Our community will gather to honor the lives of our dead on International Overdose Memorial Day: Friday, August 31, 2018. The setting will be the beautiful North East Community Park by the North East River. This event will provide an opportunity to come together and reflect on lives cut short. Participants are invited to share photos or stories, only if comfortable to do so. Luminaries, electric candles and art supplies will be provided. Ambient music will set the tone.
All are welcome. This is event will have no vendors or promotion during the event.
8 Cecil County recovery allies met on Saturday, July 7 at West End Gardens Motel to clean the stretch of Route 40 in front of the Cecil County Detention Center and Hollingsworth Manor in Elkton, MD. Clean ups are required quarterly as part of the agreement to Adopt-A-Highway through the State Highway Administration but Voices of Hope has been doing it more frequently this year.
“It feels good to give back and to make a positive contribution to our community”, stated one participant, a young woman who is in recovery and lives in a Cecil County recovery house.
“I think it is important to show the families that live in this area that they do matter and people do care about them, especially the children.” said Voices of Hope President, Jennifer Tuerke.
Mike Massuli, Deputy Director of the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center at the Cecil County Health Department, was also present to contribute to the shared mission. The group hopes to expand their operation to locations in or around Lakeside Trailer Park and Winding Brook. If you would like to participate in the clean up effort or other programs with Voices of Hope, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us in planning, preparing and serving lunch to our homeless and disadvantaged families in Elkton at the Paris Foundation. During this time, we reach out and build supportive relationships. Please email us at email@example.com if you would like to donate and/or serve. We commit to this service every quarter of each year.
15 people supported the Recovery Town Hall on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at the Cecilton Community Center. 5 residents of the area, including Crystal Beach and Earleville, were in attendance. Although there were no town officials, first responders or safety officers present, citizens from around the County attended to show their support of our neighbors south of the Canal.
Local treatment representatives were Mike Massuli, Deputy Director of the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center at the Cecil County Health Department and Patrick Webb, a Peer Recovery Advocate at ADRC. Two employees from Recovery Centers of America (RCA) attended: a driver in recovery and a Recovery Support Specialist, along with an alumni from RCA. Lorri Irgang from Maryland Coalition of Families was also in attendance. Two members from the Cecil County Progressive Caucus who support recovery were participants as well. A mother who lost her daughter to overdose in Earleville attended along with the residents of the area. People in recovery/sobriety and our supporters made up this Recovery Town Hall.
The group discussed the most current overdose fatality statistics available: out of the 35 overdose deaths in Cecil County this year, 6 are from this remote area (1 from Cecilton, 5 from Earleville). Recognized barriers to recovery are a lack of transportation to treatment and supports, zero 12-step meetings south of the Canal and no recovery housing. Finding childcare while the parent/caregiver attends treatment is also a barrier that was discussed. Online support meetings are not easily accessible in this area where wifi can be very spotty.
Solutions involved coordinating efforts to take interested people to meetings in Middletown, Delaware through Cecil Transit. A resident talked about how this is currently a practice for seniors in this area getting their prescriptions filled. Another solution is to approach RCA and ask for support with providing a place for recovery support meetings to occur regularly. We talked about how and who to proceed with these solutions.
Mike Massuli trained 5 residents to administer Narcan.
Our next Recovery Town Hall Meeting will be held in Rising Sun, MD. Always on the second Wednesday of each month. Please join us and be a part of the solution in Cecil County!
26 people who support recovery attended the free Recovery Volunteer Training on June 9, 2018 at the Susquehanna Workforce Center in Elkton, Maryland. Attendees were introduced to a brief overview of harm reduction, trauma-informed care and addiction and mental health resources in Cecil County. Also discussed are the barriers that many in our community face in regard to access to and coordination of care, family preservation and lack of accessible shelters in Cecil County.
Participants were offered Narcan training and medication by the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center at the Cecil County Health Department.
These volunteers were invited to take part in Voices of Hope Outreach Teams that will be engaging with the community in various settings:
Overdose Response Team
Overdose Death Compassion Team
If you are interested in participating in any of these efforts, or volunteering your talent in another way (administration, marketing, training, fundraising, etc) please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will learn about harm reduction, trauma-informed care and local resources available to our community for treatment, support, healing and hope.
No commitment is necessary to attend. Get the information and decide what calls out to you. Involvement can be as little as 2 hours a month or multiple days of time. Turn your concern into action and be a part of the solution in Cecil County!
People in recovery, family members and allies came together on May 28, 2018 to honor our fallen service men and women and to celebrate our freedom. RYD Entertainment played music until Gunsmoke headlined at 1:30 pm. People played flag football, tug-of-war and corn hole while children played in the moon bounce and got their faces painted among bubbles blowing in the air. There were raffles and prizes for the smallest and biggest fish of the fishing tournament. Free chair massages were offered and an introduction to yoga session offered a peace break during the afternoon.
Winner of Tug of War: The Anonymous Team
Winner of Biggest Fish: Carter DeStafano
Winner of Smallest Fish: Sean Martineau
Best of all, we made new friends, spent time with old ones and strengthened our alliances to build our recovery capital in Cecil County! Thank you to everyone who made this celebration possible, we could not do it without you. Here are just a few special moments:
On Saturday, March 10, 2018, Voices of Hope hosted a banquet to express our gratitude for all of the Cecil County First Responders who administered Narcan and first aid to individuals experiencing an overdose in 2017. This event was sold out beyond capacity. In attendance were first responders, public safety officers, politicians and town officials, small business owners, treatment providers, people in recovery, family members and recovery supporters.
A recorded 587 people experienced an overdose in 2017 in Cecil County. 71 were fatal. We credit our first responders and the increased availability and use of Narcan for those lives saved. We chose to acknowledge and honor Officers First Class Jeremy Fuller and Thomas Saulsbury from the Elkton Police Department for saving Erin Woodie, a young mother from Cecil County. Erin read the police report that was filed that day at the banquet. She talked about her family and their gratitude for the Officers’ actions and humane treatment that day. She credits them for saving her life, as she now is experiencing long term recovery.
Also honored was Shelley Smith, a volunteer of Voices of Hope, Inc. for her grateful service and willingness to help achieve our mission. We presented her with the Distinguished Volunteer Award.
Although music and dancing was available, most people opted for the free Narcan training at the end of the night, hosted by Mike Massuli and Katie Carroll from the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center. 24 people received the training and took home the life saving medication.
Please check out all the photos from the night on our Facebook page or #VOHBanquet2018
We are so grateful for the sponsors and supporters that made this night such a success, thank you!
Union Hospital of Cecil County
Ashley Addiction Treatment
Recovery Centers of America
A and M Tent Tents
A & M Elegant Affairs
David Heitur Fotograph
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)