On Saturday, September 23, Sunspire Health’s digital marketing division participated in the 16th year of Recovery Walks! at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. Held by Pennsylvania Recovery Organization - Achieving Community Together (PRO-ACT), the walk brought together an estimated 30,000 participants to fight the stigma of addiction during SAMHSA’s Recovery Month.
PRO-ACT is a grassroots initiative that not only fights misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding addiction, but also ensures the availability of adequate treatment and recovery support services in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Their website states, “We can’t afford to be silent [about addiction] anymore.”
This was the first year that Sunspire Health participated in the walk. After moving to a new location in late September of 2016, Digital Operations Manager Diana Bauza started looking for ways she and her colleagues could be involved in eliminating the shame and embarrassment surrounding addiction on a personal level.
“Recovery Walks! was one of the first things I found in my search, and I was so surprised there was such a big event so close to our office,” Diana said. “I wanted our office to participate in the walk as a reminder that helping people achieve recovery is the whole reason we come to work every day.”
The marketing team shared bagels and coffee together before walking to the beginning of the route, just a block from their office in historic Old City Philadelphia. A gigantic, multicolored balloon arch was erected over the starting line where thousands of people from all walks of life had gathered to support people in recovery—or celebrate their own personal recovery from addiction.
Just under 2 miles long, the walk went past famous landmarks of American history: Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The crowd was full of sheer joy with people singing, clapping, holding hands, and exchanging hugs. Bands played music for the walkers along the route, and a golf cart equipped with speakers blasting music got everyone dancing in the streets.
The walk ended back at Penn’s Landing, where organizations had set up informational tents for participants to get more involved in helping others recover. Speakers took to a stage to address walkers and share their own experiences with recovery.
However, the highlight of the morning for the Sunspire Health team came when a young woman approached them out of the blue. Wearing a pink recovery shirt, she revealed that she had Sunspire Health to thank for standing there that day: she had received treatment at the company’s Heartland facility. It was a surprising and touching encounter for all.
The marketing team looks forward to being more involved in Recovery Walks! next year and will continue to fight against the stigma of addiction year-round. Diana said, “I think celebrating the idea of recovery and those who are working at it each day is so important. I'm so happy we were able to participate this year!”
To learn about how Sunspire Health can help you or your loved one to life a healthy and happy life in recovery, contact us at sunspirehealth.com.