Drug court participants create new program to give back - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Drug court participants create new program to give back

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A group of Hamilton County Drug Court participants created a new program, Seasons of Giving Back, to help those in need in Chattanooga.

Darlot Hoover and several other participants were inspired to create the program through drug court, which now encourages participants to give back in any way they choose.

The group put their daily battles aside and handed out a variety of packed snacks, food, and hygiene products to the homeless at Miller Plaza Saturday.

After the death of drug court graduate, Logan Whiteaker back in February, the program decided to make some changes, including a required exit interview to graduate.

Man dies 24 hours after completing Hamilton County Drug Court program

But also a push for participants to find ways to help others in the community while they complete the five phase program.

"I see other people that are less fortunate than me and I'm so blessed. I'm so blessed and I just wanna give part of that back to everyone else," Hoover said. "It's an amazing feeling to know that I've helped someone or I'm not thinking about myself. You know I'm putting others first."

Like Hoover, Elvin Parks has been in the drug court program for one year, but says at first he didn't understand the importance of giving back.

"It's a lot that you have to really realize and you have to want to do it in order to give back to others," Parks says.

Hoover says paying it forward though Seasons of Giving Back has helped build friendships and an extended support system for everyone involved as they fight their addictions.

"It seems like when you all get together it forms a bond between the community of drug court," Hoover says. "It just helps to have someone else with you there and to make it through it."

The group plans to pay it forward at least once every month providing seasonal items to those in need at Miller Plaza and at the Chambliss Centre.

If you'd like to help, they are seeking help with monetary and non-perishable donations to continue making a difference. Travel sized hygiene products are also recommended.

Contact the drug court for more information.

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