Giving Tuesday: 2013 Recap

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Giving Tuesday

This month, Phoenix House was proud to participate  in Giving Tuesday, a national holiday devoted to giving back. Giving Tuesday was created out of a desire to make the holiday season about more than just shopping. After the commercial madness of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” why not celebrate a day where individuals and organizations work together to make a difference in the lives of others?

For this, our second year celebrating Giving Tuesday, we once again asked Phoenix House staff, friends, and supporters to write letters of encouragement to the men, women, and teens in our treatment programs across the United States. This act is particularly meaningful to those we serve, since many of them are spending the holidays away from their families for the first time—or they have lost touch with their loved ones as a result of their addictions. Because of our singular campaign, Phoenix House was selected from more than 10,000 Giving Tuesday partners to discuss our efforts during a Google+ hangout alongside representatives from YouTube and the UN Foundation.

We rallied for greater staff participation this year, and were pleasantly surprised as more than 200 letters poured in from members of our own communities—as well as from friends as far as the Caribbean and even Jordan.  These letters included words of wisdom, inspiration, and ecouragement to help our clients on their roads to recovery. Here are just a couple of excerpts:

Giving Tuesday client “From the administrative office to residential and outpatient centers, we here at Phoenix House think of you, care about you, and go to work each day believing in you… One day at a time, I hope you believe in yourself too. Regardless of what has happened in your past, you were created with value…You are worth the work you are doing today. You are strong, you are precious, and you are able. Great job, and keep going!”

“I want to share with you firsthand a little bit of what I experienced during my time in treatment during the holiday season. Because I was in treatment I was able to talk about my feelings with others who were going through the same things I was…I also realized that these holidays come once every year and that if I completed my treatment I would be home to share next Christmas with my kids and all my loved ones…So I say SACRIFICE TODAY FOR ALL YOUR TOMORROWS!”

On December 3, Giving Tuesday, our staff members distributed the letters among our clients—and their reactions were extraordinary:

“After taking several moments to read the letter,” said one counselor, “my client looked up and stated with a smile on his face that he had never had anyone do such a thing for him in his life. What a truly humbling experience this was and a motivator to do more of this in my personal life as well.”

Another staff member added: “Our clients were thankful to receive such a gift this time of year, touched that Phoenix House staff took the time to acknowledge them, and filled with joy that we recognize and support the work they are doing. It was an uplifting experience in either writing or helping to choose a letter that mirrored individual clients’ thoughts and feelings.”

We’re so grateful to all those who took the time to write a letter and brighten a client’s day. But more importantly, we’re proud of all our clients who are taking these words of encouragement along with them into the next phase of their lives—recovery.

If you or a loved one needs help for a substance abuse issue, Phoenix House is here for you. Email us or call today at 1 888 671 9392.

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