Wow! What a difference a day makes! Four competent women converged on the office last Saturday and helped with a major reorganization and cleaning effort. As Chaos33, our intrepid organizer, said, “You can get a lot more done with 5 women in 1 day than 1 woman could get done in 5 days.” And how! I was basically the air traffic controller all day, directing our generous volunteers on what to move and where. By the end of the day, we had collected most of the old equipment that is getting sold or listed for free online to the front by the door, a plethora of defunct electronics piled up in Chaos33’s minivan for the electronics recyclers, unused shipping boxes in someone else’s car ready to be returned to the post office, and all of our conference supplies and sale inventory in one place. Oh, yes, and we also rearranged a bunch of old steel desks! Sisters doing it for themselves!
Everyone had a great time – I know that sounds unbelievable, but it was very rewarding to feel like so much was accomplished, and we had amazing Sister company the entire time, too, including an impromptu office picnic on folding tables with tacos from the authentic Mexican place across the street and homemade orzo salad and fruit salad brought by a volunteer. (Sorry, I forgot to get permission from the other 3 women to use their screen names in this post.) Now don’t be jealous if you missed out on all the fun… Chaos33 is organizing another work party on October 20th, and you are welcome to join us!
In other organizational developments, we moved forward on a couple of projects to help incarcerated women access the New Life Program. Did you know that in 2015 (the most recent year such data was available), 59% of federal female prisoners were sentenced for drug offenses?* In fact, the WFS office receives 5-10 letters per week from incarcerated individuals seeking information about the New Life Program. Now, we are happy to be able to inform them that their prison librarians can write to us and we will send the institution a free copy of Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life and the Program Booklet for their library. We’re also making it possible for women in controlled environments to run WFS meetings, provided that they meet the same requirements of our other Certified Moderators and Certified Co-Moderator.
I did fall ill with a nasty cold and was out of the office a bit for some much-needed self-care, but I am back and continuing to prepare for my upcoming trip to Houston to do outreach to drug and alcohol counselors from across the country. I received new WFS pens today and expect to have pictures of them and some other goodies for you on next week’s post, so check back next Friday!
Thanks for your interest in WFS – together, we can do this!
1 thought on “Organization Update 9/28/2018”
So glad you are reaching out to women in jail. Nina and I ran a WFS meeting in the Bergen County Jail for Women in NJ and as you shared, most of them were there for drugs and most of them shared that they had been sexually assaulted prior to using. I wrote to the Crisis Services of AL explaining my experience with women in jail and asked if they would refer women to WFS. I have found in the WFS meetings over the years, that sexual abuse/assault can be the root cause of addiction. I had to go through the regular process of finger printing and background check in order to have meetings in the jail. Unfortunately, they stopped informing women of the meetings and when we arrived, it was too late for women to get permission to attend. However, it was worth it for the time we did have meetings. The women were surprised by how comfortable and safe they felt in sharing their history. That was at least 15 years or more ago.
Glad you got the help of those wonderful volunteers to clean up the office. They can come to my home anytime!
Please continue your self-care. We need and appreciate you. Dee