September is National Recovery Month and the women of Our Hope have had a great time this month participating in events to raise awareness about recovery.
Michigan Celebrate Recovery Walk & Rally
On Tuesday, September 13, Our Hope clients and staff members took a bus trip to Lansing and participated in the Celebrate Recovery Walk and Rally at the capital. The women joined people from all over the state in marching to the capital and listening to speakers. People held signs with statements like “Treatment is Effective,” “Prevention Works,” and “People Recover.” The Celebrate Recovery Walk and Rally commemorates the successes of those recovering from alcoholism and other addictions. Afterward, one client remarked, “The march was cool. I felt like we were a presence. I've never been part of something like that- trying to make a change towards something good. The experiences I'm having here, I'm never going to forget.” Another client stated, “I found the rally stimulating and it is wonderful to know how loud our voices are. More importantly, that we will not go quietly to the dark. We are no shrinking violets. Our voices will and are being heard.” More pictures from the walk and rally can be viewed on flickr and here.
Organized by Network 180, Recovery Palooza is an event that seeks to honor those who work each day to live in recovery, to offer information to help meet their needs and to demonstrate the encouragement and appreciation of the entire community. On Thursday, September 15, Our Hope clients and staff participated in the Third Annual Recovery Palooza Dry Walk/Run at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. Resident Supervisor Jennifer Arnold described the experience, saying, “It was a great occasion to network, exercise and have some fun in recovery! This opportunity to experience recreation without the use of mind altering substances exceeded many expectations. Participants were invited to write on giant banners to commemorate the event and honor those affected by the disease of addiction or those who helped in recovery. The applause and support at the finish line was faithful and a nurturing experience. Overall it was a favorable experience that provided an opportunity to grow in mind, body and soul!"
On Saturday, September 17, clients participated in the Recovery Palooza celebration at John Ball Park. The free celebration featured live music, food, and family activities. Our Hope had an information booth at the celebration and clients did face painting for attendees. Several of the women reported a sense of satisfaction in volunteering their time and having the opportunity to bring so much happiness to others simply through offering face painting.
On Monday, September 19 clients attended the Kent County Prevention Coalition's Family Day event at John Ball Park, which included dinner, live entertainment, family-friendly activities, and a resource fair. According to organizers, each September, Family Day events are held in major cities across the country as part of the national Family Day movement. Family Day encourages parents to have family meals that foster regular dialogue and engagement with their children/teens regarding the joys and pressures they face daily. The goal of this year‘s event, Family Day: Table Talk Made Easy was to break down barriers that prevent open and honest dialogue. This is an important topic for mothers in recovery who struggle with finding the right way to talk about their own addiction and to talk with their children about prevention.
The staff at Our Hope is pleased to have been able to share these positive, empowering experiences with the women we serve. It is wonderful to watch them use their strengths and find their voices in recovery.