Mahala’s Hope Founder Sandy Hardie

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Sandy Hardie of Mahala's Hope is driven to make the world a better place.  She is illuminating...


Sandy Hardie

Sandy Hardie grew up near the beautiful Apostle Islands.  She experienced significant trauma.  She overcame domestic abuse and substance abuse.  Sandy moved to Fond du Lac as a young single mother of three.  Equipped with boundless energy and vision, she started out as a substance abuse counselor at St. Agnes Hospital.  Sandy has worked in substance abuse recovery ever since.  A proud achievement of her career is the founding of Mahala’s Hope at Reilly’s Ranch of Recovery.  At Mahala’s Hope, Sandy serves as the Executive Director.  In addition to a job she loves, Sandy treasures time with her family.  She feels truly at peace in nature, on her farm, and especially around horses. 

Sandy has an infectious laugh and does not take herself too seriously.  Sandy leads with humor and with persistence.  It took her over 12 years to bring the idea of Mahala’s Hope to fruition.  She never gave up on her dream, as she went from meeting to meeting, to promote her vision.  Sandy’s approach to addiction recovery is holistic and tailored to the needs of each woman.  Her vision has taken shape in trauma-responsive services including horse therapy, health programs and counseling.  Leading these programs, Sandy gives the women a new lease on life.  Sandy is grateful for her staff and volunteers.  She admires the courage of the women in the program. 

Helping other women is Sandy’s calling.  Drawing on her own experience, Sandy is uniquely qualified to help other women overcome trauma and substance abuse.  She thrives giving them hope.  She is much more than a counselor; she is their teacher, mentor, and role-model.  Sandy wishes she had more time to advocate for other worthy causes, such as women in prisons and human trafficking.  Having lost a grandson to gun-violence, Sandy wishes she could do more to stop further violence.   Sandy encourages everyone to stop worrying about the little things.  She wants everyone to watch more sunsets and sunrises.  She hopes that everyone will judge less and be more kind.


- Written by Juliane Troicki of Illuminating Project

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