Paying it Forward: Orlando church helping rehab center with donation

The coronavirus has caused many to fall into hard times. This includes a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Orlando.

A local church is paying it forward, helping them keep the doors open.

Six years ago, David Bouthillier lost his desire to live when his son was shot and killed. After that, his life was in a downward spiral.

"Like within a month's time I actually ODed about four times before I got here," said Bouthillier.

Hogar CREA International of Florida is an in-patient center in Orlando. The facility houses up to 50 men who go through an 18 to 20-month program, and it doesn't cost them a dime.

"It is absolutely a godsend," Bouthillier added.  "I believe it was divine appointment that I got here because I had nowhere to go and I didn't have any insurance."

"This is family! This is family!  These guys individually mean so much to us. This is not a job, this is family," said Magda Cruz who runs the center with her husband.

Cruz and her husband do not receive any government funding and often use their own money to keep this program afloat. They say the center costs about $10,000 a week to run and they survive solely on donations. The only way they make money is by baking cheesecakes and bringing them to the community asking for a $5 donation. Though, the coronavirus has had them shut down production, without knowing when they'll be able to start back up.

The Kingdom Church of Orlando heard about the struggling center and wanted to help by presenting the operation with a $1,000 check. The church has been paying it forward every week, giving out $1,000 to people in need.

"We hope it creates a catalyst of generosity," said David Jacques, senior pastor at The Kingdom Church."Some of us are in a position where we can do more for others."

"Oh, I want to say thank you.  I want to say thank you and may God continue blessing them," Cruz said.

Bouthillier is also thankful for Hogar CREA International for giving him love when he was too broken to love himself.

"I want to use the experiences I've went through and the heartache to help other people and pay it forward."

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