The nonprofit Living Proof Recovery Center serves more than 1,100 people a month – and about 200 are under the age of 12.
That includes children of addicts in recovery and teens who may be seeking recovery themselves. Administrators said Monday they have just 40 volunteers to assist in the seven-days-a-week operation.
“We are three years into our program and as we have grown by leaps and bounds, so have our needs,” said Tracy Harrison, LPRC development coordinator.
That’s why they’re hosting a volunteer open house on May 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the converted home at 408 Shorter Ave. Harrison said attendees will get an overview of what it would be like to help out.
Living Proof, funded through government grants and community support, is one of the few Recovery Community Organizations in the state of Georgia. Its free programs run the gamut from recovery and family support meetings, employment services and tutoring to legal help, health and wellness, childcare, training and recreation.
“It’s an entire community of support,” said program manager Amy Young.
Young and Harrison are working with Betty Schaaf – who dubs herself “the volunteer volunteer-coordinator” – to draw up a manual of procedures and job descriptions. Schaaf said there are nine types of positions to fill.
“We’re hoping to get a lot of volunteers from our churches,” she said, adding that Bible study programs and some of the recovery meetings are centered around ministry. Harrison added that Living Proof supports multiple pathways to recovery.
“Not everyone gets well the same way,” Young noted.
The reception desk positions would likely require the biggest commitment, and there’s a need for regulars to handle a bistro-like coffee service during the meetings. The office is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. but most of the activities are at night.
Volunteer meeting leaders facilitate the peer recovery sessions, often just once a week. Young said those volunteers are typically recovering addicts with some prior training. LPRC’s motto is “The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.”
“Volunteers don’t necessarily have to be peers, though,” Young said. “Some are what we call allies, who support recovery.”
Volunteers are also needed for community outreach at health fairs and schools; marketing the programs and sharing success stories; attending jail ministry sessions; picking up items around the community; helping with fundraising efforts and coordinate social events and activities.
The organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual Garden Party, is set for April 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Lawrence Plantation at Horseleg Creek, 127 Winding Road.
“We’ll have food, testimonies and a dunk booth where you can dunk the candidates for sheriff,” Harrison said, adding that the two men, Dave Roberson and Tom Caldwell, “are huge supporters of Living Proof.”
Along with Moe’s Original BBQ and live music, the party will also have a Kids Zone of activities. Tickets are $40 for individuals, with discounts for couples and families. Sponsorships also are available.
Visit the office or the website, LivingProofRecovery.org. Harrison said anyone interested in volunteering but can’t make the May 1 open house can contact her to be notified of the next session.