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Belonging & Purpose

Issue 19

Volunteers are the heart of Maine’s Recovery Community Centers

From Caribou to Bridgton, to Calais, and Boothbay, and Portland, and Bangor—in seventeen Maine communities, Recovery Community Centers are bringing hope and connection for individuals and families in recovery. The need for belonging is a fundamental human need. Recovery Community Centers meet this vital need by offering a place to connect and build positive relationships.

As important as our need to belong, so is our need for purpose. For those of us in recovery, recognizing that we can help others—even in the first days or hours of our journey—offers new-found purpose as we start out, and for many years to come.

One of the many things I love about recovery community centers is that volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. People in recovery volunteer as board members and leaders, giving countless hours to assuring the resources needed for the success of the mission.

They organize, educate, advocate and stand up against stigma and discrimination. In the day-to-day of a recovery community center, volunteers are the first people to greet newcomers at the front desk. Volunteers call to check in with people in recovery through the Telephone Recovery Support (TRS) program. They start meetings. They organize activities. They serve as recovery coaches. They plant gardens, and keep the building clean and welcoming. There is no end to the ways that volunteers create, sustain, and build recovering communities.

In recovery, we strengthen our own footing on the path of recovery when we serve others. Service creates connection and purpose, and reminds us that we’re not alone.

Showing up for others who depend upon us builds self-esteem. We need each other—our recovery depends on it.

All throughout Maine, at seventeen established and newly forming recovery community centers, people in recovery volunteer their time to serve others in recovery and champion the recovery movement. We asked several volunteers why they volunteer, and here’s what they said:

“Volunteering makes me…

realize that I’m not alone in my own struggle. There’s always somebody there. –Jordan G.

“As a recovery coach, talking with recoverees about their successes and struggles has helped me stay in recovery. –Jason C.

“For me, the best part of volunteering is being around other people in recovery. –Heather F.

Volunteering with others who have shared similar experiences creates community, magnifies hope, and provides vital support and opportunities for mutual healing. We find ourselves through our community of belonging and purpose.

To find a center near you and see how you can get involved, please visit portlandrecovery.org/mainerecovery-hub or call PRCC at 207-553-2575.

Leslie Clark
Leslie Clark
Leslie M. Clark, MSW serves as executive director of Portland Recovery Community Center (PRCC). Leslie speaks openly as a person in long-term recovery to help reduce stigma and advocate for resources and effective public policy.

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