CARL ARMSTRONG: FROM RECOVERY TO COMMUNITY HEALING
It was New Year’s Eve 1997, and while some partied, Carl Armstrong celebrated by making a commitment to change his life for good. Having battled with drug and alcohol abuse, Carl decided that he was going to make a change and never look back. “I gave my life to God and told him I was going to completely do His will,” Carl shared. Twenty years later, Carl along with a group of other community church leaders formed the Heart 4 The Community Initiative (H4TCI).
Seeking to “consistently and effectively engage and inform the community through planned events, social media programs, and the proclamation of the Gospel”, The H4TCI became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2018 under the direction of President- Larry G. Brown, Sr. Director of Operations- Carl D. Armstrong, Director of Evangelism & Outreach- Sharon Fernandez and Director of Community Relations- Gary Holland.
H4TCI supports the community by both facilitating events for members of disadvantaged communities along with supporting events hosted by various local organizations. Since its founding, H4TCI has provided numerous services to the community such as resume writing and interviewing classes, financial literacy training, blood sugar & pressure testing, and clothing and food giveaways.
Carl stated that very little compares to the joy that comes from the work their organization does in the community, going on to share an experience that happened at one event where a woman who had recently arrived from Africa was in attendance. She came to the U.S. with only a small bag of personal belongings and was in need of basic supplies for her entire family. H4TCI quickly ascertained a pickup truck and worked to deliver her everything she needed to get her feet off the ground. The woman was grateful to receive enough items to give her family a nice start in America. This experience, along with many others, has reinforced Carl’s decision to found H4TCI and his personal mission of carrying out God’s will.
The members of H4TCI avoid the limelight, so to speak, by keeping a low profile about all the amazing things they are doing in Prince William County. Instead of basking in public accolades, H4TCI’s founders feel most satisfied when their vision is being fulfilled which states in part, “to be a well established, well connected, credible connection between the needs of the community and the resources that supply the help.”
Like most organizations, COVID-19 has caused H4TCI to have to pivot. Thankfully, H4TCI has quickly adjusted to offer virtual interviews to bring resources and information to the community, such as “A Real Talk 4 Women” which addressed addresses issue that affect women, and his own personal interview series entitled, “Carlsconversations” with the motto, “A Safe Place To Have Difficult Conversations, are two ways he is using the virtual platform to uplift the community through conversation.
Carl Armstrong is an example of faith, determination and humility. As Carl states himself, “I’m convinced that in this season, I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”
To stay up to date with H4TCI’s latest activities, you can follow them on their Facebook page here.