Last year I provided a holiday gift guide for the people in your life who are sober. This year I wanted to get a list together of organizations who need your help and your money. When we reach the end of year it’s a good time to think about what organizations’ missions mean a lot to us and how we can give back to their causes. There’s nothing simpler than sending a $5 or $10 donation that takes no longer than 30 seconds. Here is a short list of organizations that are doing great things. If you’re looking to send a holiday gift, consider a donation to these groups.
Harm reduction has recently come to the forefront of the addiction issues in our country. With the amount of people dying each day from opioids, harm reduction is more important now than ever. Harm reduction is a set of strategic principles and ideas that reduce the negative consequences and stigma associated with drug use. These strategies include addressing conditions of use and meeting drug users where they’re at, ultimately improving their chances of and opportunities to, live a healthier life and enter recovery.
The Harm Reduction Coalition takes part in overdose prevention and advocacy, policy work with the rights of the drug user in mind, and assisting and educating community-based organizations on harm reduction.
2. The Phoenix
The Phoenix is a sober active community that offers free membership to anyone with at least 48 hours of sobriety. Over the last several years, The Phoenix has become a movement and a sustainable recovery pathway for many individuals seeking a new way of life. They aim to shatter the stigma of addiction and recovery by helping their members create a new sober identity through fitness and community. Help people with substance use disorders rise from the ashes and donate today.
The Recovery Research Institute is an arm of Massachusetts General Hospital and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. They understand the urgency of scientific research to improve the effectiveness of addiction treatment and recovery efforts. Their team of scientists enhance recovery through science and their findings are used to change the way addiction is talked about and treated. Their work is imperative for all of us in the recovery community. Help them pave the way for a recovery-ready world and donate.
Luis Garcia is a local hero making a big impact here in Florida. He is a retired firefighter/paramedic who invested his own retirement money to buy doses of Narcan and educate the public on its use while handing out free doses. He has made such a huge impact he was selected as GoFundMe’s Hero for the month of November. He hosts Narcan education classes and giveaways around the state of Florida. He plans on expanding his movement and traveling around the U.S. to places where Narcan is not as easily accessible. Garcia says, “NOBODY chooses a life of pain, anguish and suffering. EVERY life is worth saving...With Narcan, fellow human beings can once again become productive members of society......... No matter how long it takes to achieve sobriety. Dead people do not have a chance at recovery.” He’s right. One hundred percent of the proceeds from his GoFundMe page go to his travel expenses and the cost of buying Narcan. Help this hero and donate to his cause.
Reps for Recovery started within the walls of Black Iron Gym in Reno, Nevada. It started as free gym memberships for those suffering with a substance use disorder and has evolved to provide coaching certifications and employment for R4R members who wish to give back, clothing for low-income community members, and a mentorship program. One hundred percent of their apparel sales and donations go towards funding this important program.
RAINN is the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE). They provide victim services, public education, engage in public policy, and offer consulting and training. I found their “After Sexual Assault,” area of their website comforting in my own recovery. They offer survivor stories, steps you can take after your assault, safety planning, and how to help care for loved ones who may have experienced trauma. I felt like this organization was an incredibly important one to mention this year.
Sober Mommies is a non-profit organization that provides online support as well as in-person recovery meetings to mothers who are recovering from something. As described on their website, “The purpose of Sober Mommies is to provide a space where different experiences and journeys can be embraced and used as tools for learning. We understand that recovery doesn’t always include complete abstinence or 12 step work, and we celebrate any and all efforts to improve quality of life. Sober Mommies is – and shall forever remain – a judgement-free space.” As we know sober moms are under unique stressors with raising their children, while simultaneously combating the unfortunate mommy wine culture in our society. The deserve support this holiday season.
These are only a few of the many organizations that are doing important, valuable things for the recovery community. If we are able, it’s our responsibility to make recovery more accessible to everyone. That’s why I ask you to consider the gift of donation this year.
Please let me know if there are other organizations you’d like to see listed here, or that you’ve donated to because their cause is near and dear to your heart. Happy holidays!