Hope Grows is a nonprofit organization located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania that provides support to caregivers. Lisa Story founded Hope Grows in 2010 with a mission to inspire hope through nature while empowering caregivers to seek wellness of mind, body, and spirit.
Hope Grows | Lisa’s Story
After Lisa’s father passed away from pancreatic cancer, she turned to nature as a way of healing. Spending time outside made Lisa feel closer to her father who had always been an avid outdoorsman.
“I was digging my pain into the earth and the result was healing gardens,” Lisa said.
Nature made Lisa feel alive again. Hope Grows was born out of Lisa’s grief. One day while working in her garden, she turned to her husband and said, “What do you think about turning our home into an overnight respite house for caregivers?”
“The name Hope Grows came to me through divine intervention,” Lisa said. “I had a dream that I was walking through a beautiful garden and saw my dad looking down at me through the rays of the sun, upon awakening, Hope Grows was spoken.”
Historically, there has not been an overwhelming amount of support for caregivers in the Pittsburgh area, and Lisa recognized this need. From her epiphany, she sprang into action.
Hope Grows was founded in 2010, and after seven years of services, Lisa got her home and property zoned as a bed and breakfast to make the Iris Respite House possible.
“The Blue Bearded Iris symbolizes faith, hope, and caring,” Lisa said.
Lisa recalls another instance of divine intervention when she learned the people who sold her the land that her home now sits was gifted to them from someone they were caring for at the end of life. To Lisa, this was more divine evidence she was following her true calling with Hope Grows.
Lisa still relies on spiritual guidance and, “When an opportunity closes,” she says, “Okay Dad, show me the open window,” and something good occurs for Hope Grows.
Lisa formed the board of her nonprofit, and Hope Grows officially received charity status in 2012.
“My mission has always been to cultivate caregiver wellness,” Lisa said. “Nobody should end up with a chronic illness or die while they’re doing something so nurturing.”
In addition to Lisa’s license as a professional counselor and certification in Thanatology, Lisa obtained her certificate in horticultural therapy.
“I wanted a deeper knowledge other than, ‘I garden and it feels good,’” Lisa said.
Before starting Hope Grows, Lisa worked as a mental health counselor for people in hospice and people with loved ones in hospice. She always felt a need for more support during end of life, including her father. Today, she continues counseling both caregivers and non-caregivers through her clinical practice, Root of Good Care – a Hope Grows Organization.
Along with Root of Good Care, Hope Grows also partners with UPMC, Duquesne University, Robert Morris University, Chatham University, Moon Township, and many other organizations and companies.
Hope Grows | Services
Hope Grows offers a variety of services to support and promote caregiver wellness. They offer monthly check-in calls, tea and coffee meet ups, gardening sessions, online support groups, access to counseling, caregiver events, and, of course, the Iris Respite House.
The Hope Grows blog, written by both Lisa and the horticulturist at Hope Grows, contains even more resources and content for caregivers.
Ways to Support Hope Grows
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