Yesterday was a great day for the Recovery is Beautiful Festival at the Market on the Green. I was honored to capture the day for the Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. Not only did I get to witness several great services offered in Toledo, OH, I also had the privilege of meeting several nice people in recovery. The most heartwarming story I heard there was of a homeless man that volunteered to help setup for the event. The coordinator of the event Krystal Barham told me he worked from the time she got there until it was over with enthusiasm and honor. It made both of us so happy to bring some purpose to this mans Saturday morning. Here are a few images:
The facebook page perfectly described the festival, “We have all the usual festival delights of great food, family fun, games, inflatables, music, a theatrical performance from Issue Box Theatre raffles, certified peer supporters, resource fair, toys, a Kids Zone with inflatables, face painting, sparkles the clown, and much more”. They also had the local radio station 107.3 playing music and offering prizes to people to spin the wheel. Buckeye Health Plan had a locally operated small business franchise Twine Booth (which totally made me want to buy one for my business) and many youth and community volunteers that served food and gave out information and items to the participants that will be a great help back home, including school supplies, toiletries, and connections to local colleges like Owens Community Colleges TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) program. I proudly observed several teens from the Youth Opportunities Program where my little sister works handing out watermelon, and hot dogs to the participants.
Overall it was a great event! Even though I was sick I was overjoyed to participate in such a thoughful, resourceful event. As a child of parents in recovery I recognized many agencies that helped my mother throughout the years and also saw many local community employees that gave me advice on becoming a foster parent and how to get more involved in leadership in local business. I learned a lot! Photography opens up so many opportunities for me to give back, pay it forward, and earn a living doing what I love. Capturing smiling faces in the midst of adversity reminds me that I made it, and with the right help, we all can keep working to overcome whatever this world throws at us, even when mental illness and drugs and alcohol addiction creeps in. Have a great day, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the article.