Thursday, July 26, 2018

Couple Helps Others, and Improves Their Own Lives

Jeremy Clark, left, and Chasity Patton, right, donated 45 backpacks filled with school supplies on Wednesday to the Catholic Charities Helping Center in Sallisaw. Helping Center Director Becky Ritchie, center, accepts the donation. 

A couple enrolled in the Sequoyah County Drug Program are bettering their lives by helping others.

Jeremy Clark and Chasity Patton recently raised the funds with the help of their church - the First Assembly of God in Muldrow - to donate 45 back packs filled with school supplies to the Catholic Charities Helping Center in Sallisaw. The back packs will be given to children who need a little help preparing for school.

Clark was honest about his and Patton’s efforts for The Helping Center. 

“They helped us out when we needed help,” he said. “Between us we’ve got seven kids at home.”

The children range in age from pre-kindergarten to the 10th grade, and were able to benefit from the Back-to-School Program last year.

This year, “Chasity was able to find a good deal on line,” Clark said. “We dropped off the backpacks July 25.”

Backpacks are not the only community project Clark and Patton have taken on. He said they also cooked out for the Special Victims Unit recently, and they help provide KATS bus tickets for those in need. 

Both are also sponsors for the drug program, helping others turn their lives around. Clark said he was arrested for drugs in February 2017, and because he and Patton were non-violent offenders, they were enrolled in the drug program.

Sequoyah County Drug Court is a special court given the responsibility to handle cases involving less serious drug-using offenders through a supervision and treatment program. The program includes frequent drug testing, judicial and probation supervision, drug treatment counseling, educational opportunities and the use of sanctions and incentives. The Catholic Charities Helping Center partners with the drug court and individuals in the food pantry, outside building and clothing room.

Clark and Patton are on schedule to graduate from drug court in October, and both are now gainfully employed.

Clark said they plan to stay involved in drug court.

“I’m just giving back,” he said. “So many people helped me when I decided to turn my life around. People can change. People can turn their lives around.”

The Helping Center stands as a witness to those words, and Becky Ritchie, Helping Center administrator, added her thanks.

“Thank you Chasity and Jeremy for all of your hard work!” said Ritchie.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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