‘Lights of Hope’ aims to shed light on darkness of addiction
The pain of watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be a difficult burden to shoulder alone. That’s why one woman is working to change that for Charles County residents.
Beginning at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10, New Life Church in La Plata, located at 9690 Shepherd’s Creek Place, will be hosting Lights of Hope 2016. The event will feature guest speakers, music and support organizations. There will also be a candle lighting in honor of everyone who has struggled with addiction, said organizer Tracey Stinnett.
Stinnett said participants will also have the opportunity to share their own stories.
“We just want to show that there are many people dealing with this, and that it touches everyone, people of every class and every walk of life,” Stinnett said. “I want people to feel that comfort of knowing that other people have been there and know what they are going through.”
The local event is part of a nationwide vigil held by The Addict’s Mom, a national organization.
The Addict’s Mom is a nationwide support group founded by Barbara Theodosiou, who had two children fall prey to addiction, according to the organization’s website.
The aim of The Addict’s Mom is to give family members a safe place to share their experiences and fight the stigma and shame that comes with having a loved one struggling with addiction, according to its website.
“It shocks me. It crushes me. It steals my soul. There are no breaks, no holidays, there is no solace here. All I can do now is tell his story to the world in the hopes that I am able to make the smallest change in a broken system that houses the mentally ill in different colored candles for various situations — white candles for loved ones in recovery, red candles for loved ones in active addiction, grey candles for loved ones incarcerated due to addiction and black candles for loved ones who have died.
Organizations dealing with addiction will also be on-hand, Stinnett said.
“We’re hoping that if somebody comes there, that they can leave with something that they can carry out and will hopefully improve their situation,” Stinnett said.