Drumheller boy’s donation gives hope to recovering addicts

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Drumheller boy’s donation gives hope to recovering addicts
WATCH: The need for addiction services is at an all-time high and many on the front lines of recovery worry the need and the stigma will grow. But the will of an eight-year-old boy to lift the veil of shame has brought a small community hope. Jill Croteau reports. – Mar 11, 2022

Inspiration can come in small packages. Eight-year-old Theodore Mason lives in Drumheller, Alta., and has given hope to a group of men battling with addiction.

He has a close loved one suffering as an addict and he’s lost that connection. His mom Megan Mason said they talk openly about it.

“Addiction is close to our hearts and it’s nothing we hide,” Megan said.

It was her son’s idea to help raise money for men in recovery.

“His school project was to choose helping people, animals or the Earth. Of course he wanted to help people right away,” Megan said.

“I thought it would be good just helping out,” Theodore said.

He raised $800 for Grace House, a residential recovery home in Drumheller.

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Drumheller’s Grace House. Jill Croteau/Global News

“Everyone deserves grace and a second chance, and I think it’s brave what the men in this house are doing,” Megan said.

“We wanted to show that we honour and respect that and we want to support them in their journey to recovery.”

Shaun Watson, the manager of Grace House, said the gesture blew him away.

Grace House has 10 recovery beds. Jill Croteau/Global News

“We are struggling for funds and we are trying to keep the doors open to what is an essential service,” Watson said. “We are very limited in our resources.”

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“This little man took some pain and some anguish he’s dealing with it his life and he’s turned it into something positive.”

And he knows the gesture moved the men who live there.

READ MORE: New purpose, same facility draws criticism over closure of former McCullough Centre

“These are a lot of people who feel like they’ve been forgotten,” Watson said. “They’ve lost their connection with the community and life as a whole, right?

“And to see some little guy cared enough to do something about them turns a lot of them around.”

12 steps in Grace House. Jill Croteau/Global News

Chris Zimmer is a client of Grace House.

“I’ve been an alcoholic since I was 12. I’m 56 now,” he said.

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Zimmer said Theodore reminded him about the value of repairing relationships.

“My family is all gone because of it and I’m working on getting them back. So all you can do is try,” Zimmer said.

Sign at Grace House. Jill Croteau/Global News

Theodore made him realize what’s possible.

“He’s got a good start on humanity. I think he’s a very strong young man. I have a lot of respect for him. It gives me hope,” Zimmer said.

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