HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Three people battling addiction will now get the help they need, thanks in part, to a $15,000 grant from the Rotary Club of Richmond to the McShin Foundation. The money will provide three scholarships to the Henrico-based center that helps drug and alcohol addicts recover.
Rotary Club members said they chose McShin as a grant recipient because it was an investment in the community.
“If they can keep a young person from getting in big trouble… $260,000 a year to keep somebody bottled up [in prison] and doing nothing for their future… that’s a pretty good bottom line investment,” Marshall Orr, from the Rotary Club of Richmond, said.
McShin president John Shinholser called the grant “incredible.” McShin asked for $5,000, but was awarded $15,000.
“When the kids get run out of school for addiction issues, we pick them up, we do the recovery piece, then the county sends over the educators to do the education piece. So it’s like a perfect relationship,” Shinholser said. “So far, not one of our kids has re-offended.”
Congressman Dave Brat (R – 7th District) , who was on hand for the check presentation, said the kind of addiction McShin works to treat is a huge problem in his district which includes parts of Chesterfield, Henrico, Goochland, Louisa, Powhatan, and Hanover.
“Every sheriff will tell you, this is the number one issue in every one of my counties… and across the country,” Rep. Brat said.
He said in addition to recovery center like McShin, something needs to change in the way young people are taught in schools.
“We don’t teach any purpose. Why are these kids on the planet? There’s no purpose. There’s no ethics. There’s no religion. There’s no philosophy. That’s trickled into some of the family structure issues,” he said. “You’ve got them reading all these SOL test scores, on algebra and chemistry. Why am I doing that? If you don’t teach a kid first what the purpose is, and give them some hope… and we’re not doing that.”