You’ve Just Gotta Have “Faith”

Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon


   With her signature red shoes, many can hear the pitter-patter of Faith Fountain’s feet hitting the pavement around Central Park early in the morning.

   Since September is Addiction and Recovery Awareness month, Miss Ashland’s Faith Fountain has decided to do something special for those who are struggling with addiction or those who have already lost their battle with addiction, by running around Central Park every day in honor or memory of someone who is battling an addiction to opioids.

   “I have always wanted to advocate for people who are in addiction and for people who are in recovery,” Fountain said early Saturday morning as she prepared for her run. “I work with people who are in recovery and in addiction and I see their struggles every day.”

   She explained that she sees both the good and the bad and it made her “want to do something for them.”    

   Fountain said she came up with the idea when she asked her co-worker, “Would it be dumb if I started running for people?” Her co-worker told her that it was a great idea and “Run for Recovery” was born. She came up with #R4R, but she soon realized that it’s not limited to those in recovery and in addiction. It is also for people who have lost family and friends to addiction.

   She started running on Sept. 1 with the hope of advocating for everyone. Fountain said that when she started running, people were talking about “how proud they are of me” but that she is “just doing it for people that are in addiction.” She added that “I’m not doing this for myself.” She wants people to “know and be aware that whatever passion that you have, you can do it. It doesn’t have to be something big.” She said that “whatever you believe in, do it.”

   Every morning around 7:15 a.m., Fountain runs a mile and she dedicates that mile to those people who are in recovery, who are in active addiction, or who have lost a loved one. She said that people would tell her that they have lost a family member to addiction, and then every day, she dedicates that mile to one of those people. She explained that people had told her their stories, and she thanks them for sharing.

   Fountain feels that people who have been lost to drugs are not just numbers to be included in making Boyd County high on the list in overdose deaths; they were people. She wants “to remember that person and to dedicate that time that it takes her to run that mile” because it means so much to the person that lost their loved one.

   Fountain said that is “what makes me happy and makes me smile. I know that I’m changing lives or touching people’s hearts by doing this every morning.” Fountain explained that sometimes she struggles with the “I gotta get up at 7:00 in the morning,” but she continues to do it because she genuinely cares.

   Fountain would love for others to join her in the mornings to run or walk around Central Park with her. She starts each morning at the library about 7:15 a.m., and would “love for people to help me advocate for what’s important.” If she does an evening run, she posts the time on her Facebook page and on the Build Ashland Facebook page so others will know where to find her and what time to meet.

   Each morning, Fountain goes live on her personal Facebook page, telling people what she is doing, and asking people if they have anyone in addiction that they would like to pray for. She says a prayer and then dedicates that mile to whoever was listed in the Livestream. She will also add prayers for names that are sent to her in messages as well.

   After completing her loop around Central Park, she goes back on Facebook Live and talks about how awesome the run was. If she has anyone with her, she takes a picture with them and posts it on Facebook. She also posts the names of everyone that she prayed for but she uses first names only for privacy.

   Fountain stated, “I believe in those people that are in recovery. I believe in those people that are in addiction. I believe that they can recover.” She wants everyone to know that “it is important to follow your dreams” and to “try to speak for those people.”

   She said that she runs because that “running is something that I can do. I can’t make people recover, but I can run for them.”

   Fountain said that “I am a world changer, and if this is how I can advocate and change someone’s life, then this is how I want to do it.”