November 2nd dawned as a chilly Autumn morning, with damp in the air and the earthy smells of fallen leaves. In this seasonal mood, 200 people came out to Forest Park, many in shorts and sneakers, to support seven young mothers and their little ones living at the Village, a family-centered, residential treatment program for young African American moms with a substance use disorder working to live with their children in drug- and alcohol-free lives.
One hundred fifty-eight participants stood at the starting line, runners in front, walkers in the back (including many Village moms and their babies in strollers), to compete in a fun 5 kilometer run/2 mile walk. After the race, everyone gathered with their raffle tickets hoping to win one of the 20 goody baskets which had been donated by a variety of BHN friends and employees. Ms. Carol Pacinella, BHN Crisis Clinician, was the big prize winner taking home the donated iPad!
The post-race celebration included delicious and healthy snacks, donated by Costco and Big Y , dancing to DJ sounds by Dale Desmarais, lots of laughter and gratitude to those who sponsored the event, participated in the run/walk and volunteered to make the morning a triumphal success. Many thanks to Claudia Muradian-Brubach for her tireless energy, leadership and vision and to everyone who joined BHN in celebration of our 75th Anniversary and in support of this fabulous BHN residential program where young women who are facing untold challenges learn to gather their unique strengths to overcome a life of substance dependency.
The Village is a residential SA treatment program, and yet it is so much more. Young moms gain skills to independently manage their daily lives, and learn to desire and seek safety and nurturing. Discovering their inner strengths, some for the first time. helps them develop confidence as women, mothers and community members. They develop these skills by increasingly taking more responsibility for their lives, spending time with family members during weekly Sunday dinners and organized activities like bowling, roller skating, beach excursions, and pumpkin picking.