Police and Attack Addiction give mommy and me families a Christmas miracle
OCEAN VIEW, Del. – Mothers on the road to recovery from addiction got a special surprise Saturday afternoon.
The Ocean View Police Department and Attack Addiction organization hosted their first Christmas Party for residents of the Sussex County Mommy and Me recovery centers. “Some of these mothers honestly may not have had a Christmas without this event right here,” says Samantha, a Program Coordinator at Sussex County Mommy and Me.
Ocean View Police Chief Kenneth McLaughlin tells 47 ABC, they wanted to give the mothers and their children a day filled with positivity and Christmas spirit. “We want to let them know that they are not forgotten, we do care about them. We want them to be successful in their recovery, and we’re here to support them.”
Meanwhile, Samantha and Sandra who work with the mommy and me recovery centers say, the day was more than they could ever ask for. “I think I teared up at one point to see their faces, and to know how much a community came together for these girls,” says Samantha. Sandra adds, “It was overwhelming to see them happy and kids playing and moms forgetting for a minute all the issues in their life.”
However, it wasn’t just about spreading holiday cheer, it was also about giving the gift of empathy. “We as addicts kind of feel like when we walk into a crowd like this, especially with police officers, that addict is written across our head,” says Sandra. She adds, “It’s nice not be looked at that way, and just be looked at like a regular mom and participating in an event we are not addressed as an addict.”
Amy Rust, a board member with Attack Addiction says, in a season of giving, nothing beats giving love and support to those who need it most. “I think right now it’s more important than ever, and it’s good to let them know that people believe in them, notice their hard work and their courage, and her strength, and we’re here to support them and keep it moving.” Rust adds, “It’s really hard where these women are at really really hard work and there’s a lot of stigmas that come with it, and this just shows them that it has definitely seen it is recognized they’re doing great they’re killing it.”
Chief McLaughlin says, their work with addicts and those in recovery will only help the community in the long run. “And if they’re successful, they’re less likely to re-offend. Right now it’s more important than ever, and it’s good to let them know that people believe in them. They’re less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system and they’re a lot more likely to go on and live productive lives.”
Rust also tells us, they hope to help open more mommy and me recovery houses across Sussex county. Their goal is to continue their mission of educating, and providing resources and support for those struggling with addiction.