The “All Hands on Deck: Student Workday” at The Harbor this past Saturday gave Shippensburg University students and adult volunteers a chance to serve their community and improve the environment of the people around them.
This workday, put on by The Harbor, a community center in Shippensburg, sought to make improvements to the center itself. These included laying new floorboards, painting walls, changing lightbulbs and replacing tile. Most of the work done was to improve the recovery housing on the second floor of The Harbor.
The workday had more than a dozen volunteers, including a few students from Shippensburg University, as well as a large number of adult volunteers that frequent The Harbor. There was no shortage of work to be done with everybody pitching in to help.
Many of the volunteers were adults who either live at The Harbor’s recovery housing or go to The Harbor often in order to socialize to form lasting connections. The Harbor is designed to help people separate themselves from addiction and alcohol. In addition, it provides an area in which anyone can socialize and meet people.
The recovery housing at The Harbor is on the second floor of the building and serves to be apartments for recovering addicts. The recovery housing also provides a way for people in recovery from addictions to live in a safe area and to be around others with similar goals.
“The Harbor itself solves the problem of isolation,” said Melissa Mankamyer, owner of The Harbor. “It solves the problem of the stigma where you need alcohol to socialize. You can have all the benefits of a bar: the socialization, the community, the family, without the influence of alcohol.”
Mankamyer wants The Harbor to be a place anyone can go to and have a sense of family and community, without alcohol being part of the experience. At The Harbor there is a dedicated non-alcoholic bar, designed to give people the feeling of a bar without the alcohol.
“I gave up alcohol myself and I’m a very social person — just not in the mornings. There needed to be some place between the bar scene and a church potluck,” Mankamyer said.
Mankamyer explained that she wants The Harbor to be for anyone in the community. She mentioned that this includes college students, who are welcome to come to The Harbor any time.
“I have said many a time: use our space. We have dances in the back. We’re going to have a Halloween party. I say to college students ‘You want to have a party, we can shut the back room and have it on a Friday night,’” Mankamyer said.
Mankamyer also wanted to stress that The Harbor, while primarily used for recovery from addiction, is really designed to be a place for everyone.
“It’s not just for people in addiction recovery. I believe lives need to collide. I need people to know that I am a non-profit, and that I am a community support,” Mankamyer said.