I volunteer at CARES - Center for Addiction Recovery Education & Success and the parent organization of PIK - Prevention is Key -- both in Morris County, NJ. Lately I've become the "Cricut Lady" and usually spend a good part of my volunteering cutting vinyl on the center's Cricut machine and applying it to mugs, socks and coasters for our CARE packages!
Doing my small part :)
I also try to find other ways to contribute and the past couple of weekends afforded me the opportunity to lend a hand -- at last week's Hope One/CARES community reach-out with Narcan kits -- and the other day at the butterfly release recognizing the campaign of International Overdose Awareness Day.
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends, remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury due to a drug overdose.
I had a friend from my recovery house die of an overdose a few months ago so this was a special and poignant event for me. It was well attended by friends and families of the about 40-50 people who have died since PIK and CARES started doing this three years ago.
I watched as a Morris County NJ Sheriff and a PIK employee carried two boxes filled with about 50 butterflies to the center of our group and lift the tops to release. A few flew out but most remained inside and the two volunteers had to nudge and encourage the others who were either frightened or weak.
A sort of analogy in the making ...
None of us in addiction can recover alone. We need help -- a little nudge, a little encouragement
-- for those times we don't feel strong or when we're frightened.
Most of the butterflies eventually made it out of the boxes and flew to freedom and new lives.