3rd Annual Tree of Hope

By Matthew Rudd

For the third year in a row, The Southwest Council, Inc. hosted its annual Tree of Hope Coffeehouse Event. Tree of Hope celebrates freedom from addiction, encourages individuals who are in recovery, and commemorates those who have lost their lives to overdose. It also serves as an opportunity to renew the passion of those working in the field of addiction services during the holiday season. This year’s coffeehouse featured refreshments, live music, personal stories, and information about resources available to the community.

About 150 people attended the event including various members of the local government; Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb -McCrae, and Freeholder Director Joe Derella. Both Webb-McCrae and Derella spoke on the need for continued gatherings of this type. They also discussed the importance of incorporating the recovery community into efforts of prevention.

There was no fee to attend the coffeehouse; with voluntary donations collected to support recovery services in the area. Commemorative ornaments were available for individuals to write names of their loved ones either suffering from addiction, in recovery, or whose lives were lost to overdose.

We would like to extend a special thanks to the following organizations who participated and collaborated with The Southwest Council in the planning and implementation of the event: Hendricks House, Recovery Unplugged, Cumberland Recovery Support Services Task Force, Behavioral Crossroads, Recovery Centers of America, and especially Cum- berland County Community Church in Millville for providing the venue. Stay tuned in 20107 for info. about next year’s Tree of Hope!