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A Forever Recovery Shows Community Support at 2015 Battle Creek, MI International Festival of Lights

In a continued community outreach effort, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment center for substance abuse, participated as sponsor of the 2015 International Festival of Lights in Battle Creek, MI, where their facility is located. The six-week winter festival, which was held this season from November 20th to December 31st, 2015, found A Forever Recovery patients and staff giving out gifts and donations to area families, as well as to the local Police Department K9 Unit.

Behind a local coffee shop, which offered $0.25 cups of hot cocoa for the kids, local families stood in line for the horse-drawn wagon ride that would take them around to see all of the giant light displays throughout downtown Battle Creek. As they waited, A Forever Recovery patients and staff greeted them, bearing toys for the children and gift cards for their parents.

Among the staff members that joined in the festivities was Joseph Guajardo, the Assistant Clinical Director of AFR. “We were able to give some toys and gift cards to people that can actually use the help,” Guajardo said in an interview after the festival, “and that‘s what A Forever Recovery does - we give and we help.” Throughout the year, AFR patients and staff participate in a number of events aimed at building up our community and supporting other organizations that seek to make the world a better place, including 5K fundraisers for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the American Cancer Society, as well as donating academic scholarships and funding athletic camps for youth, among many others.

One of the most recent outreach efforts by the rehabilitation center came to fruition at the Festival of Lights. Teaming up with locally-based Post Community Credit Union, A Forever Recovery pledged a donation grant match of up to $5,000 earlier in 2015, vowing to match the funds raised by the customers of the credit union and local residents. The total amount of $10,000 would go to the Battle Creek Police Department’s K9 Unit to help cover a majority of the price tag of a new drug detection dog to replace the aging K9 officer that would be retiring in early 2016.

The costs associated with purchasing these highly trained dogs and the specialized equipment that is needed to maintain them, such as kennels and protective vests, can reach upwards of $12,500. The donation made by Post and A Forever Recovery would help to ease the burden of that cost on the local taxpayers. “A Forever Recovery does our best to give back to the community,” Guajardo continued. “We love the Battle Creek Police Department. They’re helping fight against addiction and keeping drugs off of the street, and what better way for A Forever Recovery to contribute to the community?” A video featuring footage from the Festival of Lights as well as Guajardo’s interview is available for viewing on the A Forever Recovery YouTube channel.

The substance abuse treatment program A Forever Recovery is designed to help their patients find a path to a complete and thorough rehabilitation from addiction. Rather than simply addressing the symptoms of addiction, the program seeks to help their patients uncover and address the underlying causes of their compulsive behaviors, and to find a sense of appreciation for the world around them. Actively encouraging participation in community outreach events is one way that AFR helps their patients to find the benefit and reward in giving to others and working towards strengthening the community around them.

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