For more than a thousand people in recovery, the 6th annual “Hands Across the Bridge” on Labor Day was a joyous while significant occasion. Under sunny skies and a glorious view of Mount Hood, participants from the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia met at the middle of the Interstate Bridge forming a human chain.
It was billed as a “Celebration of Recovery: Saving Lives, Saving Dollars.” And the smiles spread from the river bank to river bank.
The event is sponsored by the Recovery Association Project, and I had the honor of speaking for a few minutes before the bridge march about the importance of the recovery community providing volunteers for the OP crisis lines. Many of our volunteers are in recovery, and because of their awareness, compassion, and experiences, they are among the most effective people we have on the crisis lines.
For most of these folks, becoming clean and sober is the hardest thing they’ll ever do in their lives. And on Monday, they had ever reason to celebrate their accomplishments and what they are giving back to their families, friends, and communities.
It was a pleasure to work with Bart Sowa, Patty Katz and the others in getting some publicity for the event. Next year, we all agreed that we need to get the governors from Oregon and Washington to be at the head of the line when the state’s contingents meet at the center of the bridge.