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Community Impact

Rosecrance Lakeview clients share gifts with others in the community

“Go bags” are a way to help those in need.

As winter’s last gasp enveloped Chicago, Rosecrance Lakeview clients ventured into the city looking for people to bless with bags of snacks and supplies.

The idea for distribution of granola bars, facemasks, hand sanitizer, candy, warm clothes, and toiletries came from Recovery Specialist Mary Rugh, who wanted to help clients engage the community. In a matter of days, she raised enough funds from friends and co-workers for an abundant supply of “go bags.”

“People get better and stay better by selflessly giving what they previously might not have had,” Rugh said. “This is the essence of the 12th Step—an action that goes beyond recovery. It’s a life lesson for all of us.”

When the project launched, many clients told stories of people they had seen who they wished to find and deliver the gifts to. Those conversations demonstrated how clients learned to respond to needs around them, which is a significant mark of growth on the recovery journey.

“I was impressed how much they have grown with us,” Rugh said. “It’s encouraging to see how excited they were to help others and how aware they were of people around them.”

Sparked by initial success, Rugh hopes to adapt the giveaway to continue it into warmer weather.

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