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Shining A Light In Our Community – A Forever Recovery Sponsors the 2015 International Festival of Lights

Helping patients find the rewards of giving to others, and helping some local residents at the same time, A Forever Recovery sponsored the 2015 International Festival of Lights in Battle Creek, MI

For a person struggling in the depths of addiction, life can feel like a pretty lonely place. As they isolate themselves from others, and use drugs or alcohol to mask their emotions, they find it more and more difficult to make strong personal connections, and healthy functioning relationships seem impossible to achieve.

In recovery from addiction, as we transition from a dimmer view of the world around us, and the people in it, to a more positive understanding of ourselves and others, we find that we must relearn how to gain and to give trust and how to show care and compassion. We must discover the ability to repair those bonds that had been damaged by substance abuse and to form new relationships that support us in our sobriety.

One of the many goals of the treatment program at A Forever Recovery is to help our patients find joy in their lives, and find a sense of appreciation for the world and the people that surround us. Overcoming addiction is just a part of the rehabilitation process. True recovery from our compulsive behaviors comes when we understand our connection to others and the role we play in their lives, and our choices reflect consideration for them and their happiness.

Giving back to the community that we call home, and the people that we call friends and neighbors, is one way that we help our patients to see the rewards that can be found in being helpful to one another. From November 20th to December 31st, 2015, A Forever Recovery participated as sponsor for the 2015 International Festival of Lights in Battle Creek, MI, where our treatment facility is located. This six-week festival brings with it colorful, larger-than-life light displays all through downtown, with plenty of room for kids to run around in. There are also horse-drawn wagon rides around the light displays, musical performances, a live nativity scene, and many more attractions for people of all ages.

Patients and staff members from our recovery center headed out to the festival to meet some of the local residents and families who had lined up to wait for their turn to take a wagon ride, bringing gifts for the kids and gift cards for their parents. The evening was brisk, but smiling faces and children’s laughter filled the air, along with the aroma of hot cocoa from a local coffee shop. Delighted, the kids waved their toys in the air and the parents chatted with the visitors from AFR, including the Assistant Clinical Director Joseph Guajardo.

The idea behind this visit to the wagon ride line was to help those patients see the joy that they can help to bring to others in this world, even by simply volunteering a little of their time to help out. “We help a lot of people,” Joseph said. “We were able to give some toys and gift cards to people that can actually use the help. And that‘s what A Forever Recovery does, we give and we help.” If we all work a little each day toward making this world a better place than it was yesterday, we could all enjoy much brighter days in the future.

In an effort to demonstrate these principles in our own lives, A Forever Recovery pledged a donation grant match to Post Community Credit Union in a fundraiser to benefit the Battle Creek Police Department K9 Unit. With a donation of $5,000 to match the money raised by the credit union’s customers as well as local residents, the total of $10,000 was given to the BCPD to help cover the cost of a new drug detection dog to replace the current one which will retire early in 2016.

“A Forever Recovery does our best to give back to the community,” Joseph continued. “We love the Battle Creek Police Department. They’re helping fight against addiction and keeping drugs off of the street, and what better way for A Forever Recovery to contribute to the community?”

The price tag for these highly specialized dogs and the equipment needed to house and protect them can be quite hefty, running around $12,500. The money donated by A Forever Recovery and raised by Post cover most of the cost, helping to ease a little of the burden on local taxpayers. Pamela Anderson, Executive Director of AFR, presented a check to representatives of Post Community Credit Union at the Festival of Lights shortly before a barbershop musical performance.

At A Forever Recovery, we understand the value of helping others and striving to better our lives through bettering the lives of others. We also realize the importance of practicing the principles and ideas that we help our patients to find, and showing them the truth in that old saying “the more we give, the more we receive”. Through community outreach, charitable donations, and academic scholarships, among other efforts, we hope to be a part of the light that guides our world toward a more positive and productive future.

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