“Roaring for Recovery” Spotlights Overdose Awareness

pair of shoes

Methodist University sidewalks are typically covered with the shade provided by hundreds of majestic pine trees. Today, those same sidewalks are covered with shoes. Certainly the shoes worn by the nearly 2,000 students hustling to class, but additional shoes. Hundreds and hundreds of shoes that represent something very meaningful.

Roaring for Recovery,  the first community-wide collegiate recovery group in Southeast North Carolina — is utilizing empty shoes lining the sidewalks to symbolize the more than 93,000 lives lost to overdose in the United States in 2020. Today, Aug. 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day and Methodist students, faculty, and staff are coming together to honor those who died last year. 

“We need to remember that every person represented by the empty shoes was loved by someone,” said Mitzi Averette, an MU faculty member in long term recovery who serves as the advisor for the Roaring for Recovery group.

Tonight at 7 p.m., Methodist University President Stanley T. Wearden will join the MU community for a candlelight vigil at the Belltower in the center of campus. Special guests have been invited to speak to the gathering. Greg Berry grew up in the Massey Hill area of Fayetteville and lost three childhood friends to overdose in the past year. Berry spent Mother’s Day this past May visiting the mothers of those friends and he has agreed to speak and “represent them… and many other family members in the Fayetteville area.” Another speaker from a different part of the Fayetteville area will speak about the loss of one of her children. 

Following the solemn occasion tonight, Wednesday begins National Recovery Month and many recovery advocates in the Fayetteville area will be hosting events to demonstrate hope for those who are still struggling. To learn more about the September events or the Roaring for Recovery group at Methodist, please contact Averette at roaring4recovery@methodist.edu