“This healing has been so valuable – I feel like I achieved things,” Alice shared after receiving four certificates during the School for Recovery Awards celebration this week. Alice and 18 other members were recognized for completing classes such as Trauma Recovery, Addiction Recovery, Cooking Skills, Mindfulness, and Feeling’s Check-In.
The School for Recovery program has provided members the opportunity to address their challenges in a loving, supportive environment. “Mindfulness showed me how to relax myself, helping me have control over my anxiety,” Diana explained. Each class offers members the opportunity to address a different challenge or learn a new skill. Recovery is a journey, not a final destination, and these classes provide a path towards self-discovery and healing.
After each 8-week session we celebrate members’ successes with a certificate, gift card, and RCSJ travel mug. For many members this is the first time in their adult life they are being recognized for their achievements. For some, this is the first time they are completing a class. It is a great accomplishment to begin something and commit for 8 consecutive weeks. When members are handed their certificate their faces light up and a smile stretches from ear-to-ear. They are so proud and so grateful to have this piece of paper in their hand validating their commitment to learning.
This last awards ceremony was particularly special. After the last certificate was handed out, the last photo snapped, Diana, Alice, and Shirlynn walked to the front of the room with white roses in hand. Each took their turn recognizing the commitment and dedication of each volunteer and staff member to make Recovery Cafe a safe, supportive, and loving space. They passed out the roses with a hug as they made their way across the room.
Other members seized the moment and stood up declaring admiration and love for everyone in the room – members, volunteers, and staff. It was a beautiful thing to witness. All of our classes are instructed by volunteers who truly see our members for the beautiful, multifaceted people that they are and the members feel that deeply.
“This was amazing – I will never forget it,” Marleny declared before she left for the day. It is in these moments we all recognize the power of this place. The unconditional support we all receive the moment we walk in the door.