On the Road to Recovery

McShin Foundation Helps Addicts
McShin Foundation Founder and President John Shinholser (second from right) poses with some of the program’s volunteers and participants.
The McShin Foundation helps families and individuals in recovery and in turn needs the help of the community to make that possible during the holiday season.

“When you help us, you help everyone,” said John Shinholser, president of the McShin Foundation. Since 2004, the organization has provided treatment, counseling, and other services for individuals struggling with substance abuse disorders.

McShin is considered a recovery community organization (RCO). Officials take pride in the foundation's methods of “peer to peer recovery support services," in which it employs recovering addicts and alcoholics to educate and mentor other individuals who are currently struggling or just entering recovery.

“It’s recovering people trying to help other people who are recovering,” Shinholser said. The organization holds about 1,500 support group meetings a year in the basement of Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church in Lakeside and helps more than 600 families and individuals each week.

In addition to 12-step meetings, McShin offers individual and group counseling seven days a week; helps with employment through job placement services; connects those who need medical and social services; and provides four recovery houses, which offer 35 beds for individuals in need of a place to stay.

“You walk into our organization, and you get help right away,” Shinholser said.  

The organization operates mostly through the assistance of donations, except for a fee it charges for its recovery houses program to pay for expenses. McShin hosts silent auctions, golf tournaments and an annual holiday party to raise funds to keep the organization running.

This year’s sixth annual McShin Foundation holiday party, held Dec. 6, featured speaker Tom Silvestri, publisher of the Richmond Times Dispatch, and a silent auction. Tickets were $10, and proceeds went toward one auction item per person.

In addition to fundraisers, McShin also accepts donations to help recovering individuals in the program. More than half of the people entering the program come in with nothing, according to Shinholser.

“We always need blankets, pillows, furniture – any household items would be helpful,” Shinholser said.

Items can be dropped off at the church at 2300 Dumbarton Road.

Volunteers at McShin mostly consist of those who have gone through the program or have recently gone through recovery to help individuals who are just entering sobriety.

To make a donation or for details, mcshinfoundation.org.
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