Gatehouse Academy, located in Wickenburg, Arizona, uses service work to teach their residents the meaning of giving. Residents of Gatehouse Academy are young adults undergoing rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addictions. As part of Gatehouse’s recovery process, academy residents learn how to give back to their community.
“On par with our mission statement, we absolutely insist on guiding young adults toward a life of excellence, leadership and service,” says Gatehouse Academy CEO, Kent Sherman. “A great example of this was what our residents gave to the needy during this holiday season.”
Gatehouse contacted a local agency to find families that needed “a little help” during the holiday season. With this information, Gatehouse organized teams of residents to lead an "Adopt a Family" program for four local families. Each team was responsible for soliciting and receiving donations, using donations to purchase specific gifts for their adopted family, and maintaining motivation among team members.
Working in service allowed participants to further practice and build their skill sets. Teams showcased organizational, leadership, communication, money management, and team building skills to ensure the program’s success. The “Adopt a Family” service program showed the teams how to work together to help others.
However, for participants, the most memorable lesson learned was the meaning of giving.
"When I went shopping for our adopted families with some other residents, I experienced a new and exhilarating form of service work. I have donated before, but this was one of a kind," expressed resident participant, Matt.
"It makes me very happy that we could go to a family and help them have a better Christmas," said Annette, a Gatehouse resident from Missouri.
The local community warmly received the young adults’ efforts. On behalf of the participating residents, Central Arizona Programs (CAP) sent a letter of appreciation to Gatehouse Academy. The letter expressed how grateful the families and the Wickenburg community were for the giving spirit displayed by the Gatehouse Residents.
About Gatehouse Academy
Gatehouse Academy (gatehouseacademy.com) is a long-term residential drug and alcohol facility exclusively for young adults age 17 – 25. Residents learn life skills, attend therapy, continue formalized education, enhance physical well-being, and recover from the effects of alcohol & drug abuse through focused 12 Step Recovery.