Taking ActionPeople Taking Action


Longtime volunteer at Bethany Baptist Church saves lives through substance abuse program

Posted at 7:26 PM, Apr 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-30 19:26:50-04

Chesapeake, Va. – NewsChannel 3 took action to recognize a local church volunteer who is working hard to change lives across Hampton Roads.

A fellow church member sent us an email about 84-year-old Hortense Clary, so we tracked her down to give her a People Taking Action Award.

We were trying to catch Hortense Clary in action at Bethany Baptist Church in Chesapeake.

Ms. Clary, as she's known, is the coordinator of a substance abuse program at the church. They were having one of their regular meetings when we went to surprise Clary.

We got permission to be here, but Ms. Clary didn't know anything about our visit.

At first, she was a little reluctant to step forward.

For 22 years, Ms. Clary has helped run the faith-based substance abuse program. They meet three times a week and it includes one-on-one counseling.

Tammy Givens was hooked on crack and alcohol before meeting Ms. Clary.

“She motivates us and lets us know we can be different than what our lives have been, she comes to us, she stays on us, she makes sure that we walk the right walk,” says Givens.

Givens has been clean nearly six years now thanks to Ms. Clary who shows tough love.

“She can give us that look and they know that she means business. She always means business. She's the mother away from home,” says Givens.

This is why we took action to recognize Ms. Clary.

“I'm stunned I don't deserve it,” said Ms. Clary as we presented her with the award.

“Thanks to all of you that you give me something to do. I made a vow to God, and I have to keep that vow to God that I will help anyone I can on drugs,” declared Clary.