My story matters because I matter – Brene Brown

After struggling to come up with a good way of introducing interested community partners to the participants at Robin’s Hope while preserving the participant’s privacy, we have arrived at this idea for a monthly blog/newsletter/social media post.  Participants will be invited to share their answers to a set of questions.  They will pair their story with an image that represents them.  This way everyone can share in what we are doing at Robin’s Hope and have a chance to celebrate the amazing folks that hang out with us each week.

Hi, this is Sabrina A. Sands from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia! All my life, I have been through so much, but the one thing that’s constant is that I have met people along the way (my peers) who understand my struggles and all I have fought to overcome. Although, I could probably write a book with all I have been through, I have no real desire to go back in time, because (although I have been through too much to name) I am a survivor… and that is what I want people to know about me first and foremost! I do not consider myself a hero, but rather, a part of an amazing TEAM at Robin’s Hope and I could not ask for better!

I live in the Shenandoah Valley, a short distance from my Dad (who constantly supports me the most) and I am nestled away in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I spend my days in college studying for a Psychology degree, but I am also online many days connecting with folks through Robin’s Hope. With my loving pets by my side, I spend my days absorbing all I can in each group I attend online through Robin’s Hope, which is an extremely welcomed thing during this pandemic. I love that I can get online and connect, despite the pandemic and I am always looking forward to seeing my new friends online!


How did you first hear about Robin’s Hope?  What does Robin’s Hope mean to you now?

I had the greatest opportunity to become a trained Peer Support Specialist over the holiday season this past 2020. Soon thereafter, I was included in an email that offered my hours towards certification through Robin’s Hope. I jumped on the opportunity, but I also ended up finding a sort of family in the process. I will eventually have my hours towards certification, but Robin’s Hope has given me an opportunity, whereas the rest of the world would have avoiding giving me a chance. I found a community at Robin’s Hope, which is the best of what Robin’s Hope means to me now.

What is one memory of Robin’s Hope that stands out or one accomplishment you have made that stands out for you?

I remember a night during one of the groups where we were all very tired from a long, difficult week (in different ways) for each of us. However, this felt different than most groups, because during that night, we laughed, we cried, we connected and the support we found connected us, despite our struggles. I do not think there are many places where that kind of support does so much for the soul, so I went to sleep with a full heart that night.

What is your favorite group (or most impactful)?  Why?

The group I get the most out of is the RISE Group, where we talk about different levels of resilience and how we grow and learn from all we overcome. I especially love getting to pick through the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experience) card deck to pick out different topics and we pull a card from that deck every week. It is wonderful to learn and grow as a group when we discuss what helps us to get through some of the most difficult days of our childhood. Each of us connect through different levels of resilience and there is always something new to learn from someone in that group that helps each of us in our own lives.

What makes Robin’s Hope unique?

Robin’s Hope is its own family, and I am grateful to find my place in it. It is not just a place to connect to resources or attend a group for any measure. It is an entire community of people trying to do what they can to make this world a better place for every peer in recovery. The fact that you can get so much online, in addition to in-person opportunities, is a level of success in its own. Not many places offer online connections, so that makes all the difference for those of us who are not local. Robin’s Hope was once a dream that became a reality, and we can all benefit from that in many ways. I look up to the leaders at Robin’s Hope, because I want to make my own dreams a reality someday.

What motivates you to come back to Robin’s Hope every week?

I keep coming back because I am eager to stay connected. I also know that I can someday do my part to help keep others connected through Robin’s Hope someday. If it were not for Robin’s Hope, I would not be nearly as connected to the outside world as I am with them. For that reason, and many others, I am eager to be as involved as I can be as often as I can.

What does the saying “Take your drama to the trauma llama” mean to you?

I trust that this llama will never let me down, so alpaca bag and follow the llama anywhere!