Sarah J, an extended-care resident and work-therapy intern here at Beit T’Shuvah, is excited to have her year-long journey of redemption featured at this year’s virtual gala. “My role in this gala was to tell my story and show how Beit T’Shuvah has helped me stay sober and change my life.”

The video of Sarah’s life-changing experience in this community, which will be shown during the gala on January 31st, had its start with a request from the development department for residents’ stories. After interviewing with event coordinator Avia Rosen and video production company Junk Films, Sarah’s story was chosen.

Having arrived last January just before the 2020 gala, Sarah remembers the excitement leading up to that event. “I saw everybody dressing up and putting on beautiful gowns last year. I was looking forward to going to this year’s gala in-person, and I think it’s a little sad that we all can’t be together physically.” That said, she also sees advantages of this year’s gala going virtual. “It will be so much more accessible. Plus, I would have been really nervous sitting among everyone while my story is being shown.”

In the six months since her story was published in a spotlight, Sarah’s growth has continued. “I feel proud at how far I’ve come.” A big part of her spiritual counseling has been focused on walking through the shame and guilt of being a mother addicted to drugs. As her spiritual growth has evolved, Sarah can move through the shame. “I feel really good to be sharing my story now, not really ashamed anymore because I have come so far. I’m changing my life.”

Sarah’s hope is that her gala video will resonate with someone who has had a similar experience, perhaps another mother who can’t be with her children because of her addiction. “I know now that there is a way forward through that.”

Sarah’s spiritual counselor Rabbi Kerry Chaplin, her counselor Daryn, and her therapist Sadie have walked beside her on this journey. “My team is everything to me. They have gotten me through so much. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so much on myself until I came to Beit T’Shuvah. This is such an amazing place.”

RSVP and learn more about Beit T’Shuvah’s upcoming gala here.