Rooted Healing: The Hope Grows Approach by Lisa Story

W.E. Podcast was created by Redtree's CEO Meesha Gerhart in a effort to share Women Entrepreneurs stories with other Entrepreneurs. Read more about the podcast »

The podcast “Rooted Healing: The Hope Grows Approach” features Lisa Story, the founder of Hope Grows, a nonprofit based in Pittsburgh that focuses on providing support to caregivers through the healing power of nature. Lisa shares her personal journey, including the loss of her parents and how it led her to discover the therapeutic benefits of gardening and nature. This personal experience inspired her to create Hope Grows to help others experiencing similar challenges.

Lisa’s story includes moving from Pittsburgh to live out west with her husband before returning to Pittsburgh, where they started their family and eventually founded Hope Grows. The nonprofit was born out of Lisa’s realization of the unique challenges faced by caregivers and her belief in the healing power of nature. She recounts the initial struggle to establish the nonprofit, including defining its mission and securing funding, and how she leveraged her background in psychology and a newfound passion for horticultural therapy.

Hope Grows focuses on providing caregivers a respite from their responsibilities, offering them a chance to rejuvenate through nature-based activities and therapy. Lisa emphasizes the importance of a supportive community and how Hope Grows aims to fill the gap in support systems for caregivers. The organization has grown significantly since its inception, driven by the increasing recognition of caregivers’ needs and the therapeutic benefits of nature.

Lisa’s definition of success is deeply personal and rooted in her experiences. She highlights the importance of self-awareness, acknowledging mistakes, and the humility to learn from them. For Lisa, success also involves surrounding oneself with knowledgeable people who can contribute to one’s growth and mission.

In summary, “Rooted Healing: The Hope Grows Approach” sheds light on the challenges caregivers face and the therapeutic potential of nature. Lisa Story’s journey from personal loss to founding a nonprofit focused on caregiver support illustrates the power of passion and determination in making a positive impact on others’ lives.

About Lisa Story

Lisa Story, a nature enthusiast, is the founder of Hope Grows, a non-profit organization
Cultivating Caregiver Wellness. A Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified
Thanatologist, Lisa’s professional experience in grief & bereavement and the
connection to the natural world has led her to the path of the non-profit. She also holds
Certificates in Addictions Counseling and Horticultural therapy.

Working in hospice as a spiritual and bereavement counselor was extremely rewarding
and before leaving hospice to grow the mission of Hope Grows, she was asked how do
you handle being around so much death and dying. She replied, “some of the most
profound conversations are with people that are dying, with so many lessons to be
learned.” Working in hospice, Lisa saw firsthand the strain and stress of the family
caregiver and the need to cultivate caregiver wellness soon became the forefront of her

A blogger, author, part-time faculty member of Robert Morris University in psychology,
national and local speaker on the topic of caregiver respite and Jefferson award
recipient, Lisa believes that mindfulness, having a positive outlook, and connecting to
nature is therapeutic. Lisa is the 2022 UPMC Caregiver Champion recipient and is a
member of the Robert Morris University Psychology Advisory Council, the Allegheny
Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council and Senior Companion Advisory Council. Her
professional affiliations include the American Counseling Association and the
Association of Death Education and Counseling.

On a personal note, Lisa was born and raised in Westwood, a neighborhood in the West
End Region of Pittsburgh, Lisa considers Pittsburgh home after living out West in her
twenties. Lisa is a resident of Moon Township, PA, married 41 years, mother of four
wonderful children, and grandmother to 8 amazing grandchildren. She has traveled to
all 50 states and widely abroad and “living in Arizona, at the tail end of the Rocky
Mountains, thus far has been the most spiritually inspiring area in which she has had
the fortune of interacting and existing with nature.” Her ongoing project with her partner,
Charles, is creating a sustaining and lasting environment for caregivers at the location
of the Iris Respite House.

Connect with Lisa


About W.E. (Women Entrepreneurs) Podcast

W.E. is a podcast about and for women entrepreneurs. There are so many badass women worldwide killing it with their businesses! On W.E., our host Meesha Gerhart, found of Redtree, and guest Entrepreneurs sit down with these women and learn about how they got started, the challenges of starting and running a business, as well as the triumphs and unexpected joys.

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