FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Almost 40 nonprofit organizations from all over the Pee Dee participated in #GivingTuesdayPeeDee at the Florence Center.
#GivingTuesdayPeeDee is a day for people to give back to local nonprofit organizations that serve the community. The company behind the big collaboration is Eastern Carolina Community Foundation.
“There’s a lot of service and sacrifice that goes on in the nonprofit community to help people and I want more awareness brought to that,” Sarah Shelley, executive director of Eastern Carolina Community Foundation, said.
The nonprofits’ services range from children with disabilities to addiction and recovery, among many others.
Gene Owens, 62, is a member of Favor Pee Dee, a nonprofit organization for alcohol and drug addiction recovery.
“By the time I was 13 or 14, I was already hiding liquor in the house. By the time I was 14, I was already doing acid and other chemicals – pot at about 15 years old,” Owens said.
The drug and alcohol addiction would continue throughout Owens’ life.
Owens tried getting sober for the first time at the age of 45. However, the first attempt turned into multiples tries.
“I remember calling my younger brother one time and told him I was trying to get sober and he basically said ‘Yeah, how long this time?’ and hung up the phone,” he said.
Owens finally found help in a 12-step program. Through tit, he found Favor Pee Dee and has stayed sober for six-and-a-half years, his longest period of success.
“Favor actually gave me a purpose and I needed that purpose to continue in my sobriety,” Owens said. “By me fulfilling that purpose in helping other alcoholics and addicts, I’m able to stay sober myself.”
Owens believes giving back to Favor Pee Dee and other nonprofits means more outreach to help others like him who are in need.
“A lot of alcohol and drug addicts are thrown to the side and there’s no need for that. There’s hope for every one of them. There’s nobody that’s hopeless,” Owens said.
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