Taking Wing

Jeanne Cooper (Katherine, Y&R) is the national spokesperson for the Springboard Center, a recovery facility in Midland, TX., to help restore the “health and dignity to individuals and families affected by alcoholism and drug addiction.” The actress, a recovering alcoholic herself, shares special news about the center, which opened last year. Soap Opera Digest: What is it about the Springboard Center that got you so involved?

Jeanne Cooper: The whole thing is that the community cares. The response from the people in Midland and Odessa has been incredible. When you enter Springboard, you’re there to cure yourself. You’re not there to please other people. We’ve had patients who haven’t been able to stay clean and sober for more than four or five months and can do it after going there. It’s wonderful. The staff is great. They are there to guide you back into life and bring the best out of you so you can trust yourself. Then you learn to love yourself all over again.

Digest: It’s also not cost prohibitive.

Cooper: This treatment is not a $75,000- or a $100,000-a month kind of thing. There are patients who can pay for the program or have insurance, but we have a lot of people going through there that can’t afford it because they already spent everything. Those who can pay, do and those who can’t aren’t turned away. It’s on a sliding scale, whatever you can give. It’s your new home. You don’t get family visitation right away because you’re there for you.

Digest: What is the latest news about the Springboard Center?

Cooper: We are already adding a new wing! We have to because of the applications and the tremendous results. We also have a hospital wing and it’s just fantastic. Adding this soon another wing just shows that a community can do it.

Digest: Does the center have any other plans for the future?

Cooper: They’re bringing the horses in because horses have a great connection with people who are rehabbing. So we’re going to build our own horse ring.

Digest: You’re going to Midland on November 5. What’s that about?

Cooper: I’ll be there for fundraising. I’ll be encouraging the citizens of the community to take stock of themselves and those who really have it, to give back. People are beginning to understand that’s how it happens. After a person has a few million dollars, what else can they do with that, really? Giving back are the monuments you build to yourself, if you must do that. Helping a human being to become well is the best statue to build. I don’t care if you donate $3, you gave something.

For more information, go to www.springboardcenter.com.