This month the men and staff of Mariners Inn participated in our annual Adopt-A-Family Program. We have been doing Adopt-A-Family at the Inn for the past 7 years growing from 4 families in the beginning to 20 families in 2013. Each year we push ourselves to help more and each year the gratification we all receive gets bigger and bigger. The men raise money for their assigned families through pizza parties and coffee sales while the staff finds sponsors for the rest and we all work together to make a little Christmas magic happen.
Christmas is my favorite time of year at Mariners Inn. I love when we all put up the Christmas decorations together; this year we had a young man from our RYPP program who had never decorated for Christmas before and watching him run around with excitement made the day for all of us. I love shopping for the families and watching the guys get so invested in picking out the perfect presents for them while also staying within budget. I love watching the men wrap the presents and work so hard to make them look beautiful. But what I love the most, what we all love the most I think, is the actual Adopt-A-Family ceremony where we get to give Christmas to families and children that otherwise wouldn’t have it.
Adopt-A-Family is a huge deal at the Inn for staff as well as clients. We work very hard to find sponsors, interview families, compile shopping lists, gather items, make sure they’re wrapped, and finally to present them. Everyone who participates does so in addition to what they’re already doing, whether it’s their other work or the work they’re doing on their recovery. By the end of the season we are all pretty tired but watching the men interact with the families and seeing the way we all learn so much about gratitude and giving back makes it all worth it. There is always happy tears, or as CEO David Sampson likes to say “sweat from the eyes,” and we’re all reminded of the magic of Mariners Inn.
It is my hope that next year even more of you will join us in our continued mission to help families at Christmas. It is also my hope that you will join us in our mission all year round to save families, one father at a time.
Kori Loewe, Treatment Director