SNAP Fitness Has GRIT Residents’ Back
Dave Garvey Donates Backpacks so Persons in Recovery Are Ready for School

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Dave Garvey, owner of SNAP Fitness in Hampden and Holyoke, stepped up to help people who have chosen to live their lives in recovery by donating new back packs to MHA so residents of MHA’s GRIT Residential Rehabilitation Services programs are ready to return to school.

“September is the start of a new school year and I also learned that it’s National Recovery Month,” said Garvey. “When I saw MHA’s Facebook post about the need for backpacks so people in their GRIT program would be equipped to return to school, I jumped at the opportunity to help. Meaning and purpose can be found through education, and that’s just the kind of emphasis that people in recovery need to move forward productively in their lives. I encourage my friends, customers and neighbors to consider donating new back packs to MHA to help folks in GRIT add a good experience in school to the hard work of recovery.”

“MHA is thrilled to receive this donation from Dave, and so quickly after we posted the need on our Facebook page,” said Kimberley A. Lee, VP Resource Development & Branding for MHA. “At MHA, we support, educate and serve people who have made the choice to put addiction and associated mental health challenges behind them and move forward in recovery. These people said, ‘I’m not going to live my life that way anymore. I’m ready to break this addiction. I’m willing to accept help and to learn a new way. I will find something else to give my life meaning and purpose.’ Dave’s donation will help five of the people we serve through GRIT to do just that. Importantly, when a GRIT resident receives a brand new back pack, it reinforces two powerful concepts for recovery: (1) their education is important, and (2) their community has their back.”

MHA continues to seek donations of new, medium size back packs for adult learners in recovery who are returning to school. This is an ideal community project for a student group, a church or social group, or for a drive at your workplace. In addition to backpacks, MHA would be glad for donations of school supplies including notebooks, pens and pencils, and gift cards to stores that sell school and office supplies.

Persons or organizations wishing to donate one or more new, medium size back packs for GRIT residents can drop them off at MHA’s main office at 995 Worthington in Springfield. They can also reach out to Kim Lee at and she will arrange to have the donations picked up.

Pictured L to R: Jackie Evans, Director of Marketing/Sales and Fitness, SNAP Fitness; Kimberley Lee, Vice President Resource Development and Branding, MHA.

About MHA:
What We Do
MHA (Mental Health Association) helps people live their best life. We provide access to therapies for emotional health and wellness; services for substance use recovery, developmental disabilities and acquired brain injury; services for housing and residential programming, and more. With respect, integrity and compassion, MHA provides each individual served through person-driven programming to foster independence, community engagement, wellness and recovery.

Why We Matter
The youth, adults, seniors and families we serve want the same things in life as anyone: to have friends, work, go to school, have meaningful relationships, express themselves (and be heard), and be accepted in their community for who they are. With our help and resources from a caring community, people can live their potential, in their community, every day.

How We Think
Starting in the 1960s, MHA’s groundbreaking efforts and advocacy helped to transition people away from institutional living to a life in our community. This became a model for the deinstitutionalization movement. Today, our leadership continues to advance awareness of mental health conditions and needs at local, regional and national levels. We drive compassionate care for those challenged by mental health, developmental disabilities, substance use, homelessness, acquired brain injury and more.