A Family’s Hope

Published 2023

Living in a relatively small town, there are many ties that bind us together with our neighbors. It may be a love of gardening or enthusiasm for a certain sports team. However, one unfortunate tie is that of drug and alcohol addiction. While some are impacted more than others, substance abuse is pervasive and touches nearly every family in one way or another.

The Kevin and Mindy Wirkus family is no exception. Kevin and Mindy and their three children, Kayla, Tanner, and Cole know first-hand the havoc of alcohol abuse.

“Growing up, there wasn’t a day that my dad didn’t drink,” said Kevin. “As a result, not only did he die of complications from his addiction, but so have two of my brothers.”

After an eye-opening experience thirty-two years ago, Kevin has not had a drop of alcohol since. Unfortunately, both Kevin and Mindy have immediate family members and close friends who struggle with addiction.  

“Addiction has taken us down so many roads that we didn’t want to go down; however, we have always been so impressed with the individuals working to help our loved ones in active addiction,” said Mindy. “The counselors and law enforcement officers that we have encountered not only support our family member in crisis, but they always come up to Kevin and me and ask how they can support us through this as well. They are just so impressive and that is why we created the scholarship.”

The Kevin and Mindy Wirkus Scholarship was established for students studying to be Drug/Alcohol Counselors, Law Enforcement Officers, or Youth Pastors.

“We wanted to make a difference for those who have the passion to make a difference in the lives of people struggling with addiction,” shared Mindy.

Each year, the Wirkus family reviews the scholarship applications together. Like most families, they may not always come to a consensus so the majority rules. They see it as a time to discuss and reflect.

“It’s a nice time for us to come together as a family,” said Kevin. “Addiction’s power is just unreal, but it is good to see there are young people out there who are willing to help.”

The family is now looking to expand their support, potentially creating a scholarship for those struggling with addiction to attend treatment. 

“We believe God puts people in our path when we need them most,” said Mindy. “Time and time again we have found this to be true during our family’s struggles. Our hope is this scholarship can ease the way for students who are so willing to walk on the journey with families impacted by addiction.”

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