Southwest Council to Celebrate Recovery Community at Tree of Hope

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There’s never a shortage of holiday parties, but the Southwest Council is making sure that one is geared directly for supporting those in recovery. There’s never a shortage of holiday parties, but the Southwest Council is making sure that one is geared directly for supporting those in recovery.

There’s never a shortage of holiday parties, but the Southwest Council is making sure that one is geared directly for supporting those in recovery.

“The idea of addiction is really isolating," said Matthew Rudd, director of coalitions and communications at the Southwest Council. "So, when people make it into recovery there’s a really unique and tight bond that people share.” 

Four years ago the nonprofit created the Tree of Hope event to bring people in recovery together.

This is a group of people that have made it and there is hope for recovery.

“This recovery community is a good network for those that may be looking for help," said Rudd. "But also because it is so isolated we want to bolster that community and say, 'Hey, this is a group of people that have made it and there is hope for recovery.'"

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Last year, the Tree of Hope format was changed to be more like a coffeehouse.

“We recognize that the recovery community really bonds over commonality of their story," said Rudd. "Our thought was: How can we really maximize that? And the idea of using music to do [that] really seems to have taken off in our community.” 

About 150 people came out for last year's event, so for this year’s Tree of Hope — at the Cumberland County Community Church — the Southwest Council is expecting a good crowd.

“We have three different artists that will be playing [live and] really good music,” said Rudd.

The event will have food and a time set aside to honor several individuals, including 14 newly trained recovery coaches.

“We also want to honor those that we’ve lost because they’re people, and we want to recognize the grief that we share together in unity," said Rudd. "But also then follow that up with the idea that recovery is possible.” 

Doors will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cumberland County Community Church for the 4th Annual Tree of Hope. 

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