Evoke Therapy Programs Creates Finding Community Program to Foster Industry Give Back
In May, Evoke Therapy Programs kicked off its first-ever Finding Community service project at the Southwest NATSAP conference in Southern Utah. In the same month, Evoke ran the same service project twice in its own home offices. Turnout was strong both at the conference and in-house, validating an idea that Kaysha Sorensen, Admissions & Outreach Counselor at Evoke, had months earlier.
“The idea came to me after my first conference in the Industry, the IECA in Austin. Austin is home to a large homeless community, and the need seemed overwhelming. It planted a seed.” A few more gatherings in other cities with needs, and Sorensen could not ignore her heart anymore. “I knew, if we banded together, we could make a dent in these needs. I brought the idea of building community within our industry, to help the communities we visited, and it was met with huge support. Covid delayed some of our plans, yet we are now finally able to act on our hopes for the Finding Community service program.”
At its first event in Southern Utah, about 25 NATSAP attendees gathered at the Utah Food Bank and filled grocery bags full of staples that families in need could use. The volunteer numbers at this event had to be restricted because of COVID; many more had wanted to take part. And in August at the Wilderness Symposium in Park City, Utah they did. Turnout doubled, as upwards of 50 people gathered to create lunch bags for children who identify as hungry to take home with them on weekends, when they are not able to get free school lunches.
As its public-facing service events thrived, Sorensen was busy getting similar events running at Evoke’s base in Santa Clara, Utah with its employees. “We start at the heart of Evoke,” she says, “so having our employees serve within our own Community, bringing everyone from field staff, to Admissions, to therapists together to give back felt important and natural.” Two fully-packed outings to the Utah Foodbank followed, and the next plan — working with a local charity called Tan’s Treats — is happening later this month.
Evoke has big dreams for this young program, says Steve Kirk, director of admissions at Evoke, “Our hope is that as we resume our travels to various regions throughout the country, gathering as treatment professionals, that we can continue building our partnerships with local charities and professionals to serve those in need in those communities. Service is contagious, and having participated in a couple of these events instills an even greater desire to continue building on what we have started.”
About Evoke Therapy Programs
Evoke Therapy Programs provides both outdoor-based therapeutic programs for adolescents, young adults, and families and Intensive therapy programs for individuals, families, and couples. Evoke is accredited by the AEE/OBH and is a NATSAP Research Designated Program. Evoke’s outdoor programs are based in Bend, Oregon and in Saint George, Utah. Evoke’s Intensive Therapy programs are in northern Utah.