Meet Dee Slowen – Registered Dietician and Café volunteer.
Dee is a Café Cook and teaches a monthly School for Recovery class titled “Fabulous Foods for Bodies and Minds” in the Café. When she enters the room, Dee’s bright eyes and warm smile reveal her passion for helping others. Dee is easily approachable and deeply compassionate. She believes that all of her prior volunteer work has led her here to support members of the Café.
Dee is the chair of the Missions Committee and a trained Stephen Minister at Long’s Peak United Methodist Church. As a Stephen Minister, she supports people through transitions of change such as divorce or the loss of a loved one. A busy volunteer devoted to providing healthy foods, she also cooks for the OUR Center, HOPE, and Mountain View Elementary School’s parent-teacher conferences.
For 17 years, Dee worked as a dietician for patients with chronic kidney disease. In this field, she helped many people struggling with alcohol use disorder. As a dietician, Dee recalls that she solely addressed diets, not the person as a whole. She says, “When I came to Recovery Café, I thought, how perfect! Here I am able to take a look at the whole picture, including lifestyle and trauma. In healthcare, I wish we looked at the whole person with unconditional, divine love as seen in the Café.
“My experiences helped me to appreciate Recovery Café because I was very much aware of how important it is to have someone hear your story.”
Rebuilding With Food and Community
Dee is aware of how different substances impact appetite. With people in recovery, she places the priority of care on supporting their general sense of well-being. She says, “They need regular access to meals if their bodies have been deprived of nutrients. Early recovery is a period of rebuilding brain and muscle cells.” In Dee’s School for Recovery class, she looks at individual issues and challenges rather than prescribing a one size fits all solution for the group as a whole, as food needs can be different in early versus long-term recovery.
Recovery Café Longmont recognizes the importance of a shared meal paired with compassionate conversation. As a Café Cook, Dee often provides a nutritious food selection for our shared meal times. She says, “If you don’t have a family or someone to enjoy a meal with, you may not enjoy the food as much. It’s a proven social success. Meals on Wheels and the Center on Aging came to be because research shows seniors eat better if they have social support.”
Volunteers Sustain Our Healing Refuge
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we want to extend deep gratitude to all who have contributed to our transformative work. In 2022, our volunteers contributed a total of 2,667 hours – a 37% increase from 2021! Thank you for making an incredible impact on the lives of those in our recovery community.
As the Café continues to grow, we are looking forward to expanding our team of volunteers. We have an immediate need for Café Cooks and continually welcome new Ambassadors of Hospitality and School for Recovery Teachers.
If you are interested in signing up to volunteer, please email our volunteer coordinator, Elyssa Hamilton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full list of volunteer opportunities, please visit recoverycafelongmont.org/volunteer.