Sara’s 25-year teaching career in Orange County, Florida, included teaching in elementary school, in junior high school, and teaching emotionally handicapped youth. She taught behind bars at the Orange County Juvenile Detention Center. Here Sara witnessed firsthand the revolving doors for teenagers in the social service system. They would come and go, repeating negative behaviors time and again. She saw the need for these troubled teens to understand the life-changing principles based on God’s word. There is no lasting help when Jesus Christ can’t be shared.
With only $200 and five people praying, Sara started House of Hope in 1985. Since the beginning, House of Hope has taken no government funding. It was nationally recognized by the late President Ronald Reagan with these words: “The philosophy and example of the House of Hope, which receives no government funds, needs to be shared across our nation. Those who want to help disturbed teenagers should be able to know that there is a way…and that way works… Lives can be successfully rescued from drugs, sexual abuse, prostitution…” For a complete version of Ronald Reagan’s inspiring remarks about House of Hope, please click here. The House of Hope program has also been recognized by former Senator Mel Martinez, Gov. Jeb Bush, President George W. Bush, and countless other dignitaries.
At a Billy Graham Crusade in 1951, Sara received Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. Several years ago, she was featured in Decision Magazine in an article http://premier-pharmacy.com entitled “Where Are They Now?” A deeply committed Christian, Sara has authored several books, including Breakthrough: How to Listen to the Lord, Let’s Weigh our Words, Unglued and Tattooed, and Unglued, Tattooed, and Renewed. Both Unglued and Tattooed and Unglued, Tattooed, and Renewed pertain to troubled teenagers, their stories, the major issues they face, and the House of Hope ministry. Among Sara’s most recent books are Advanced Triage Counseling, and Teens & Families in Crisis, Teens & Families in Crisis Workbook, and seven Teens & Families in Crisis supplementary booklets on major issues: Addictions; Rebellion; Cutting; Bullying; Sex Issues; Social Media & Relationships; Prevention.
Sara has been a guest on numerous local and national television broadcasts, including The 700 Club, Trinity Broadcasting Network, 100 Huntley Street, and scores of radio programs. She is the recipient of many awards such as the National Humanitarian Award from the Religious Alliance Against Pornography, the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International, the Florida Champion Award from Florida Family First, and the first Orlando Habitat for Humanity Award. She also was honored with the 2000 Governor’s Point of Light Award from Gov. Jeb Bush, the 2002 Women of Distinction Award from the Citrus Council of Girl Scouts, and the Orange County Bar Association 2011 Liberty Bell Award, among others.
Sara’s vision expanded in 2001 with National House of Hope which offers two annual Training Seminars, teaching individuals who share the same vision to establish Houses of Hope in their respective communities, based on the National model, House of Hope Orlando. The goal is to have Houses of Hope within driving distance of every major City across the nation and internationally, as well.
As the leader of both House of Hope Orlando and National House of Hope, Sara has helped to restore the lives of thousands of teenagers and to reconcile countless families.