Pearl River County Board of Realtors donate to Teen Challenge

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2016

Leah Daughdrill shares a success story about a special student who went through the Teen Challenge facility.

Leah Daughdrill shares a success story about a special student who went through the Teen Challenge program.

Through multiple fundraisers, including a raffle during Friday’s meeting, the Pear River County Board of Realtors raised over $2,400 for Teen Challenge USA.

“This, here, will save a life,” Pat Peyton, Teen Challenge program director, said. “I was a life that was saved in 2002 and I can’t thank you all enough for supporting Teen Challenge.”

Teen Challenge is a Christian recovery center with the goal of transforming those who suffer from addiction into “lively and sober followers of the Lord,” Peyton said.

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During the Board meeting, Leah Daughdrill, Teen Challenge ministry coordinator in Mississippi, shared the story of a student who went through the program.

“Growing up, for her, was very challenging. She had a mother that was in and out of her life and, to this day, does not know who her father is… she attended an all-white school where she was made fun of for being of color, which made her grow angry,” Daughdrill said.

She went on to describe how this student’s life changed when she turned 15-years-old after being introduced to marijuana and prescription drugs, given to her by her aunt, leading to more lethal drugs like methamphetamine.

Then, after high school, she met her “nightmare,” who Daughdrill said was a man telling her how to sell her body as a prostitute, and after taking many beatings from this man, she was forced to dive even deeper into drug abuse.

“Some of you might be wondering who this student is, and if she ever made it out,” Daughdrill said. “Well, that girl was me.”

In May of 2014, Daughdrill walked into the doors of Teen Challenge without truly knowing who she was or what she wanted to be, “but because of people like you, who support a charity like Teen Challenge, I was able to walk in and stay there with no cost. They housed me and showed me who I was and who I wanted to be,” Daughdrill said.

With the Board of Realtors’ donation, Teen Challenge, based in Poplarville, hopes to buy clothing and food as well as continue classes, individual study, personal mentoring, work ethics training and involvement in the Christian community for their students currently suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, Peyton said.

“We wanted to give a donation to a charity that we know will change people’s lives. Of course we can’t give to all the charities, but Teen Challenge does a lot of good for kids struggling with addictions and we hope our donation will make a difference,” Marcella Guidroz, Board social task force director said.

In other news, during the Board of Realtors meeting, James Fleming, longtime member of the Board, received the Realtor Emeritus Award. Fleming is the first realtor in Pearl River County to ever win this award, Mary Hall Kruppe, Board association executive, said.

This national award honors those that have held a membership in the National Association as a Realtor for a cumulative period of 40 years.