AAA of the Northeast Donates $10,000 to MHA

WEST SPRINGFIELD — West Springfield-based AAA of the Northeast has made a $10,000 donation to MHA for its GRIT Ridgewood Residential Rehabilitation Services program.

Ridgewood serves young men ages 18 to 26 who have a co-occurring mental-health and substance-use diagnosis. While there are 26 residential recovery programs throughout Massachusetts, Ridgewood is the only one designed specifically for this underserved population. The staff provide the 16 young men who live there with the guidance, support, and connections they need to move forward confidently in their sustained pathway to recovery.

“Our committee overwhelmingly agreed that a donation to MHA was a wise investment of our organization’s charitable dollars,” said Tammi Benson, executive administration, AAA of the Northeast. “It is important that we find effective ways to give something back to the communities we serve, and MHA is making an impact in the lives of people right here in Greater Springfield. It just made sense.”

Kimberley Lee, vice president, Resource Development & Branding for MHA, explained that “Tammi told me that her organization’s donation would be significant, though that word means different things to different people. When we finally met each other in person, the AAA staff was so gracious and welcoming. And when she announced a donation to MHA at the $10,000 level, well, I got emotional. This generous gift was indeed significant and will directly support Ridgewood’s general programming and, now that COVID is loosening its grip, also enable some opportunities for Ridgewood residents to get out into the community and engage in activities that are fun and tied to their personal plan for living in recovery. MHA is incredibly thankful for this substantial funding from AAA of the Northeast.”

GRIT Ridgewood is MHA’s newest Residential Rehabilitation Service program. To make it a reality, MHA renovated a vacant house to provide a life-changing opportunity to 16 young men in recovery.

“It’s a lot easier to focus on recovery when don’t have to worry about where you’ll sleep that night or where your next meal is coming from or whether there’s someone around to help you stay on your journey of recovery,” Lee said. “Our work cannot be done in isolation. To be effective, we need solid partnerships, and AAA has demonstrated their commitment to contributing to our efforts to ensure positive outcomes for those we serve.”