GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Hundreds from West Michigan filled John Ball Park Saturday for 'Recovery Palooza'.
The event is held for those who are recovering from addictions to come together and celebrate their recovery and bring awareness to the many different types of addiction.
Sara Vanderleest, who hit bottom when she wound up in jail after being addicted to heroin, attended today's event. Vanderleest is not a recovery coach.
"I had lost my fear of drugs. It had become a normal part of my life," said Vanderleest.
She has been clean for six years and was able to turn her life around through a support program called Unlimited Alternatives.
Vanderleest now works for them as a certified peer support specialist helping others do the same.
"Recovery can be as big as what is your passion in life. So what we try and do is facilitate that discussion with people," said Vanderleest.
Max McDonald was also in the park today. He was hurting and lost after going through an emotional divorce but found his peace through "Celebrate Recovery" a 12 step men's program at Kentwood Community Church.
"And now being able to tell my story and being able to help other men who might be going throughout the same situation I'm in or whatever they're dealing with. So God is definitely using me and my pain and my journey to help others," said McDonald.
'Recovery Palooza' is put on by Recovery Allies of West Michigan and Network 180.
Those are just two of the 36 organizations that handed out literature, counseling, and a listening ear for those seeking help or looking to support a loved one.
"One of the things that people aren't aware of a lot of times in communities is what resources are out there to enter into recovery," said Kevin McLaughlin one of the organizers.
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