As anyone familiar with recovery knows, an attitude of altruism, giving back and helping others is often key to sustainable recovery. Therefore, as a treatment provider, we believe that while patients are here receiving treatment in order to help themselves, we can also offer an outlet for them to begin to learn how to help others.
Volunteering Helps our Patients Regain/Gain Self Esteem
During a patient’s treatment experience at MARC their time is often spent focused on their own personal clinical work and journey. We truly believe as a program how important it is to balance that out with outside volunteering opportunities. Whether it be helping those less fortunate economically, those struggling with health issues, or hearing other people’s stories of struggling with addiction and finding recovery, it allows the patients to experience clarity of their own situation, gratitude for where they are, and hope for the future. This also allows them to experience what it’s like to impact another person’s life in a positive and selfless way. By volunteering in the local community while in treatment, it teaches them the value of giving back and working toward a common goal of helping your ‘neighbor’. In addition, it is also a good way to help them gain/regain self-esteem through esteemable acts, as well as to develop more comprehensive life skills. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center has developed relationships and works with local organizations such as The Maryland Food Bank, Moveable Feast, Happy Helpers Distribution, the Baltimore Humane Society, Baltimore Tree Trust, and many more in order to provide these opportunities to patients. It is our hope that by creating these opportunities, it will help enable our patients to continue their path of recovery and to help them continue to remain happy, healthy and above everything, grateful.
Here are three examples of patient volunteering events, including the organization, their mission and how the patients learned to be helpful and give back while here at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center:
Baltimore Tree Trust – October 6th, 2018
Organization’s Mission: “At Baltimore Tree Trust, we work to restore our city’s urban forests—green spaces and corridors that provide clean air, encourage community engagement, and nourish an appreciation for Baltimore’s environmental longevity. We plant and care for our city’s trees because of their lasting positive effects on neighborhoods citywide.”
– Patients were able to spend the morning helping to plant trees primarily in areas where asphalt and concrete are overheating neighborhoods. Throughout the morning patients worked on planting six separate trees in parks, as well as throughout the sidewalks in the Baltimore neighborhood. Patients also worked to clean up the neighborhoods by cleaning up trash and pulling weeds.
Thanksgiving for the Homeless with B & Dee – November 17th, 2018
“Organization’s Mission: To provide help and resources to those experiencing poverty and homelessness in Baltimore City. To inspire others to give back to the community.”
– During the “Thanksgiving for the Homeless event,” patients were tasked with handing out essential items like clothing, shoes, blankets and toiletries to attendees prior to Thanksgiving lunch being served. Following this, our patients were able to serve Thanksgiving lunch to over 200 locals who did not have a home to go to during the holidays.
Moveable Feast – January 26th, 2019
Organization’s Mission: “Moveable Feast provides nutritious foods and other services in order to preserve quality of life for people with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening conditions. Vision: FEED people FIGHT disease FOSTER hope Values The staff and volunteers of Moveable Feast value compassion in the pursuit of their responsibilities to the human community. They aspire to maintain the highest level of quality and integrity throughout their services and products and believe that all people deserve to live in an atmosphere of hope.”
– When we arrived to “Moveable Feast,” the patients were split into two groups. One group went into the packaging room where meals are portioned out and wrapped to send out to clients. This group was able to package over 2,000 meals to be sent out. The second group of patients was busy prepping the food that would later be cooked and portioned out. Patients were responsible for prepping items like; salmon, potatoes, stew meat, breakfast items, and more to be able to fill over 800 meals.
We believe it is by learning selfless acts, kindness and helping others that our patients give so that they may receive. It allows them to understand the value of being of service. It allows them to form and learn the power of connections. It aids in an attitude of gratitude. It allows them to be good neighbors and members of their local community. It is our hope that, as they receive the necessary clinical services to aid them in overcoming their addiction, they will also learn much in the way of spiritual value and connectedness through these volunteer opportunities and acts of giving and that they will then take that with them and continue it as they leave us and continue their journey of recovery.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or dual diagnosis issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our website at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.