OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – The second annual Walk For Hope was hosted by the Fayette County Prevention Coalition to educate, raise awareness, and inspire hope towards an ongoing and life-threatening problem in Southern West Virginia– the drug epidemic.
“We have this event to make people try to understand that recovery is hard, and addiction is a disease, and the community struggles with that here in Fayette County. And we want to beat the stigma, we want to show people that recovery is real,” says Natasha Jones, the coordinator for Walk for Hope.
And everyone who came out to the Walk For Hope, whether they were standing in for someone who’s battling with addiction or whether they were walking for themselves to celebrate their recovery from it, were all passionate about shedding light on the issue and breaking the stigma that there isn’t a way out.
“I’ve actually been in recovery for years now, and I find that the more people couple together to notify the fact that the community has, in numbers, hope so that we can break the stigma, I think that the more information we bring the community, the more comfortable they become, and the more equal everyone can be treated,” says Amanda Hammons, a participant in the walk.
Recovering from addiction can be a hard obstacle to overcome, but the more support people have the more hopeful it is. And people like Amanda who have recovered can say for certain that a walk towards recovery and of hope can be very real possibilities for anyone who struggles with it.
“It feels freeing…like a fresh breath of air,” Hammons says.
And not only those who participated in the walk were supportive of one another and their journeys, but all the vendors who were there came out to show their support, as well, which included organizations such as Harmony Ridge Recovery Center, Active Southern West Virginia, WorkForce West Virginia, and many others showed up to provide support and hope.