Event offers hope, healing for those struggling with addiction

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

At a time when easily accessible opioid drugs have created a public health crisis nationwide, almost everybody knows somebody who has been affected by drug abuse.

This Saturday, on the Washignton waterfront, Shine the Light returns to offering a message of hope, healing and redemption. Organized by the Chocowinity-based Same Power Ministries, the event is now in its second year.

“Our main purpose for having this is to let people know that if they are struggling with addiction, there is help out there,” event organizer Wendy Temple said. “You’re not by yourself, you’re not alone. People love you, they care for you and they want to help you. There are a lot of resources out there to get back on the right track.”

An all day event, Shine the Light will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, featuring free food, four live bands and testimonies from speakers who have felt the pain of addiction firsthand. The headline band, One Promise Ministries, is made up entirely of recovering addicts who have been sober for a number of years.

“When you’ve walked those steps, it’s a lot easier for your to relate to others who are in those shoes right now,” Temple said.

In addition to powerful music and testimonies, a number of community organizations specializing in drug abuse and addiction will be on hand. From Washington, Passages Counseling Service will offer local resources. Craven Hope, from New Bern, and Reach Recovery, of Greenville, will also add resources for those living outside of Beaufort County.

“It’s not just for the addict, but its also for the family members,” Temple said. “We’re out there to help each other. It’s not about pointing fingers and saying ‘look what you’ve done.’ We’re not here to say we’re any better than you, because we’re not. It’s about having good fellowship with each other and letting you know that we want to come together as a community to show that we care.”

Last year, Temple says the event attracted almost 3,000 people, with Shine the Light falling on the same day as the Washington Christmas Parade. All are welcome to attend on Saturday.

Individuals and organizations interested in setting up tents as vendor/resources or in making donations for the event are welcome to contact Wendy Temple at 252-402-9841 or C.R.Temple at 252-402-0378. Donations still needed as of Wednesday include canned drinks, individually bagged chips, napkins, salt and pepper packs, three gallons of vinegar, three gallons of hot sauce and five boxes of individual Reynolds wrap sheets. Monetary donations to help offset the cost of the event are also welcome.