Dozens of people attended LIFE Recovery Association’s gala fundraiser in February 2020, but this year’s event has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead, supporters are encouraged to contribute online. (Catrina Scott Photography)

Dozens of people attended LIFE Recovery Association’s gala fundraiser in February 2020, but this year’s event has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead, supporters are encouraged to contribute online. (Catrina Scott Photography)

Online support replaces LIFE Recovery gala in 2021

Abbotsford organization forced to cancel annual fundraiser due to pandemic

LIFE Recovery Association in Abbotsford is looking for community support this month due to their 14th annual gala being cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every February, the gala normally welcomes more than 200 guests for dinner, dancing, and auctions in support of the organization.

The registered charity offers a continuum of residential support services for women: three homes and two different stages, ranging from stays of three months to years, depending on client needs.

Executive director Coletta Holmes said LIFE (Living in Freedom Everyday) Recovery’s commitment is to the delivery of programs that focus on physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

“The cancellation of our biggest fundraiser is challenging as we rely on the funds raised to meet our budget but also enjoy connecting with our community of supporters,” she said.

“Thankfully, we have been overwhelmed by the continued generosity of our event sponsors and community and trust that the story of LIFE Recovery will continue to be shared.”

The organizing committee has produced a Love for LIFE video that will be shared virtually to their supporters.

The 20-minute video includes a brief update about LIFE Recovery, an introduction to the new executive director, and a testimonial from one of their clients who graduated from the program and plans to complete training to become a certified addictions counsellor next year.

RELATED: Abbotsford recovery house approved, despite petition

Jenny, a former client, said LIFE Recovery saved her not only from her addiction but taught her how to become “the person that God initially intended me to be.”

“I was mean, I was hardened, and I was street, and I didn’t trust, but I knew that I needed help. I went into LIFE Recovery and I was surrounded by these women who just loved me, and I thought it was just bizarre because I was like, I’m not lovable, and I’m not worth anything, and they just told me that we are going to love you until you love yourself,” she said.

“I had a hard life, and I went through so much, and I put people through so much, and I was in the darkness for so long, and I thought I was hopeless. I want to show people and I want to help people know that there is hope for everybody.”

Recognizing the connection between trauma and addiction, this year’s fundraising will be directed toward contracting a licensed trauma therapist to better serve clients with the transformative work of trauma therapy.

Visit liferecovery.ca/loveforlife for more information about the campaign, to watch Jenny’s full testimonial or to support the fundraiser.

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