A podcast created by Brianna’s Hope is growing.

The organization is planning to increase production for “Faith In Your Recovery,” a program aimed at increasing addiction awareness. Jay County Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) Advisory Committee agreed Wednesday to recommend the county give $18,000 to Brianna’s Hope to help with its efforts.

A Better Life – Brianna’s Hope, a support and recovery movement for those struggling with substance abuse, started as a small gathering in November 2014. Since then, the organization has grown to 48 chapters across Indiana, Ohio and Virginia.

Randy Davis, founder and executive director of Brianna’s Hope, approached Jay County Commissioners in April with a request for $15,000. Davis explained the organization’s podcast has increased substantially, having at least 27,500 listeners since it started in October. (That figure doesn’t include listeners tuning in to its regular Sunday airing on WPGW.)

“It’s given folks who won’t attend a meeting an opportunity to understand and get a better idea of those folks who do struggle and go through all of it,” said Davis.

Last week, he noted, he recorded 19 podcasts at the Fire Department Instructors Conference International conference at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. He’s interviewed guests from more than 40 nations for the podcast since it launched in October.

“We’re at a point to where, within our office, within our skills, we can no longer meet the needs that are there,” he said.

Plans are to create a marketing position for the podcast. The cost for a year’s production comes out to about $30,000, Davis noted. The Portland Foundation is contributing about $12,000 of that amount. He requested the county provide $15,000.

Travis Richards of Jay County Development Corporation noted the county in previous years allotted $10,000 in EDIT funds to the organization in 2018. (All recommendations made by the advisory committee are sent to county officials for approval.)

Advisory committee member and commissioner Rex Journay pointed out that Davis’ request for $15,000 still leaves the organization $3,000 short. Ray Newton of the advisory committee asked if it could recommend the county give Brianna’s Hope the full amount requested along with an additional $3,000.

“This is a growing problem, it’s not going away,” said Newton of addiction.

Advisory committee member and commissioner Chad Aker also vocally supported giving the organization $18,000. The committee then decided to forward the recommendation to county officials.