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During the holiday season members and friends of the Recovery Connection enthusiastically engaged in celebrating their second annual Giving Back to the Community program.

Although they conduct acts of kindness as a group, and individually, throughout the year, at Christmastime they get in the spirit by collecting food items, packing bags with canned goods, rice, pasta, paper items, etc. and delivering them to organizations and facilities that helped them build new lives.

Spectrum Gives Back - and is Grateful for Past SupportAmong the benefactors of this wholehearted effort are Roland’s House, SMOC-sponsored sober houses that provide living quarters for those recovering from addiction, the New Beginnings Program in Framingham and the Marlborough Community Cupboard (a local food pantry).  

“Last year we were able to provide eighty bags of groceries and this year we have over one-hundred,” said Frank Azzariti, community resource coordinator, who introduced members of the team who were preparing for the big delivery to Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant who stopped at the center last week to commend the group for their continuing help to residents of Marlborough and the area.  

“The purpose of our visit is also to bring joy, cheer and happiness to all who we visit,” said Azzariti. “We sing holiday carols when we make our visits during the holiday season.”  

Kelly Averill, Peer Coordinator at the Recovery Connection said, “Our giving back program was designed to show the importance of helping others and how the gift is in the giving.” Other activities members have been involved in are World Aids Day and marching for recovery at the State House in Boston with 300 others who were celebrating recovery. Others collaborated with MOAR (Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery) in celebrating its 8th annual Ride for Recovery and Family Picnic.  

The group takes great pride in continuing with the Adopt-A-Space program conducted by the City of Marlborough. They adopted a space on Main Street for the third year in a row – across from Chin’s Garden Restaurant where they planted flowers and shrubs and maintained it through the spring-summer season. Members volunteered their time and services at a soup kitchen where they prepared and served dinner for over a hundred people. “We continuously give presentations to various organizations in the Metro West Area on the benefits of being a member of The Recovery Connection,” said Azzariti.  

Located at 31 Main Street in Marlborough, more than 1,100 diverse members in recovery from alcohol and/or drug addiction are served monthly through the program. Also available are Twelve Step Fellowship meetings and recreational activities such as the popular Game Night, held each Friday. The Recovery Connection is hosted by Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., a nonprofit substance abuse and mental health treatment provider operating in eight states.

Reprinted with permission.

Main Street Journal, December 27, 2012
By Joan F. Simoneau
Contributing Writer