Earlier this year, Real Recovery and Serve Asheville met to discuss an opportunity to address a community problem. When we were asked about getting a couple of the guys together to volunteer at Vance Elementary School, we knew we couldn’t turn down the chance to become more involved in our community.

Serve Asheville and the Community

Real Recovery and Serve Asheville 1

Serve Asheville’s mission statement reads: “Serve Asheville exists to be part of the solution by highlighting needs and recruiting, empowering and connecting volunteers to serve local non-profits and private citizens.” The organization hosts two service events1, one in the spring and one in the fall, in the community per year. The days are project-driven and serve local non-profits and persons-in-need in our community.

Real Recovery and Serve Asheville Share a Common Goal

At Real Recovery, we were excited about the opportunity to partner with such an amazing organization in serving our great city.

When a young man walks through Real Recovery’s doors for the first time, we try our best to introduce and acclimate them to our unique culture. This culture promotes the accepted norms and values of Real Recovery, as well as the expected behavior of those in our houses.

We thought a partnership between Real Recovery and Serve Asheville would provide us with the perfect opportunity to add a serving mindset to the culture of Real Recovery. Combined with other events, Serve Asheville twice-yearly service opportunities will allow us to set a consistent standard of community service for our program.

The Importance of Community in Recovery

The benefits experienced by young men at Real Recovery from being involved with serving the community are immeasurable. The guys were able to meet the needs of the Vance Elementary School by digging up an overgrown garden bed, grading pathways, and laying down fresh mulch.

Real Recovery and Serve Asheville 2

For young men in recovery to meet someone else’s needs besides their own helps create a significant boost in self-confidence. The group of guys that volunteered at the elementary school ranged from having more than five months in the Real Recovery program to having just four days in the program. As the event started the guys showed up, all at different times and in different vehicles. The assigned projects were challenging but our guys were able to complete them with excellence and seemingly in record time.

As the event came to a close the guys started to throw on their “Serve Asheville” shirts and demanded that we take a team picture. There is something that happens when a group of guys come together as individuals to serve a community that is in need and that’s unity. Real Recovery’s program can only benefit from having a group of young 18-28-year old men united in achieving sobriety and serving others.


  1. http://www.serveasheville.com/#about