Jonathan is a Communications Assistant at St. Matthew’s House. Jonathan is also a graduate of Justin’s Place at St. Matthew’s House and a rehabilitated drug user. He first came to St Matthew’s House in 2010. He was an addict, scared to reach out for help. He had gone from one place to another trying to find a solution to his problem. When he arrived at Justin’s Place he felt that he had found what he was looking for: happy people living a healthy lifestyle. “When I first came into the program we would go to the gym at 5am. I couldn’t stand it. I was the guy in the corner with a hoodie and a cigarette outside the gym. I couldn’t figure out why I was so miserable. I began to exercise and to run. I found something that I loved and my constant heartache and depression went away.”
September 24th marks the seven year anniversary of an event that left Jonathan feeling bitter, depressed, selfish and single minded. Life dealt him a tough blow when his hand got caught in a steel roller at work, leaving his hand permanently scarred. At the time, he tried to escape from everything and everyone.
He has come a long way from being the guy in the hoodie with smokes. Jonathan says that the irony is that now people look at him and think, why are YOU exercising at 5AM and can’t wait to do it? Not only does it help when he finds himself struggling but it also serves as a preventative therapy for him. Through fitness and the environment at Justin’s Place he has become optimistic, full of confidence and positive self esteem.
Jonathan inspired his eleven year old son to start running, placing 3rd in the 2 Mile at a Cross County meet. When he began, his two boys would ride the bike along with him on runs. They saw him working so hard. Whenever Jonathan would go for a run his boys would say “yeah he’s going for a run!”. His 11 yr old son living in Georgia wants to be able to run with dad. He absolutely loves it. Joanthan says ,“It can be hard sometimes to find that common bond and this is a great one.”
Jonathan continues to work for St Matthew’s House, building and recovering lives with them. After hearing Jonathan’s testimony at Justin’s Place graduation, Fawn Volkert, the Director of Development, asked him if he could intern in development. He is now a crucial part of getting St. Matthew’s mission across through social media, website, and film. He is challenged everyday working at St Matt’s. His colleague with a background in broadcasting and video, Robert Burns, is training him well. They are a great team, passionate about capturing a great interview.
Jonathan has signed up for the Gobble Gobble and has started his very own fundraising page.
Jonathan’s Fundraising Page (he must raise $250 for a free entry). Please consider helping Jonathan achieve his goal or start your own fundraising campaign here.