Community Service Project Recap - VIP 16 Columbus


We, the Sweet 60 of the 16th class of the Vision and Impact Program (VIP) of Next Level Trainings, are proud to announce the completion of our 32-day team community service project.

With a goal to create hope, empowerment, joy, and love in our community, we declared to raise $165,000 for the adolescents of Maryhaven to support in their vision: to give teens struggling with addiction and mental illness a supportive place to heal, get sober, and lead healthy, productive lives.

Few people are untouched by the addiction epidemic and Maryhaven is on the cutting edge of treatment. Whether the teens of Maryhaven come from the court system or ran away from home, they need a supportive place to get treatment and break the cycle of substance abuse. Maryhaven gives them that opportunity.  But with their facilities in need of an uplifting makeover and their programs overflowing with kids, our mission was clear — to support Maryhaven in creating a new, more empowering space to give these teens a new sense of dignity, creativity, and an intrinsic feeling that they matter.

Ready to hit the ground running from day 1, our team reached out to their connections and local businesses to support a series of events and spread the word. Things kicked off with an evening of fine dining at the Refectory, featuring an elegant three-course dinner and silent auction that collected $2,502 for Maryhaven. Later that week, we invited kids of all ages for an afternoon of dancing, lip synching, and games at the Making Magic for Maryhaven Dance Party at Hilliard’s Makoy Center. Between tickets and another silent auction, the event not only brought in an additional $5,271, but it got plenty of folks dancing!

On Improvements Day, our entire team pitched in to give Maryhaven’s teen dorms a more inviting and fresh feel. The day was spent cleaning up the space, replacing ceiling tiles, making handmade blankets, placing empowering art on the walls, and painting murals. The events and enthusiasm of the day were all captured on broadcast TV, with NBC coming by to check out the action and fun.

As all of this was happening, the team tirelessly sourced donations, tangible goods, volunteered, and spoke into the vision of ending teen addiction. Three days before the check presentation, we surpassed $165K, but we didn’t stop. By the official end of the service project, our team had raised over $184,497 for Maryhaven in addition to sourcing 1,180 tangible goods and volunteering 7,466 hours in 32 days.

For the Sweet 60 of VIP 16, the experience of working with Maryhaven has been both a blessing and a privilege. We took on this project with boundless enthusiasm, heart, commitment, and we had an unprecedented amount of fun while doing it.

A massive, heartfelt “thank you” goes out from all of us to all of the people and businesses that contributed to and supported us through this process. Last but not least, we offer our overwhelming love and gratitude to the coaches, staff, and members of the Next Level Trainings community for pushing us towards excellence at every turn, loving us, and supporting us. We stand today as a group of people forever changed.