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Grant boosts Wirt County Recovery Team program

Photo provided The Wirt County Recovery Team is bringing back 12 step meetings due to a grant from Volunteer WV. The recovery community will be able to meet in person again and enjoy fellowship, as seen in this photo of Andrew Powell and Dustin McDonald praying together.

ELIZABETH — The Wirt County Recovery Team is bringing back safe, socially distanced 12 step meetings thanks to a grant from Volunteer WV.

The grant money was used to purchase two tents which will be put up in the back yard of the recovery house at 99 Cherry Street in Elizabeth. The recovery team is now asking for individuals or businesses to sponsor a chair for $20 so there’s enough seating for participants.

“Because of COVID, we had to shut meetings down to only in-house residents. There are a lot of (other) people who need the meetings,” Kim Richards, recovery team coordinator, said.

West Virginia has seen a spike in overdoses, Richards said, and she believes it’s linked to the fact that meetings aren’t as accessible.

Although some clients elected to participate in the online meetings, Richards said several of them came to her saying they weren’t as fulfilling as that face-to-face interaction.

“I’ve had a lot of commentary that it’s just not the same. A lot of time they don’t know anybody. The one we hopped on, there were people from different countries. It was definitely different, I can see how somebody would be uncomfortable with that,” she said.

With the recovery community being able to meet again soon, Richards said the clients will be happy to be able to be together again in a safe manner.

“It’s not so much the meetings, it’s more of the fellowship and being around other like-minded people,” she said.

With the two tents, the recovery team will be able to have events along with the meetings.

Normally the group would work on community projects together but with the recovery house being closed to everyone besides residents, that was put to a halt but Richards said the tents will bring back that opportunity.

“Having this available to us, we’ll be able to do a lot more and get people back and involved,” she said.

So far 15 chairs have been sponsored. The team is looking to start the meetings up as soon as possible with the chairs they have available.

Chairs are $20 and will include a tag with a business name or the name of an honored individual.

To make a donation, contact the Wirt County Recovery Team through their Facebook page or call 304-449-4770.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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