jeff-blog

Jeff Kuske

Florida, USA

Empathetic

Empowering New Beginnings Through Kindness

Jeff may work with men who suffer from various forms of addiction, but his ability to see beyond the addiction, to see the person is what paved the way for a little love, a little kindness, a little laughter, and a whole lotta dancing to take form.

I work at a residential substance abuse treatment facility. I do NOT work with addicts, druggies, or drunks. I work with men who suffer from the disease of addiction. I tell them this as often as I can. I feel that referring to them as a person above all else can empower them to recover from their addictions.

This year I participated in Dance for Kindness for the first time. I was really excited to be a part of this amazing event for the first time. When I showed the men I work with a video of last year’s DFK, many of them asked if they could participate too. After getting approval the work began.

While a little intimidated by the length of the dance, after two days of hard work and practice we were ready to take on the challenge. They were not only excited about being able to participate, but were grateful for the opportunity.

Unfortunately there is a stigma that goes with substance abuse. Many of my guys have been discouraged for years. Many times friends, family, and others will tell them that they are “just an addict,” “Just a druggie,” or worse yet “You’re going to go back to using, it’s just a matter of time.”

DFK2016 allowed these men to participate in an event that was bigger than themselves. It gave them the opportunity to do something for others, all of them strangers. One of my guys told me after the dance,

quote-openA couple of months ago I never would have cared about something like this. Thank you for showing me that I can make a positive difference in the world.quote-close

We had a couple of technical difficulties, but they were never discouraged. Once we got everything figured out, we danced! We danced with dignity. We danced with pride. We danced with respect. We danced for Kindness! This event has made a huge impact on everyone who participated. I would bet that it just may have made the biggest impact on these six men. Thank you for Dance for Kindness Orly. Thank you from myself, and especially from the guys at New Beginning!

– Edited by Jewel Fries

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