Finding Joy in Making a Difference for Others

Cindy Grant

Cindy Grant serves as the Executive Director of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance, working with agencies throughout the county to combat the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. It’s a role that she came to after experiencing the kind of tragedy every parent fears the most.

“The birth of my son, Dan, was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Grant said. “Such pure and unconditional love is something I was blessed with for 19 years. I am ever so grateful for that experience and the time we had together.”

When her son’s life was cut tragically short by an opioid overdose during the early stages of the epidemic, Cindy placed her focus on a new mission. She decided she would work tirelessly to ensure that no other parent would have to endure the loss of a child to an overdose. It’s not an easy job, and Cindy often finds herself in a position of bringing comfort to others whose lives have been upended by drugs and alcohol.

“I strive to be a support to others who find themselves in this ‘club’ no one wants to belong to – grieving parents,” she said. “For me, this keeps my son’s spirit alive. Each time I am able to help or comfort someone else through the devastation of child loss, I look up and smile knowing this is for Dan.”

While Cindy finds great satisfaction in helping others through her work, it’s another adventure life had in store for her that continues to bring joy to her personal life. Many years ago, Cindy helped Mexican friends of her by assisting in the upbringing of one of their 14 children. Karen came to live with her as a 15-year-old, earning an American high school education in the process.

It’s a relationship that continues to this day.

“As I look at it now, later in life, it was one of the best things we ever did,” she said. “Karen stole my heart right from the beginning and has been a joy ever since. So, our tradition now that Karen has had triplets (plus one) is that they come to Tampa every August for time with GG and GG2 (Grandma and Grandpa Grant). I love this tradition!”

As for her own son, Dan, Cindy will continue to work in his memory for the betterment of others. A woman of great faith, she looks forward to a reunion in the life to come.

“I know that we will be together again in the next chapter.”

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