CHARLESTON, W.Va. — People who have completed addiction recovery programs will be able to get a jump start on their college education or career training thanks to a new scholarship program in West Virginia.

Fruth Pharmacy announced Friday $100,000 will go to the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation to help start the “Bridge of Hope Fund.”

Fruth will contribute $20,000 to the program. In response to that, Walgreens, Cardinal Health and Cabell Huntington Hospital each matched $20,000 for the fund. An unidentified contributed will also support the fund with the same about of money.

Lynne Fruth, president of Fruth Pharmacy, made the announcement at Recovery Point in Charleston.

She said the scholarships are worth around $1,000 and are not required to be put toward college. The scholarship will be awarded to those who are transitioning out of a recovery program.

“Not everybody needs to go to college. We need carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders, secretaries, customer service representatives — so anything that we can do that will certify somebody and give them a step up to get a better job would be eligible to apply for a scholarship,” Fruth said.

This program, Fruth said, is meant to combat the drug epidemic in West Virginia.

“We think it’s very important to help as many people as we can because you never know if that one act of giving somebody a jump start is going to be the thing that turns the tide for them and gives them the confidence to go on,” she said.

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) attended Friday’s announcement. Capito told MetroNews it’s vital to get recovering addicts back into school.

“Education is the key to their hope and to their recovery,” Captio said. “I think Lynne has started a great thing in motion here and I think the community will join with her to maker sure that people in recovery can improve themselves, can get education training to get a job.”

Fruth said this fund is meant to encourage people to gain their lives back.

“You can’t finish being recovered until you can get back into community — until you can be restored to your family as a caregiver for your children, a son, a daughter, a wage earner, somebody who is a contributor,” she said.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation will administer the scholarship applications.

To donate to the fund, visit the foundation’s website, call 304-346-3620 or mail your donation to Bridge of Hope Fund c/o The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation PO Box 3041, Charleston, WV 25331.

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