It is with considerable appreciation that I wish to take this belated opportunity to thank the 19 businesses and 13 individuals that made last month’s Christmas party for Lewis County Drug Court (LCDC) participants an encouraging success. Their donations of support have helped to change lives. Over $3,000 in gift cards and merchandise were contributed.
These gifts further heartened those who are working to change their lives. Most of us who have experienced drug addiction have low self-esteem. It takes various forms of positive reinforcement to overcome this self view. To experience community-wide acceptance and blessings for our future helps to strengthen our resolve to better our lives.
Upcoming events in the planning stages for LCDC members include a formal dance and possible golf tournament. The annual 5K Run in May, Drug Court Month, is always a big hit with participants and community members. In summer, a softball team is sponsored. If you have a desire to help support these LCDC, please contact Stephanie Miller, program manager, at 360-740-2731.
LCDC has helped to improve many lives in the county. It is one of the best courts in the state. For years, LCDC alumni have been the only alumni asked to present a workshop at the annual Washington State Drug Court Professionals Conference. The staff is regularly asked to give advice to other drug courts. The community can regularly read about graduates who are making a positive difference locally. The Chronicle is to be thanked for such articles as well as those about “community givebacks,” a required part of drug court. One such is the Christmas Lights set up in Borst Park.
The LCDC Foundation is a tax deductible nonprofit set up to augment LCDC. It is staffed by a group of volunteers. As there are occasional drug court participants with needs that LCDC cannot cover within their budget, the foundation’s donated money help out. Education costs, transportation, softball tournaments or removing a tattoo to help in a job interview are just some of the ways the money is used. Information about the foundation can be found by calling Brant Byrd, community outreach worker, at 360-740-1179.
Again, thank you to the many community businesses and individuals who encourage recovering addicts. They recognize that an addict may have committed crimes but given a chance many can and do become “acceptable, responsible and productive” members of our community.
Gerald “Jerry” Braden
Lewis County Drug Court Foundation member