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  • Writer's pictureLynda

Look How We've Grown!

Sparks of Hope began with a big dream and a handful of volunteers. We've been making a difference in people's lives, one person at a time. All are welcome at Sparks. Take a look at our annual report:

9/30/19 Charge Conference Report

Mission Statement: It is the mission of Sparks of Hope to offer people in recovery from addiction a safe space to seek fellowship, and resources for reintegration back into the larger community. We offer individuals and their families support through a variety of events, activities, and educational experiences. We seek to live out our faith in an atmosphere of fellowship while providing hope and healing to those impacted by the effects of addiction in the family.


To provide a safe space for people in recovery to gather;

To facilitate a variety of recovery strategies;

To promote peer to peer interaction and support;

To promote volunteerism and community service as a means of recovery;

To assist individuals in sustaining long-term recovery.

Code of Ethics: Sparks of Hope programs are designed to strengthen recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, foster an environment where natural leadership can emerge, and bring people together within the recovery community to create positive change and overcome the stigma of addiction.

Sparks of Hope ministry began in June of 2017 with a small group of Hamburg United Methodist Church members coming together to plan an appropriate response in the faith community to the opioid epidemic in WNY. By July 2017, the committee took action and launched a three-prong response to the epidemic:

1. Faith Leaders Coalition;

2. Sparks of Hope for Families support group; and

3. Sparks of Hope Recovery Support Center.

Faith leaders from 10 churches attended the first coalition meeting in September 2017. Family support and the recovery support center both launched in November 2017, less than six months after the first planning meeting. Now, just two years later, we have grown tremendously!

We are listed in the Erie County 2-1-1 directory and Town of Hamburg Interactive site for treatment and help. We also have a seat at the table with Hamburg Drug Free Communities Coalition which meets monthly. We are an approved Narcan distribution site through Erie County Health Department. We have built a network of resources which allows us to provide greater assistance to people in recovery and their families.

Our community partners now include: WNY United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse; Erie County Health Department; Addict2Addict; Colton’s Journey to Liberation; Town of Hamburg; Village of Hamburg; Hamburg Drug Free Communities Coalition; Hamburg Central Schools; Compeer of Greater Buffalo; Buffalo Matters.

Faith Leaders Coalition: Clergy and lay people meet monthly to work on a variety of issues. Sparks FLC focuses on disseminating information, providing educational opportunities, promoting awareness, and prevention efforts. Initiatives of the faith leaders include:

  • Narcan training for the community, 6 times/yr

  • Mental Health First Aid, 8 hour training for the community, annually

  • Summer Picnic

  • Red Ribbon Sunday, annual event

  • Sparks of Hope welcome totes

  • Spring Forum, coming in 2020

  • Healing services, for community

  • Traveling prayer box

Our faith community coalition member churches include: Hamburg UMC; Windom Community Church; Hamburg Presbyterian; Nativity of Our Lord RCC; St. James UCC.; St. Mary of the Lake Church; SS Peter & Paul RCC; Big Tree Wesleyan; Watermark Wesleyan; Wayside Presbyterian; St. Francis of Assisi; Eden UMC; Trinity Episcopal; John Paul II Parish; St. Matthew’s UCC; Most Precious Blood RC Parish; All Saints Lutheran; Orchard Park Presbyterian; Churches In Action (C.I.A.).

Sparks on the Road - Voices of Addiction: Local funeral director Charles Castiglia spoke at a community presentation, sponsored by the Faith Leaders Coalition on the reality of the opioid crisis on a nationwide scale, hosted by St. Peter and Paul Parish. This gave birth to “Voices of Addiction,” a partnership between Sparks and Windom Community Church. Since that time we have taken the presentation on the road. “Voices of Addiction” has been hosted by:

Windom Community Church

Hamburg United Methodist Church

St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Gowanda NY

Versailles United Methodist

Four Corners United Methodist

Springville Center for the Arts

St Mary’s of the Lake in Conjunction with Pope John Paul

Eden United Methodist Church

Big Tree Wesleyan (Scheduled)

Most Precious Blood Angola (Scheduled)

Sparks of Hope for Families support group: Sparks of Hope offers a weekly support group for family members of those in addiction and/or recovery. This group met twice a month originally, but was able to increase meetings to weekly. This group is exploring a collaborative effort with Addict2Addict - Family2Family support groups.

Sparks of Hope Recovery Support Center: We have regular open hours (25 hours each week) to provide a safe and sober space for discussion, education, assistance, and fellowship for people in recovery from addiction or those seeking recovery, as well as their family members.

Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm

Monday 10 am - 4 pm

Tuesday 10 am - 2 pm

Thursday 5 pm - 9 pm

Friday 10 am - 4 pm

Open hours at Sparks are used to welcome guests and offer help to all seeking information:

  • Feed the body (food)

  • Feed the mind (discussion)

  • Feed the spirit (prayers and Bible study)

  • Volunteers offer much time handling routine cleaning and maintenance, indoors and outdoors

  • Improvements to the building have been completed by volunteers and recovery friends

  • Community service clients from courts, colleges, and high schools volunteer during open hours.

Sparks hosts safe & sober annual events:

  • Christmas dinner

  • Christmas party for recovery friends and family

  • New Year’s Eve party

  • Chicken barbecue

  • Super Bowl party

  • Potluck dinner

We have provided formal recovery coach training for three volunteers - two of those are people in recovery. Sparks volunteers attend a variety of community events and seminars to continue learning and to distribute information through discussion and handing out flyers. The Sparks Volunteer Choir has participated in the spring “Churches in Action” Concert. Center volunteers, recovery friends and community service volunteers make sleeping mats and blessing bags for the homeless as well as supply bags for people in need through a generous donation from a volunteer.

Community Support Groups: Another vital component of the Sparks of Hope ministry is the welcoming of a variety of addiction and recovery support groups and 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Al-Anon into our facility.

  • Sunday - 5 p.m. - Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional Families (ACOA)

  • Monday morning - AA Book Study

  • Monday 5:30-6:30p.m - Children of Addicts Progressing (COAP)

  • Monday 7:30 p.m. - NA

  • Tuesday - 7 p.m. - Living Free (faith-based recovery group)

  • Wednesday - 10:30 a.m. - Al-Anon

  • Wednesday - 7 p.m. Sparks of Hope for Families support group

  • Thursday 12:30 p.m. - AA

  • Friday 7 p.m. - AA

  • 2nd Saturdays- Support for Spouses and Significant Others support group

We are God’s children, called to give of ourselves: chosen to serve the lost and lonely, gifted to minister to a hurting world.

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