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Connected Communities Project Spotlight: The Courage Center’s “A Place of Hope”

Guest blog by Susan Boykin Mill, Interim Executive Director/Co-Founder of The Courage Center, a Connected Communities grant recipient.

Our project, “A Place of Hope,” is a centrally-located community center, donated by a local homebuilder in Lexington County, which focuses on building the health and safety of youth and families to promote prevention and recovery support. Our program will introduce families to the center through a wide-range of community events and engaging speakers.

The official start date of our project took place on March 23rd, 2019. We held our first community property workday and hosted 36 volunteers! The group mapped out shrub beds, built a walkway to the entrance, laid out sod, cleared brush, planted shrubs, and enjoyed a great picnic for lunch! Our group of volunteers consisted of local residents, some who are in long-term recovery and others who wanted to give back.

The group shared stories and experiences about their lives. The group loved when a youth volunteer showed up for a tutoring session, not knowing of the event. Once the session was over, he decided to stay for the rest of the day and volunteer. When asked why, he replied “The Courage Center has given me so many opportunities, I felt it’s the right thing to do and return the favor.”

These activities help build character, relationships, engage critical thinking, problem solving, and a sense of accomplishment, not only to this individual, but the team responsible, and the broader community.

We are extremely grateful to Central Carolina Community Foundation for allowing us that opportunity. To learn more about our project, we invite you to visit our new website at to view volunteer opportunities and upcoming events involving the “A Place of Hope” project.

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