Arms of an Angel now linked with Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County...Easy & Safe to Donate.

MOUNT VERNON – Dave and Ellen Culbertson have a personal stake in the battle against drug abuse. In February 2009, following the accidental overdose death of their son Carl, the Culbertsons founded the Arms of an Angel Foundation to heighten awareness of the personal and family tragedy that surrounds substance abuse.

In September, 2016, the Culbertsons assured their personal crusade to educate would-be drug users, and to support victims and families of substance abuse, will go on indefinitely by transferring $50,000 of contributed and personal funds to endow to the Arms of an Angel Anti-Drug Fund at the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County. The gift qualifies for an immediate $25,000 match from the Ariel Corporation’s New Philanthropy Fund, and from the outset will generate more than $3,300 per year in perpetuity to support the Arms of an Angel mission.

According to the fund agreement drafted by the Culbertsons and the Community Foundation, endowment income will be used “solely for purposes associated with combating drug abuse in any location in the State of Ohio, through awareness, education, post-treatment counseling, youth drug-deterrent programs, and scholarship opportunities for recovering clean and sober addicts. The Fund may also benefit housing and treatment centers, transition homes, and programs designed to develop life skills enabling addicts to merge into productive society.”

Since its founding the Culbertsons’ Arms of an Angel Foundation has held old prescription roundups and other awareness events. Dave has spoken to more than 17,000 young people throughout Ohio, including those at middle schools, high schools and church youth groups. He also makes presentations to adult groups. Throughout the organization’s seven-year existence, the Culbertsons have never charged for their appearances, but have conducted fundraising activities, which now have contributed to the establishment of a permanent endowment at the Community Foundation.

Dave Culbertson explained, “To better aid in fundraising and the financial management and disbursement of funds, we are entrusting the Arms of an Angel Anti-Drug Fund to the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County, in memory of those lost to drug abuse and in honor of their families who have suffered.”

Culbertson added, “This will take the fund management and disbursement out of our hands, enabling us to do what we do best: fighting drug abuse and spreading awareness throughout the state.”

Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County Foundation Executive Director Sam Barone said, “ In partnering with our 72 year-old community foundation the Culbertsons have established strict guidelines for the distribution of fund income, and have stipulated that contributions made to the Arms of an Angel Anti-Drug Fund by anyone will never be diminished, but will be invested to generate a stream of income to combat drug abuse for generations to come.”

Those wishing to learn more about the work of the Arms of an Angel Foundation may visit Online contributions to the new fund may be made using the link provided there, or through the “Donate Now” link on the Community Foundation website

We can help you have a community rally in YOUR HOME TOWN. Let's kick heroin out of our communities!

MOUNT VERNON – Drugs, addictions and related crimes, costs and family strife is affecting all of our communities. It’s time to pull our heads out of the sand, face the problem head on and take our communities back.
With that in mind, Arms of an Angel Foundation held their first community-wide rally in their home town of Mount Vernon. We then hope to follow this same format and organize similar rallies in other communities throughout Ohio.
The format of the rally featured speakers from all walks of life, sharing their perspectives on this issue, including recovering addicts, family members, county coroner, local law enforcement, a representative from the Attorney General's office, plus members of SOLACE from Portsmouth, Ohio who shared how they are taking their community back. The speakers list was concluded by Dave Culbertson, with a portion of his Arms of an Angel Presentation. Dave has spoken to more than 17,000 young people in the past seven years, on the issues of peer pressure, feeling good about yourself and avoiding drug issues. Dave reaches young people through their minds, but more importantly through their hearts.
Part of the discussions covered what the average citizen can do to help, what to look for, who to call. Other topics touched upon home safety, disposal of old medications, and other related topics.

These events are for parents, grandparents, young people 5th grade and older, educators, healthcare professionals, community leaders, counselors, homeschoolers…all citizens. There is no admission charge. Donations accepted, c/o The Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County. If you'd like such an event in your community, please contact us and see if we can't help organize one for your town!
PICKERINGTON. TJ and Heidi Riggs, two brave parents, who share a similar story as our tragic story with Carl, have worked with the Ohio Attorney General's office to produce a powerful video that should be shared nationwide. It needs to be played in every high school and middle school class and needs to be part of every home school agenda. Help us share this story of the Riggs' loss of their lovely daughter Marin Riggs, at the age 20, to the evils of heroin. Please copy and paste this link and post, re-post, share, and watch with your family. It's wonderful what the Riggs are doing. May God bless them and the rest of our nation’s families with similar losses. Let’s all tell our stories, to bring about more awareness. Click the link below:

Hard to believe it's been seven years...

It's hard to believe it's been seven years since losing Carl and the beginning of our foundation.

Since that fateful day in February, '09, we have made presentations to 17,000+ middle schoolers and high schoolers and countless parents groups.

If we have prevented even one family from going through what we've been going through for the past seven years, then our efforts have been fruitful.

Thank you for your continued prayers, trust and support.

--Dave & Ellen Culbertson.

The Arms of an Angel Foundation, a non-profit Drug Awareness Outreach Program, was founded in February 2009 by Dave and Ellen Culbertson and family after a tragic, accidental heroin overdose of their son, Carl Culbertson, who fought addiction on and off for eight years.

The goal of the foundation is to reach out to young people and adults, spreading education and awareness of the heroin and opiate epidemic and other timely drug issues... with a special emphasis on Small Town America, where the problem is growing exponentially.This is now the lifelong ministry of the Culbertson family.

Different than many drug presentations, our presentation is more along the lines of giving young people the inner strength to help fight negative peer pressures, related to drugs, as well as everyday life struggles. The stakes are so high these days and young people are bombarded from all angles with negative and mixed messages...the need for inner strength and training in using POSITIVE peer pressures is more important than ever.

Dave's presentation reaches their minds, as well as tugging at their hearts. Adult presentations also available. And for public schools, there is a 100% secular version, which helps get us in the door.

"If we can help prevent other families from going through what we went through, and are still going through, during Carl's addictions, death, and our grieving process, then Carl's short life will have more meaning," commented Dave Culbertson.

There is no charge for the presentions, however, donations to at least cover travel expense is appreciated.

The Past Seven Years...

It took a while after Carl’s death to get the foundation up and running. We knew right from the start that we wanted to reach out to young people and parents alike, especially in Small Town America. We developed a presentation that not only reaches their minds, but touches their hearts. We felt that if we could reach some young people and help prevent families from going through what we’ve been through (and are still going through), then Carl’s short life will have had some purpose.

--Dave has spoken to 17,000+ young people in the first seven years, with hopes of now reaching more than 10,000 each and every year.
--We have developed and operated several Old Prescription Roundups, helping get hundreds of pounds of unused pills out of the medicine cabinets and therefore off the streets.
--Our website is now fully operational and (somewhat) regularly updated.
--We have been recognized for our efforts and passion. We have members on a few anti-drug task forces, so far: The Governor’s Opiate Task Force, Attorney General’s Drug Advisory Committee, Scioto County’s Task Force, and the local, Knox County Substance Abuse Advisory Council. We also support and work with a neighboring county’s association, Together We Hurt, Together We Heal, in Bucyrus.
--Dave and our story was featured in an Ohio Department of Health video about Naloxone.


--Having been discovered recently by several members of Governor Kasich’s Cabinet, it appears more doors are opening for us to be able to reach more people…no telling where this will lead, but the Opiate Epidemic in Ohio is a top priority of the Governor.

--In addition to reaching the young through educational and inspirational presentations, we’d like to help recovering drug users merge back into productive society. We hope to develop a plan that includes housing, but also vocational & life-skills training. Without that, addicts have trouble adapting and tend to fall back into their old ways.


--We'd like to start transition homes to where addicts have a place to go, following rehab...thus keeping them away from their dealers and "triggers", giving them a fair chance at merging back into productive society. The lack of good transition homes, or places to go after rehab is one of the main reasons for the rehab revolving door.


Again, thank you for your interest. Please keep our ministry in mind should you ever come in contact with someone who might want to support our cause. Also, if you want Dave to come speak to your school, your church, your civic group, or your entire community in an open forum, feel free to contact us. While there is no charge, a contribution to at least cover travel expenses would be appreciated.

--The Culbertson Family
There are lots of ways you can help Arms of An Angel!

DONATE Support AOAAF with your financial contribution. Learn more.

WEAR Purchase an Arms of An Angel bracelet to show your support! Learn more.

PRAY Please keep us in your prayers as we grow this outreach program. Learn more.

LISTEN Dave would love to speak with your group, classroom, or church. Learn more.

SHARE Become our Facebook friend and encourage your other friends to as well! Learn more.

How You Can Help

Arms of Angel Presentation Available on DVD

A recent presentation by Dave at a middle school in Bedford Heights (suburb of Cleveland) is now available. It is a presentation dealing with Inner Strength and Toughness to fight Peer Pressures that young people face in today's world, many times leading to drug and alcohol use. It is most age appropriate for fifth grade and up, and even parents and grandparents should find it educational and motivational. The video is available for a minimum $10 donation, which includes shipping and handling. It is available for free to Superintendents, Principals, Teachers and Youth Pastors. To order, email us at: or drop us a note, with payment, to Arms of An Angel Foundation, PO Box 1091, Mount Vernon, OH 43050. Be sure to mention in the letter or on the check that you want a video (or how many).

Helpful Links