Walk for Recovery: Oregon, SoCal, NJ & More (This Saturday!!!)
It’s been nearly two years since Americans got to go out and Walk for Recovery. Two long years too long. Oh, some citizens tried their best to summon virtual substitutes during that period. But even they’ll admit it wasn’t anything close to what was really needed, especially during a pandemic. Seems only so much compassion can come from a virtual hug.
And so much change from a virtual footstep. Throw in hope and empathy and well, you don’t even get much of an equation.
Fret not, fine friends, for this Saturday, September 25th, American streets will once again thunder with the sound of actual footsteps. That’s right! Walk for Recovery is coming back! And it’s coming back to cities all across the country.
Mind if we all say “Yay!”?
Walk for Recovery: Oregon Recovers
Since we got the initial tip from Evan Schreiber at KATU, who reported on Oregon Recovers’ return to the streets, we’ll begin our own report in Portland.
Actually, KATU may be Portland’s ABC affiliate, but Oregon Recovers is a statewide outfit. Consequently, its efforts reach throughout the Beaver State. And this Saturday’s Walk for Recovery will take place in Eugene, Medford, Klamath Falls and Bend, as well as Portland.
Schreiber reported this, of course. He also reported that Oregon Recovers happened to be one of the outfits who tried a virtual walk last year. And having done so, “they could not afford to have another isolated event.”
In fact, Schreiber got the goods straight from OR Executive Director Mike Marshall, who also encouraged folks “to sign up in advance, walk in small teams, and follow the pre-planned route” for this year’s much less modified event.
Marshall said that while we don’t have a vaccination for addiction, we do have an antidote of sorts — community. And community is “what helps us each strengthen our own recovery.”
After 13 years in active addiction recovery, Marshall knows a thing or three about community. So does Navy veteran Robert Sanders, whose own recovery coincided with Walk for Recovery’s 2018 launch.
“When I looked out my window and saw hundreds of people walking down the street with signs talking about recovery,” said Sanders, “it was the first time that I felt my experience could be beneficial for somebody else, where I didn’t feel the need to hide away anymore.”
Sanders also told Schreiber that “showing up at these Walk for Recovery events, and now helping others through peer mentoring, is the most important thing he’s ever done.”
Sanders really needs to start walking again
“We’re two years into this [shutdown] and we haven’t had the same opportunity to meet new people and to keep building on that support group like we did previously when people were going through hard times,” said Sanders. “So the longer that this [pandemic] carries on the more isolated we become.”
“I’ve been deployed, [and I’ve] had different careers throughout my life,” he adds. “But just being able to sit down and talk to another person with the disease of addiction and share my own experience and see that glimmer of hope, that glimmer of life, come back into their eyes… there’s nothing else that compares to that.”
One gets the distinct impression that incomparable glimmer will be see all across the state this Saturday.
Saturday Sept 25, 2pm
Bend, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Medford and Portland
America Walks for Recovery
As we said, Portland isn’t the only city planning a Walk for Recovery for this Saturday. Not even close. Better yet, some of those Walks for Recovery even include a few Runs! Since we’re all about recovery, and everyone in recovery wants — no, needs — to get out and about, we’re super happy to bring you this list of additions to Saturday’s schedule. But if you don’t see a Walk for Recovery listed near you, please Google up your city. With so many Walks taking place in so many locations, it’s a cinch we missed a few.
Meantime: Happy Walking!
McAlister Institute Walk for Sobriety: San Diego
It’s a cinch that Founder/CEO Jeanne McAlister will be at the front of the pack for the McAlister Institute’s 9th Annual 5K Walk for Sobriety. After all, the astonishingly young 81-year-old continues to operate the groundbreaking McAlister Institute with all the insight and panache she’s always exhibited. Even if Mz McAlister isn’t right there throughout the Walk, her 58 years of sobriety will surely help lead the way. Just as she’s lead the way since the ’80s, when notables such as Oprah and Sally Jesse Raphael first recognized her field-forwarding work. If San Diegans had to name recovery champ for their city, it’d surely be Jeanne McAlister. If they were asked to cite the most influential recovery outfit, we’re betting it’d be the McAlister Institute. Get on out and see for yourself!
McAlister Institute 9th Annual 5K Walk for Sobriety
Saturday Sept 25, 8am
NTC Park at Liberty Station
San Diego, CA
Recovery Community Network Walk for Recovery: St. Joseph MN
The Recovery Community Network has been serving Central Minnesota since 2014. In addition to providing certified peer-to-peer counseling, it also holds monthly meetings where the region’s various stakeholders can come together and map out the best courses of action. Considering those stakeholders include the Mid-Minnesota Transition Coalition, the St. Cloud VA and PONG (the Professional Outreach Networking Group, which itself includes leaders from Nystrom & Associates and CRC Health Group), as well as everyday recovery superstars, and, well, you’ve got a robust course of action. You can bet this year’s Walk for Recovery will be equally robust.
Endeavors Run/Walk for Recovery: San Antonio, TX
Back in 1969, five of San Antonio’s most community-centric churches came together to launch Endeavors. The community has been reaping the benefits ever since. Whether it’s food, work, housing, medical care or any one of the myriad components that makes for a solid citizenry, Endeavors endeavors to ensure everyone’s needs are met. The organization is especially active on behalf of our veterans; in fact, the proceeds from this year’s Run/Walk will go toward Endeavors’ soon-to-open Veterans Wellness Center.
Recovery Advocates of America’s 9th Annual New Jersey’s Run/Walk for Recovery: West Windsor, NJ
Recovery Advocates of America provides free recovery support, family support, crisis intervention, recovery coaching, educational workshops and sober transport through the Community Addiction Recovery Effort (C.A.R.E.) initiative now being employed in some form by every municipality in Mercer County. RAA furthermore liaisons with vetted treatment centers and other essential addiction recovery resources to ensure each client gets the best personalized care. Little wonder why this year’s Run/Walk sponsorship list reads like a Who’s Who in Mercer County recovery. Even less wonder why that great good list is crowned by the great good folks from Operation Helping Hand, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the aforementioned C.A.R.E. We’d say Mercer County sure is blessed!
Recovery Advocates of America’s 9th Annual New Jersey’s Run/Walk for Recovery
Saturday September 25, 8am
Mercer County Park in West Windsor Township, NJ
Register at Race Roster
Teen Challenge of Southern California Walks for Recovery (Various Locations)
The Teen Challenge global ministry operates 550 centers, 195 of them in the United States. Teen Challenge of Southern California, for its part, operates 10 regional facilities, including the one-year Ministry Institute and Timothy House, a residential home for adolescent boys. The organization’s primary mission however is substance abuse, and each year TC’s resident and outreach programs serve thousands and thousands of men, women and children. The Walks for Recovery do much to help support these extraordinary efforts. The Orange County and San Diego TC Walks have already occurred, but you can still register to walk virtually. Likewise with the virtual walks in Ventura, Kern County and Los Angeles County. If you happen to be around Reedley or Riverside though, you’re in even better luck. Yep, both Central Valley and Inland Empire TC’s are walking IRL!
Teen Challenge of Southern California Walks for Recovery (Various Locations)
Register Here for All Virtual Events
Central Valley TC Walk in Reedley September 25, 6:30am (check-in) CVTC HQ 42675 Road 44
Inland Empire TC Walk in Riverside September 25, 7:30am (check-in) Hunter Hobby Park
Why Walk for Recovery?
Healing Properties applauds each and every organization behind these various Walks for Recovery. We also applaud all the sponsors and other supporters who make the walks possible. Mostly though, we thank the walkers and runners themselves. Whether you’re participating for yourself or on behalf of someone else, the mere fact of getting out there and showing up is an incredible help to the cause. It’s especially important in helping to eliminate the addiction’s stigma. After all, when folks see thousands upon thousands of folks just like them, it’s very hard to be judgmental about something they believe in. The more folks walk (and talk), the less likely other folks will begrudge someone a chance. And all addicts and alcoholics want is a chance.
How about you? Are you walking this year? Would you like to? It sure couldn’t hurt. In fact, it will quite likely do you a world of good. Just ask one of the many thousands who’ll be taking it to the streets this Saturday.