Difference Makers: Rosalind Tompkins Spreads the Message of Hope

Posted at 7:32 AM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 07:56:09-04

(WTXL) - Are you someone who looks at a glass half empty or half full?

October's Difference Maker Rosalind Tompkins is on a mission to fill people with hope.

“Welcome to Mothers in Crisis Simone," words televised in a Public Service Announcement which aired into the late hours in 1995.

Juanita Thompson, at the time was a young mother of two. She recalls watching that PSA while deep in her drug use.

"When I was using, I had crack in one hand and alcohol in another and I'd seen a commercial on TV, as long as there's breath in your body as long as there's hope, I thought I got to find her one day, but I was still using at that time," said Juanita Thompson.

Thompson's daughter Porshala Watkins says she witnessed her mother struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism for 20 years.

"She was living a double life. She was going to work and then she'd go do what she doing, but she was always there," said Porshala Watkins.

One day, Juanita Thompson sought out the "woman" featured in the PSA who welcomed a mother like herself, with open arms, Rosalind Tompkins.

"First I came to Turning Point International Church, we connected there. I was looking for her," said Thompson.

She started attending the Mothers in Crisis support group, a grassroots organization started by Rosalind Tompkins, four years into her own recovery.

"I was addicted to drugs and alcohol for 12 years. Started using marijuana at age of 12 and it progressed to powder cocaine when I was 17," said Rosalind Tompkins.

Tompkins says 'Mothers in Crisis' began as a way to give women the tools they need to stay clean and sober through counseling and education.

"For a couple of decades we implemented lots of programs here in Tallahassee and the surrounding area,” said Tompkins.

Last checked, Tompkins say 'Mothers in Crisis' has been able to help more than 10,000 families, and she says that number has grown, worldwide

"We've been able to impact different women in the Congo, in Turkey, on the Syrian Border, Haiti, different places, South Africa spreading this message of hope," Tompkins said

She says being in the trenches prepared her to become what's called a "Hopeologist"

Through support groups and public advocacy, she and others are spreading the message of hope through various community activities and seminars.

Once a month, Rosalyn Tompkins and her Hope Squad go out to places like Cascades Park and ask people to fill out this survey. It asks, what is hope? What brings you hope? What takes away your hope? And what does hope feel like?"

"Once we find out where the gaps are and what people are thinking about hope, then we can look at what can we do to bring more hope into the schools, into the communities and help people to move forward in hope and not in despair… Next April, we'll be able to release the information we've been able to collect and then hopefully implement some initiatives to make a difference," said Tompkins.

A difference she says anyone has the ability to make.

"I've been through hell and coming out on the other side and being able to do the work through Mothers in Crisis is my purpose,” said Tompkins.

That's why Rosalind Tompkin's is October’s Difference Maker.

Since 2015, every Friday has been recognized in Leon County as Hope Universe Day, a day to spread hope to your family and community.

April every year is observed as the National Month of Hope.

Do you know a Difference Maker? You can nominate them by sending an email at