Healing through serving at The Hope Center Christmas party

Thursday, The Hope Center in Lexington held its annual Christmas party for the men in its community.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Serving others can be a part of our own healing process. Volunteers at The Hope Center who are recovering from addiction themselves are serving those they live around this Christmas.

Everett Burks has been in recovery for marijuana, meth, and heroin for about a month, living at The Hope Center in Lexington.

“It’s a…it’s an uphill battle right now. But a good battle. I’m going to battle it and get through it,” said Burks.

Burks is helping out with the center’s annual Christmas party this year, which gives clothing and winter essentials, like coats, hats, and gloves, to the men at the center who are experiencing homelessness, are in recovery, or are part of other center programs.

“To help others who are just coming through this program…it makes you feel good,” said Burks.

According to volunteer manager Carey Cairo, the gifts the men receive at Thursday’s party may be the only ones they get during the Christmas season.

“For them to be able to get long underwear, hats, gloves, a new jacket, and toys for their children if they’re in the recovery program, is just really special,” said Cairo.

The Hope Center is providing about 600 to 1,000 toys, all donated by people in the community, for the men in its recovery program who might not be able to get their kids Christmas gifts this year. The left over toys will go to the women’s center for its Christmas party on Friday.

Burks is on toy duty for the Christmas party, helping other men in recovery pick out gifts for their kids.

“Helping others puts a smile on my face, to see a smile on their face when they come to pick out a gift for their family or their loved ones or for themselves. Yeah, it’s awesome. Just to see somebody else light up. Makes you feel good. All warm inside,” said Burks.

For the men volunteering, experiencing the joy of giving and serving at Christmas, while on the road to recovery, is a form of healing.

“I’m not that far in my recovery yet. I know I’ve hurt a lot of people. I just want to let them know I’m here and I’m getting better,” said Burks.

The Christmas party gave gifts to the more than 400 men who are part of The Hope Center’s programs.

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