BOSTON (CBS) – Each month, WBZ Cares highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community.

This month, WBZ Cares is profiling Megan’s House in Lowell, a residential treatment home for young women, providing substance abuse treatment emphasizing individual dignity, self-respect, and empowerment.

You wouldn’t think a vegetable garden could help young women recover from substance abuse issues, but it does. Megan’s House Program Director Mary Beth Murphy says the garden out back not only provides fresh food, it’s therapeutic.

“You know when seeing things come to life and working together out there, they’re pretty excited when they see it and show it off when they have visits. They are very proud of it. It’s a nice place to sit and relax and reflect,” she said.

The garden was developed through a local grant, and local volunteers helped build it just one way local folks help out all the time.

“The support of the Lowell and surrounding communities has been unbelievable.” Murphy said,  “I’ve never seen such comradery and support.”

Meantime, Jane is one of the graduates at Megan’s House. She persevered despite an uphill battle.

“Yeah, I was thinking about it recently, like, I used to just beat myself up 24/7 you know? And like, even just yesterday, I was thinking like, wow, I’m actually like…okay. You know, like I actually don’t hate myself today,” Jane said.

The graduation ceremonies for the women at Megan’s House have special meaning.

Those ceremonies are often a family affair according to Teddy Panos, Megan’s house Development and Communications Director.

“The father of one of the graduates, you see the relationship that he has with the other residents in here, and they are going back and forth, It’s just a really cool thing. Everybody kinds adopts each other,” Panos said.

And those graduations often have touching moments.

“Invariably at every one of these ceremonies, somebody will turn around to Tim and the staff and say ‘thank you, you saved my life, or thank you, I have my daughter back.”

For more information visit TheMegansHouse.org or WBZ Cares during the month of August.

 

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