Today, Jamie is full of smiles, laughs, and friendships, but that was not the case in early 2000 when, like millions of others, Jamie became addicted to drugs. Her drug use was gradual but, at its peak, cost her everything. Jamie says the lowest point was when she became homeless and had to live in her car. She worried about her next meal and if tonight was the night the police would tell her she could no longer park her vehicle at a closed restaurant.
It was in January 2012 when Jamie hit rock bottom. A night that was supposed to be filled with fun at a party ended up going disastrously wrong. Driving to the party, Jamie was pulled over by police and was declared to be driving while under the influence of drugs and was taken to jail. The judge ordered Jamie to serve forty days.
It was during that first night in jail that Jamie realized she needed to change her life. She remembers looking in the mirror and not recognizing herself anymore. As she prepared for bed, she looked down and noticed a Bible. The next few hours were spent reading it. By the time she went to bed, Jamie got down on her knees and pleaded with God. “I asked God to take away all the fear and the addiction that I was facing. I didn’t want to be scared anymore and wanted more for my life.”
After serving her time, Jamie searched for an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. She found such a program with The Salvation Army in Macon, Georgia, where she began a six-month journey to get clean, sober, and free. The first month of her stay was the roughest. “It’s like trying to restart your whole life, and there were plenty of times I was not sure if I was going to make it.” With the help of The Salvation Army, Jamie became more confident in herself. Shortly thereafter, she became a benefactor of the program and started working at the family-store where she found what she loved — helping people.
At the end of her six-month stay at The Salvation Army, Jamie was clean. She also had a clear mind and a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ. Jamie demonstrated so much potential while in the program she was asked to manage The Salvation Army Family Store in Warner Robins.
Jamie continued to flourish in her life and career at The Salvation Army. In just over a year, she was asked to manage a higher-volume Salvation Army Family Store in Macon, Georgia. Jamie now manages a staff of fifteen, coordinates the daily work of volunteers, offers world-class customer service, and shows the love of The Salvation Army to the public.
Jamie is a person with unlimited energy and says that if it wasn’t for The Salvation Army, all of this energy would have gone to waste. “When you come from having nothing while living for no one and suddenly have The Salvation Army show you all that you have missed in your life such as love, self-worth, and trust, that is such a confidence booster. The Salvation Army made me feel like I was worth it.” Jamie now enjoys a life full of everything that was missing due to her addiction.
Jamie’s advice for anyone with an addiction is simply to find the courage to seek help. “Give it to God and find a support system as I did with The Salvation Army. Finally, you have to want it to succeed.
“I love The Salvation Army. It’s my family, a family that cares for me. The Salvation Army replaced everything I was lacking in my life that made me turn to drugs.”