This past April 24th, a team from THE RECOVERY CENTER (TRC) once again joined forces with other volunteers in order to be part of the City of Costa Mesa's Neighbors for Neighbors for Neighbors Community Clean-up. Held each year in the spring and fall, the goal of the event is to help low-income seniors by painting the exterior of their single-family homes, clearing brush, hauling away debris and otherwise, fostering community pride while beautifying the neighborhood. The program involves extensive outreach to the homeowners and businesses, looking to them and others, for volunteers as well as donations.

According to Nancy Clark, of Nancy Clark & Associates, TRC teams have participated in the program since the 1990s “because we want to demonstrate that we are good citizens and contributing members of the community."

“Nancy Clark and Associates have been very supportive of the program with monetary donations, painting, minor repairs and clean-up,” said Jacqueline Y. Reeves of Costa Mesa’s Housing and Community Development Office. “We are very grateful for the assistance we have received from them over the years.”

Other ways that TRC clients contribute to the community include volunteering at the Costa Mesa Cultural Arts Committee’s Annual Artist Showcase for the last decade, where they help set-up for the event, assist with security services and clean up after the event. In addition, TRC clients also volunteer at the Victoria Convalescent Home while also helping regularly at the nonprofit Someone Cares Soup Kitchen at 720 West 19th Street in Costa Mesa. Hot meals are served there seven days a week and TRC clients volunteer whenever they can. Last year alone, 135,000 people were fed at the soup kitchen.

“Because of the economy, our numbers are likely to be higher this year,” predicted Patty Glenn, daughter of the late Merle Hatleber, who founded the soup kitchen in 1986. Guests at the kitchen include families with children, the homeless, the working poor or unemployed, older adults, and the mentally or physically challenged. To feed 350 people or more per day requires constant donations from restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries, Patty said. Of equal importance are the volunteers who comprise the backbone of the organization. Patty went on to say that the experience of helping others at the soup kitchen has been life changing for numerous individuals who are recovering from alcohol or other drug abuse. “Many of them ate here when they were down and out,” she said. “Now, when they are in recovery, they give back. They clearly see what paths they have taken and the results of their decisions.”