Reentrants from Alcohol & Drug Addiction Parole & Probation Treatment, a residential reentry center in Reading, Pennsylvania, spend over 500 hours a year volunteering for their local community.
The volunteers are welcomed by organizations that remark how hard the ADAPPT reentrants work — all with a “can do” and positive attitude. That’s because volunteerism has benefits for the community as well as for the reentrants: it instills in them a sense of purpose; it bolsters their confidence for a job well done; and, it helps reconnect them with their community and its citizens.
“It is an important lesson for our reentrants to experience a productive work effort while at the same time repaying a debt to society,” said Michael Critchosin, the director of ADAPPT.
During the fall and early winter of 2017, ADAPPT reentrants had the opportunity to volunteer for the Reading Public Library (for a second time this year), City of Reading Adopt-a-Block, the Berks County Recovery Walk and the organization We Agape You, Inc., which renovates houses in the Reading area.
At the library, ADAPPT reentrants removed shelving and did general clean-up. They tidied up North Sixth Street in Reading for Adopt-a-Block, and they put up fencing and painted for We Agape You, Inc. All the while, they performed their regularly scheduled community service, which includes work at a local homeless shelter and foundation event work.
Encouraging ADAPPT reentrants to immerse themselves in their community through volunteerism is a unique way to give them more responsibility and make them feel productive while they work to successfully complete our program and transition back into their community.