The water flowed, along with stories of hope and second chances, on Thursday evening at the 22nd annual Water Tasting by the Sea, a fundraiser for Vineyard House, the Island’s only sober living community.

Founded in 1997, Vineyard House serves as a safe place for Islanders in the early stages of recovery to step back and focus on their sobriety and restoring their lives. The campus is located on Short Hill Road in Vineyard Haven and currently houses six women and 18 men.

Kate Desrosiers, executive director of Vineyard House. — Jeanna Shepard

“On this Island, addiction touches every single one of us,” said executive director Kate Desrosiers as she looked out at the crowd of Vineyard House residents, family members and friends, donors and volunteers.

The event was held at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Many who have been helped by Vineyard House shared stories of how addiction has affected their lives. Some talked about their personal struggles with addiction while others spoke about the difficulties of helping, or losing, a loved-one through the disease. Each story echoed the common themes of support, resilience and gratitude for a second chance.

Max shared her journey from being a resident of Vineyard House to conquering her addiction and becoming the administrative associate for the organization.

“What I feel now is exactly what I saw from the outside, an organization dedicated to serving those in their community,” she said. “I am very grateful for all of you here, for helping all of us find a way home.”

Water of life circulated all around the event. — Jeann Shepard

Vineyard House relies on fundraisers like the Water Tasting to provide subsidized rent for residents in addition to providing necessary rehabilitation treatment. Residents are required to have a job, attend daily meetings, participate in a 12-step program, and contribute to the community.

Being part of a community is a central mission of Vineyard House, Ms. Desrosiers said. The battle with addiction can be isolating. For many, fostering a recovery community is an important factor in maintaining sobriety. Barbara Reeder and Steve Pitts embodied this idea well. The couple from Princeton, N.J. has volunteered to pour water at the event for the last three years—dedicating one night of their week-long vacation to giving back.

“It’s kind of like being a bartender,” Mr. Pitts said as he poured a tall glass of sparkling water. “Kind of.”

“We really believe in the mission of Vineyard House,” Ms. Reeder said. “It saves lives.”

Danny shared his story with the community. — Jeanna Shepard

The couple met 13 years ago at a sobriety meeting in Princeton. Through the hardships of recovery, including losing family members to addiction, the two found support in each other to maintain their sobriety. Throughout their relationship they have continued to attend sobriety meetings, finding communities of support all throughout the world. In addition to volunteering at Vineyard House during their vacation, they also attend the “early bird” meetings at 6:45 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven.

On the mainland, the two have championed a similar mission in their daily lives as Vineyard House does on the Island—breaking down the stigma of addiction that stops people from asking for help, and others from supporting those suffering from addiction.

“The perception is changing,” Mr. Pitts said. “But there is still a long way to go.”