers of substance abuse came on the heels of one of the deadliest periods ever for drug-related fatalities here in Jefferson County. On May 20, The Birmingham News reported heroin was a factor in 23 deaths in the first four months of this year—13 of them in April alone.
While I’m sure these statistics were the last things on the minds of the students who chatted innocently among themselves as they waited for our presentation to begin, the frightening report ramped up the urgency we felt about reaching out to these boys and girlswho will, if they haven’t already, be faced with choices and influences that could destroy their futures.
In ongoing interviews with residents of our Recovery Programs—both men and women—we’ve learned that marijuana and alcohol have traditionally provided the initial introduction to the drug scene for 95 percent of experimenting teens because they’re easy to come by. A 2010 report showed alcohol use among youths ages 12 to 17 at nearly 14 percent. In recent years, however, as prescription drugs have become more readily available in family medicine cabinets, lots of kids are starting that way, making the graduation to harder substances, like heroine, much easier . . . and much more deadly.
At the school that day, our residents shared their painful real-world accounts of addiction. How it begins, most often, with experimentation. One drink. One hit of marijuana. One snort of cocaine. One poor choice that shatters dreams . . . destroys families . . . and ruins careers. That sometimes leads to homelessness and too often even death. Now, 20 years or so later, these men are here at The Foundry, rebuilding their lives. And they’re passionate about sharing their stories to prevent young people from making the same bad decisions and following the same tragic paths.
The Foundry welcomes opportunities like this one to come face to face with boys and girls through their schools or churches or other types of youth groups. If we can educate them now about the dangers of experimentation, how experimentation leads to addiction, and how addiction destroys lives, we’ll be taking a giant step in preventing heartbreak for these youngsters and their families.
Pastor Bill Heintz
The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center
The Foundry Announces Plans to Move SuperThrift
Posted on May 25, 2012
The Foundry Announces Plans to Move SuperThrift Outlet to Fairfield
Decision was made as conditions of the current store could no longer be considered in the best interest of customers or residents who work there
“We’re grateful to our faithful friends and customers who have made our SuperThrift Outlet in Bessemer a popular shopping destination, and we hope they’ll make the short trip to Fairfield.”
— The Foundry Executive Director Bill Heintz
The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center has announced it will be moving its SuperThrift Outlet from its current location in Bessemer to a larger and more modern facility in Fairfield.
According to Executive Director Bill Heintz, the decision to relocate was made as conditions of the current store could no longer be considered in the best interest of the customers or The Foundry residents who work there, and no viable options were available for improvements. The organization searched a year and a half for a new facility within the Bessemer area, but nothing was found that would meet their current needs and future expansion plans. Remodeling of a former Sears store is already underway for the new SuperThrift Outlet in Fairfield with an opening planned for August. Sales tax from the store will benefit the Fairfield community.
While the move promises a more enjoyable shopping experience, expanded warehouse space and the opportunity for more customers to become familiar with The Foundry’s programs and services, Executive Director Bill Heintz says The Foundry is extremely saddened to move the popular thrift store from its long-time home in Bessemer.
“We’re grateful to our faithful friends and customers who have made our SuperThrift Outlet in Bessemer a popular shopping destination, and we hope they’ll make the short trip to Fairfield. I’m confident they’ll be pleased by the amenities of our new facility and the greater variety and larger inventory of items they’ll be able to select from,” Heintz said. He added that The Foundry’s vision is to reopen a smaller satellite store in Bessemer in the future.
The Foundry’s Education Center, which is located next to the current SuperThrift Outlet and offers tutoring, GED preparation and other academic assistance to its Recovery and Re-Entry Program residents, will move as well, as the new facility will provide a better educational environment. The new facility will also house the The Foundry’s counseling offices.
The Foundry operates a second SuperThrift Outlet near Foundry Farm in Cullman. In addition to providing vital income for The Foundry’s programs and services, the SuperThrift Outlets offers job-skills training vital to the organization’s holistic recovery process. The Foundry will continue to meet the needs of its low-income neighbors for food, clothing, household goods and other items through its Community Outreach Center in Bessemer.
Heintz invites customers to watch The Foundry’s website—www.thefoundryonline.org
—for details on The Foundry’s new SuperThrift Outlet in Fairfield, including store hours and donation pickup and drop-off instructions.
An interdenominational, Christ-centered organization, The Foundry has demonstrated remarkable successes in restoring the lives of men and women battling drug, alcohol and other life-dominating addictions. The Foundry’s inpatient recovery and re-entry curriculums rebuild self-worth and spur spiritual growth through work, study, counseling, discipline and faith. Our community outreach program brings relief to those in need of food, medical care and other necessities. This combination of service and assistance has become a powerful formula in reshaping lives by the hands of God.
6th Annual Heart of Hope Benefit Luncheon
Posted on January 26, 2012
The Women’s Auxiliary of The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center will host its sixth annual Hearts of Hope Benefit Luncheon Wednesday, May 2, at The Cahaba Grand Conference Center on Hwy. 280 in Birmingham.
Hearts of Hope raises funds to support our programs for addicted and homeless women seeking shelter, Christian recovery, education and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. More than 600 women will attend this luncheon event to help reach our goal of raising $110,000 for our Christ-centered Recovery Program, which empowers 62 moms, daughters, sisters and friends to build stable, healthy, drug-free lives.
This elegant event begins at 10:30 a.m. with a silent auction filled with incredible art and once-in-a-lifetime trips and experiences, followed by the luncheon at noon. During the program, attendees will be moved by the testimonies and talents of women whose lives have been reshaped through The Foundry and the inspiring story of our keynote speaker, Ashley Smith Robinson.
Ashley Smith Robinson persuaded Brian Nichols, “Atlanta’s courthouse killer,” to surrender. Nichols called Ashley “an angel sent from God,” but ironically, it was Ashley’s less-than-angelic past that allowed her to convince him to face justice. Her addiction to methamphetamines had pulled her away from her dreams. God kept calling, but Ashley always put Him on hold while she flirted with temptation. All of that changed March 11, 2005, when Brian Nichols forced his way into her apartment following his deadly rampage at Atlanta’s Fulton County Courthouse. Among Ashley’s few possessions was Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life.” She was on Chapter 32—“Using What God Gave You.” During her seven hours as Nichols’ hostage, she read from this chapter and encouraged him to consider how he could serve God if he surrendered, which he did the following morning. Ashley believes God led her through her dark hours with Nichols and has called her to use the experience to help unlikely angels everywhere find hope.
The success of this annual event is possible through our hostesses inviting their friends and associates to join with us in raising awareness about addiction and homelessness and funding our lifesaving Christ-centered services. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to introduce your circle of influence to our work and to partner in it financially … to make a tangible difference in the life of a woman in addiction recovery.
Fire at the SuperThrift Outlet Warehouse
Posted on January 19, 2012
Statement Concerning Fire in The Foundry SuperThrift Outlet Warehouse
Early this morning, The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center experienced a fire in the warehouse where we process the merchandise for our SuperThrift Outlet. No one was in the building at the time and the working sprinkler system was activated. The extent of the damage to the building and inventory-mainly due to water and smoke-is unknown at this time. We hope to open to the public later today. Follow us on FB, Twitter or our visit our website for updates or call 425-7737 for more information.
“We are thankful that the fire was contained to our warehouse and that our sprinkler system worked as it should have. No one was hurt and damage doesn’t appear to be widespread. It could have been much worse as the SuperThrift Outlet generates half of the revenue needed to support the mission,” said Executive Director Bill Heintz.
Annual Drug-Abuse Prevention Campaign
Posted on October 21, 2011
The Foundry Residents to Visit Area Students During Annual Drug-Abuse Prevention Campaign
“If we can educate children about the dangers of experimentation and how it can lead to addiction, we’ll be taking a giant step in preventing a lifetime of heartbreak and tragedy.”
—The Foundry Executive Director Bill Heintz
—Beginning October 24, residents of The Foundry’s Recovery Program will speak with students at the Alabaster Day Program in Alabaster, Ala. and New Horizon Alternative School in Bessemer, Ala., about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Their visit comes in conjunction with national Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug-abuse prevention campaign in the country, this year running October 22 through 30.
The annual event, sponsored by the National Family Partnership, serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand for the hopes and dreams of their children through a commitment to drug prevention and education and a personal commitment to living drug-free lives. It also honors the memory of Enrique Camarena—a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was killed in the line of duty in 1985—and his battle against illegal drugs.
“It’s essential we take part in this campaign because every day we witness firsthand how drug and alcohol abuse destroys lives and families,” said Rev. Bill Heintz, executive director of The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center. “If we can educate children about the dangers of experimentation and how it can lead to addiction, we’ll be taking a giant step in preventing a lifetime of heartbreak and tragedy.”
At The Foundry’s two campuses, more than 700men and women each year are given the care and guidance they need to overcome alcohol and drug addictions and rebuild stable, self-sufficient lives. The Foundry’s long-term residential curriculum consists of counseling to identify destructive behaviors that lead to addiction and replace them with healthy lifestyles. Christian guidance, Bible study and prayer restore hope and self-esteem and help students achieve permanent and lasting change. Adult education, life- and job-skills training and work
therapy give residents the tools they need to find employment and transition successfully into the community.
The Foundry holds a waiting list of men and women who are battling substance abuse and desire to enter the agency’s Christian-based Recovery Program.
BB&T Spirit Award and Ceremony
Posted on September 26, 2011
The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center to Receive BB&T Spirit Award at Garden Dedication Ceremony
“We’re so grateful for the helping hands and giving hearts of BB&T employees, which made our garden possible. And we’re pleased they’ve chosen The Foundry to receive the Spirit Award.” — The Foundry Executive Director Bill Heintz
The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center will dedicate the garden and landscaping completed on their grounds this past summer as part of BB&T’s annual Lighthouse Project. The event will be held Sept. 26 and begins at 2 p.m. at The Foundry Outreach Center in the garden at 608 Eighteenth Street Bessemer, AL 35020.
This past June, 15 Foundry residents partnered with volunteers from BB&T to enhance an empty lot where families and residents of The Foundry’s Recovery and Re-Entry programs gather during visitation. The lot also has picnic tables where area homeless often eat meals. BB&T Lighthouse Project provided funding and helped install the new landscaping, which includes fragrant plants, flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. They also planted herbs The Foundry kitchen staff can use to enhance meals they prepare and serve through the ministry’s Recovery, Re-entry and Community Outreach programs. And, the BB&T volunteers provided lawnmowers and other yard and garden equipment to assist the staff with upkeep.
The Lighthouse Project at The Foundry was selected by BB&T as one of five national Spirit Award winners because of the positive impact the garden will have on the lives of The Foundry residents and guests. A prize of $5,000 will be presented to The Foundry during the ceremony.
The BB&T Lighthouse Project encourages the company’s employees to go outside their offices and cubicles and lend a hand to those in need. Since the program began in 2009, employees have donated nearly 150,000 hours of service, touching the lives of more than five million people in 25 states.
“I am so proud of all the work the BB&T employees did to make our community a better place to be by partnering with The Foundry in carrying out its mission of helping men and women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction enjoy more beautiful and brighter days,” said Dontá Wilson, BB&T’s Alabama state president.
“It’s been heartwarming to see our residents and guests enjoying the beauty of our new garden,” said The Foundry Executive Director Bill Heintz. “Not only does it offer a special place for fellowship with one another, family members and friends, it also provides spiritual renewal as they feel closer to God in this relaxing and peaceful environment. We’re so grateful for the helping hands and giving hearts of BB&T employees. And we’re pleased they’ve chosen The Foundry to receive the Spirit Award!”
The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center is currently celebrating 40 years of restoring hope and rebuilding the lives of the addicted, homeless and destitute. In addition to its Recovery Program with locations on the main campus in Bessemer and Foundry Farm near Cullman, The Foundry also offers a Re-Entry Program for ex-inmates transitioning into society and provides a number of outreach services to struggling families and individuals within the Bessemer community, including the new Dental Center and The Foundry Medical Center.
Hot Strings 2011!
Posted on August 11, 2011
At the Preserve in Hoover, AL, from 12 Noon to 8PM
Click here for more information.
40 Years of Changing Lives
Posted on February 02, 2011
On February 2, The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center celebrates four decades of programs and services to the addicted and ex-inmate, and outreach to impoverished families and individuals struggling to maintain their independence. According to Executive Director Bill Heintz, the Foundry’s 40-year history is marked by tremendous growth, faithful partnerships, and lives reshaped by the hands of God.
“As many people will remember, The Foundry originally started as Bessemer Rescue Mission in 1971, as a shelter for transient and homeless men. In 1992 it began providing beds for displaced women. When my wife Michele and I arrived in 1996, our vision was to expand the ministry to include alcohol- and drug-addiction recovery programs for both men and women,” Heintz said. The organization’s name was changed to The Foundry in 2004, and the following year it acquired Re-Entry Ministries to provide men leaving the prison system with practical guidance and a safe place to stay as they transitioned back into society. With these program expansions came growth in The Foundry’s staff, facilities and support, as well.
“God has blessed The Foundry with a dedicated and compassionate staff that now numbers over 60; more than 15 buildings that house our chapel, enterprises, community outreach services, education services, our comfortable lodging facilities here in Bessemer and our beautiful 80 acre Foundry Farm near Cullman; and hundreds of dedicated friends, volunteers and financial partners who have enabled this ministry to extend God’s hands to the addict, ex-inmate and destitute,” Heintz said.
Heintz credits The Foundry’s supporters and its work-therapy enterprises for the organization’s ability to continually enhance its programs to meet the growing and changing face of substance abuse, and most recently to embrace the special needs of families who share their loved one’s battle to overcome addiction. “Our curriculum has evolved to include family and marriage encouragement, more opportunities for residents to worship and spend quality time with their loved ones, and post-graduation follow-up support.” Heintz explained.
Hundreds of lives are touched annually through The Foundry’s Recovery, Re-entry and Rescue programs, and anniversary events are planned throughout the year to honor those men and women whose futures have been restored, as well as The Foundry partners who’ve made those life changes possible.
“As we celebrate this milestone in our history, it’s important to celebrate our friends and supporters whose faithful giving allows The Foundry to realize God’s purpose for this ministry,” Heintz said. He invites donors and volunteers to visit www.thefoundryonline.org
periodically for testimonies, updates and invitations to anniversary events
The Foundry Residents to Wear Red Ribbons in Sup
Posted on November 08, 2010
BESSEMER, Ala.—Residents of The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center will proudly wear red ribbons printed with the pledge “I am drug free” all day on Thursday, October 28 in support of Red Ribbon Week, the cornerstone of the National Red Ribbon Campaign, the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation.
The annual event, which runs October 23-30, is sponsored by the National Family Partnership and honors the memory of Enrique Camarena—a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was killed in the line of duty in 1985—and his battle against illegal drugs.
“It’s essential we take part in this campaign because every day we witness firsthand how drug and alcohol abuse can destroy lives and families,” said Micah Andrews, senior director of programs of The Foundry. At The Foundry’s main facility in Bessemer and at Foundry Farm in Cullman, more than 600 men and women each year are given the care and guidance they need to overcome alcohol and drug addictions and rebuild stable, self-sufficient lives.
Willie, a former addict and resident of The Foundry’s Recovery Program, will wear a red ribbon as a testimony to the life transformation he experienced at The Foundry. “I started using drugs at 14, and soon after, I began selling drugs to support my addiction. I had given up on life at only 18. Then I came to The Foundry and the weight of my addiction was lifted. I thought I couldn’t live without drugs, but truthfully, I couldn’t live without Christ. God radically changed my life at The Foundry.”
The Foundry’s long-term residential curriculum consists of counseling to identify destructive behaviors that lead to addiction and replace them with healthy lifestyles. Christian guidance, Bible study and prayer restore hope and self-esteem and help residents achieve permanent and lasting change. Adult education, life- and job-skills training and work therapy give men and women the tools they need to find employment and transition successfully into the community.
The Foundry holds a waiting list of more than 500 men and women who are battling substance abuse and desire to enter the agency’s Christian-based recovery program. Heintz attributes that alarming number to statistics like these:
• Substance abuse causes more than 93% of the dropout rate among high-school students.
• 57% of women contracting the AIDS virus have been linked to IV drug use.
• 60% of teen suicides are linked to substance abuse.
• Every 2.5 minutes a teen is arrested for involvement in a drug- or alcohol-related crime.
• Over 90% of the murders in our community stem from drugs.
• 25% of divorcees cite substance misuse as the reason for their divorce.
“The communities of Bessemer and Cullman have become true partners in our work and we invite our good neighbors to stand alongside us by wearing red ribbons of any kind on October 28,” Andrews said. The Foundry will also recognize the campaign and honor all the lives who have been transformed by the hands of God at their worship service that evening.
Created for More
Posted on May 17, 2010
Created for More was the theme of The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center’s fourth annual Hearts of Hope Benefit Luncheon, attended by over 450 women Wednesday, May 5, at The Club in Birmingham. Proceeds from the event, totaling over $90,000 so far, will benefit the organization’s Recovery Program for women battling addiction.
“We chose this theme because it truly describes every one of the women here at The Foundry,” said Michele Heintz, director of women’s ministries and wife of The Foundry’s executive director, the Rev. Bill Heintz. “They may be at the end of their ropes right now—they may have done things they regret with all their hearts—but God has a purpose and plan for each one of them. He created them for more and we’re here to help them achieve it.”
The Foundry’s yearlong residential Recovery Program provides women with a safe and home-like environment where their physical needs are met while they take part in counseling and education to overcome their addictions and develop stable and productive lives.
Development Director Leslie Freeman announced the fundraising goal for this year’s luncheon was $85,000. “We continue to be pleased by how Hearts of Hope is received by the community, and interest and attendance has grown each year. The Foundry staff, and especially the women in our Recovery Program, are so grateful for this outpouring of love and generosity, which helped us to exceed this year’s goal” Freeman said.
Every $2,500 raised per table at this year’s luncheon will provide food and shelter for one woman in the program for one year. And $5,000 will provide a year of food, shelter and counseling for a Foundry resident. Event participants had an opportunity to meet many of the women their generosity benefits, as the residents in the women’s Recovery Program took the stage during the program to showcase their many talents.
“Having this opportunity to share their ability to sing, recite poetry or participate in a drama—gifts many of our residents never had a chance to develop or even knew they had until they came to The Foundry—gives them a feeling of self-worth. It’s important to them, and they were so excited about it!” Heintz said.
As an added attraction, this year’s silent auction featured among other items furniture handmade by the residents of Foundry Farm, an extension of The Foundry’s Recovery Program for men in Cullman. Many of the pieces—including chairs, footstools and matching side tables, as well as picnic tables, swings and Adirondack furniture—can be viewed and ordered online at www.foundryfarm.org. To learn more about the vital services offered by The Foundry or how you can support and become a part of this life-changing ministry, visit www.thefoundryonline.org or call 424-HOPE(4673).
Womens Dorm Open House
Posted on April 01, 2010
Beds and dressers. Chairs, lamps and mirrors. If you’ve seen one dorm room, you might think you’ve seen ‘em all. But there’s a good chance you’ve never seen accommodations quite like the ones you’ll find at the open house celebration at The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center’s four-story women’s dormitory on Sunday, March 28.
What sets these rooms apart from the norm is the collaboration of hearts, hands and love that transformed them from simple bricks and mortar to spaces residents could truly call “home.” Each of the dorm’s four floors at The Foundry’s newly renovated facility at 1801 5th Avenue North in Bessemer was “adopted” by teams of local renowned decorators and artists who collaborated to create peaceful, inspirational and comfortable surroundings for 52 women in The Foundry’s long-term residential Recovery Program.
These compassionate partners designed each of the three 12 to 14-person rooms (and four individual quarters for dorm leaders) on each floor according to a theme suggested by The Foundry. The decorator chose colors, fabrics and accessories—including bedspreads, pillow coverings, lamps, mirrors and rugs—and the artists created original paintings on canvas to bring the themes to life.
The project was the passion of Michele Heintz, director of women’s ministries and wife of Executive Director Bill Heintz, who says her inspiration came from prayer. “I asked God what we could do to create a loving and nurturing environment—one that wouldn’t feel like an institution, but like a home. The Lord shared His vision for each floor to have a theme and for others to get involved by using their talents to minister to the spirit, soul and body.”
Decorator Pandy Agnew, co-owner of The Good Life off of Rocky Ridge Road, coordinated the “angel” theme on the dorm’s second floor with artist Betty K. Freeman and said the project opened her eyes to the positive impact a pleasing decor could truly have on someone’s life. “I’ve realized that no matter who we are or where we are in life, everyone deserves to have the best home they can have—a place that truly feels like home. It made me happy to see people (the dorm residents) who are so appreciative. To know that I’ve made any bit of difference; it makes me feel so good to know something I did made them smile.”
Ellen Mayer Interiors and artists Lisa Opielinski and Peggy Green Tilly adopted the dorm’s first floor and designed it to the theme of “Arts.” Decorator Cassie Clayton partnered with artist Lila Graves on the third floor for “Nature.” And “Sheep” was the theme depicted on the fourth floor by Sally May Interiors, with Gina Hurry, Lee Wilson and Betty K. Freeman as artists. All decorators and artists are from the Birmingham area.
Heintz said she couldn’t be more pleased with the warm and welcoming environment that has been created for the hurting women who need a place to heal and feel God’s presence. “These women left the security of their homes, their families, their familiar belongings and need to know they’re loved. The designers and artists embraced this project, and when they saw the joy on the residents’ faces, their hearts were filled with joy, too.” Heintz is also grateful to the financial supporters who contributed funds to furnish and decorate the space at $5,000 per floor.
The public is invited to attend the open house on March 28, from 2 until 4pm. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the dorms—led by Recovery Program residents, themselves—and meet the artists and decorators who have made the dorm “home” for these women who are working so diligently to build stable and independent lives. The Foundry staff will also be on hand to welcome guests and answer questions.
“Our community has backed this project so enthusiastically—as always—and we want this celebration to be a thank you for their prayers and support, as well. We’ll welcome all who attend with open arms,” Heintz said.