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Baltimore’s Call to Service

Posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012.

In an ongoing partnership with Cities of Service, an organization that finds “new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers,” StoryCorps Door-to-Door traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to record a day of interviews with former addicts who volunteer their time and experience as peer recovery advocates.

The initiative is part of mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Baltimore Recovery Corps volunteer program. The interviews were organized by Baltimore’s Chief Service Officer, Vu Dang, and took place in Baltimore’s City Hall. One volunteer who recorded with us was Latif, a peer recovery advocate at the Johns Hopkins’ Broadway Center for Addiction who mentors others who are new to rehabilitation.

Latif summarized the day’s conversations best: “They call it volunteer, but I call it an act of love. It’s helping someone to blossom in their own time,” he says. “I can remember a time when I couldn’t find housing, and I didn’t have an ID. I get it, then I give it back to someone else.”

The importance of giving back to one’s community was echoed throughout Baltimore’s City Hall that day, and hopefully voices like Latif’s will inspire others to heed the call to serve too.

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