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Bookstore Update – New Item & Moving Sale!

Image of cover of Reflections for Growth book.

Check out our newest updated offering – Reflections for Growth! Originally written by WFS New Life Program founder Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick as 12 short monthly booklets, this compiled volume contains the full year of daily meditations. It has been lightly revised to increase relatability for today’s recovering woman and a different Acceptance Statement (the foundation of the New Life Program) added to each day.

Also check out our Moving Sale! Due to the deterioration of the building where the office is currently located, WFS will be moving by the end of September 2019. There is a lot to do to prepare for the move, including reducing our inventory. Check out these great deals:

Half Price – All CDs & DVDs

$1.00 – All Legacy Literature booklet & the Woman on the Mountain enamel pin

$5.00T-Shirts & Tote Bags

FREEOn the Road to Sell Recovery

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2018 IRS 990 Now Available

We have posted our 2018 tax document, the IRS 990, on our Governance page. WFS is committed to fiscal transparency and we are happy to make this document available to all of our donors. We know that it is a long and complicated document, so we encourage anyone with specific questions to contact me directly at admin@womenforsobriety.org and I will do our best to explain! You can also review our 2018 highlights on our 2018 Annual Report, which is a little more reader friendly. Thanks for your support – WFS could not exist without the generosity of our donors!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 5/24/19

Hello Happiness!

Hello Competent Women!

Just a quick check-in to let you know that we are still here, working hard to bring the New Life Program to the world. Pretty much all our time here at the office is being spent on preparing for conference, which is only 2 weeks away! The tote bags and other supplies are coming in, signage and programs sent to the printers, and a record number of women have registered.

That’s right – we are breaking the record this year! Our two biggest years have been 134 women in 2006 and 2009. As I write this, we have 142 women registered to join us in Center Valley, PA, in June. I think the hard work of the Conference Planning Workgroup has a whole lot to do with that. Please join me in thanking these generous volunteers for donating so much of their 4C energy to make this happen!

The Teddy Bear Challenge is still going strong, and all of the other boring business-end tasks are still getting accomplished. We have 3 volunteer teams meeting over Memorial Day weekend – there’s no time to rest when you are busy saving lives!

Well, that’s the last bit of my energy left from this week, but don’t worry, I am still…

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 5/10/19

Hello Competent Women!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Conference!

Supplies, auction donations, and teddy bears are pouring in! One of our office volunteer took me to BJ’s, a local warehouse store, so we could stock up on drinks, plates, and napkins for our Thursday night pizza party and of course plenty of coffee, tea, and cups for our hospitality station in Donahue Hall. We are poised to break a record this year with attendance. We have already had 126 women register – with more than a week left for all you last-minute types.

Now don’t be too last-minute! Even though we have our special Late Registration period again this year, there are certain disadvantages to using this option. The most obvious is that you will end up paying 10% more! Yikes! We may also not be able to accommodate special dietary or similar requests for late registrations, and supplies such as our great conference totes (plus goodies!) may run out. And since we are poised to overflow Donahue Hall this year, late registers will likely be sleeping in another building. This may not sound like a big deal, but I’ll warn you that the coffee pot is going to be at Donahue (native Seattlite speaking here, lol).

Joy of Transformation

Many women are curious about this year’s Joy of Transformation event on Saturday at the conference. The agenda is coming along quite nicely and we have a good mix of time for casual socializing over a family style meal, entertainment with the fabulous Karen Drucker, and a chance to get involved with a dance floor and Voice Your Joy karaoke hosted by our own PerditaX. We’ll also have an update from each of our strategic planning Management Teams, a moving video by the daughter of one of our participants (I cry every time I watch a new revision – it just keeps getting better), and our first ever Paddle Raise fundraiser.

Speaking of the Teddy Bear Challenge…

We are at almost $10,000!!! More than 70 women have donated $5, $10, $20… up to $1,500 from our biggest TBC donor! All donors (and anyone else who requests an entry) are being entered into the drawing to adopt one of our precious custom bears. WFS Online members can see the full lineup in the Everyday Living forum.

Don’t want a bear but still want to donate? We can accommodate that, too! Simply request to be excluded from the drawing when you make your donation. Alternately, winners will also have the option of donating their bear to a local domestic violence shelter for a child in need of comfort.

Boring Business Stuff

Don’t worry, because even in the midst of all this excitement, I am still making sure that the business of WFS is being conducted faithfully. We’re continuing to fill orders from our bookstore and requests for supplies from our local f2f groups in a timely manner. We are still in the process of migrating to our new contact management system, which will help us work with volunteers and donors more efficiently. We’ve also revised the registration process of the WFS Online Community to decrease the demand on our volunteer registration team and, hopefully, increase the accessibility of our life-saving program to women when they need it.

Did you know that non-profits get an extra month to file their taxes? Of course, that’s kind of a misnomer because we don’t actually file taxes, being a nonprofit. But we do have to file an annual report to the IRS summarizing our activities. It’s called a 990 and you can find our 2017 one on our Governance page. The extra month means that we get a special deal because accountants can put us off until after the main tax season ends. So of course I have been busy fetching information for our accountant so that he can get our 2018 990 done. Don’t worry, we will post the 2018 form as soon as it is ready!

 

Well that’s about it. As usual, I know there’s more, so check in next time to see what I’ll remember! I am so excited for the growth of the program that we are already seeing, and we couldn’t do it without supporters like you! Thank you for taking the time to read!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 4/19/19

Hello Competent Women!

Thanks for checking in! My apologies for being MIA – first I was in Florida at the ASAM conference, and then I got sick – again, ugh (I think I might be allergic to spring in PA). It’s late and I’ve been working on financials all day so I don’t have a lot of time, but I didn’t want to let you down 3 weeks in a row! So here is the whirlwind tour of what’s up at WFS:

ASAM Annual Conference

I had a great weekend with our Volunteer Coordinator Lisa – that’s her stuffing packets in our booth! (Sorry for the blur – I am terrible at taking pictures.) She picked things up so quickly and we were unstoppable telling all the addiction medicine specialists about our great program. They were very excited to hear about our free option for their patients and our extensive online support.

We also stood out for being abstinence-based but also medication-friendly. That’s right: for those of you who aren’t aware, WFS is somewhat unique in this way. We believe that addiction is tough enough to overcome, and if women and their doctors’ think medication will help, then by all means it should be used.

We gave away all 47 of the physician Professional Sample Kits that we brought, and got a mailing list of 25 more to send out.

WFS Annual Weekend Conference

For our own annual conference, Early Bird Registration closed strong with 89 registrants – that’s up 15% from last year’s Early Bird period. The number today is up to 102 – wow!

Those of you on our postal mailing list may have noticed on this year’s conference flyer that we mentioned that WFS is on the move. This year will be our last year at the beloved DeSales University. Now don’t worry, because we have a great place picked out for 2020. Keep an eye on your inbox for the big announcement!

I’m also very proud to report that we were able to offer a work scholarship to every woman that applied this year. That’s right, we’re bringing 14 women to conference who might not otherwise be able to attend. It helps them, it helps me because I have more hands on deck, and it helps everyone in WFS because we are stronger together!

Teddy Bear Challenge

We received our first 2 bears in the mail today! They will be lovingly stored until conference, when a drawing of all our Teddy Bear Challenge donors’ names will be completed and the bears re-homed. The latest totals are 52 donors and $6,530 donated – that’s almost as much as we raised in all of last year’s challenge, and we still have over a month left!

New Literature Coming

One of our office volunteers has been hard at work getting our new Men’s Collection formatted for printing. Thanks to the hard work of one of our Men for Sobriety groups at Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center in Chicago, IL, four of our seminal pieces have been adapted for men. These include the Program Booklet, the Beginner’s Booklet, the New Life Diary, and the Levels of Recovery. These great guys have truly gone above and beyond in this task. They didn’t just change the pronouns; they also provided some male-specific examples to make the material even more relevant. Let’s hear it for the boys!

Next up is our Reflections for Growth daily reader series. Part of our strategic plan is to outsource our production and fulfillment services. To accomplish this, we need to combine some of our smaller booklets into bigger pieces. Members of the Materials & Literature Management Team have been hard at work reviewing the daily reflection booklets and adding a Statement for each day. The edits are in, and now our trusty volunteer is formatting away. We can’t wait to premiere this updated work at this year’s conference!

 

Alright, folks, that’s it for me today. Please let me know what you think of these exciting changes and feel free to share your ideas on how we can bring the WFS to even more women! (And a few good men, too!)

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update 3/29/19

Hello Competent Women!

Quick post today to show you the beautiful full-color brochures that just came in this week. This is a real milestone for WFS. Can you believe that in over 40 years, WFS has never before had an official color brochure? I can’t wait to give these away to all the addiction doctor’s at next week’s outreach event, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) National Conference.

Our office volunteers have done an amazing job helping me get ready for the event, stamping free copies of literature and preparing our special Professional Sample Kits as giveaways. Thanks, volunteers!

WFS Annual Weekend Conference

Conference plans continue to move along quite nicely. Don’t forget to register this weekend before the Early Bird registration period ends – automatically save $20 when you register before midnight (Eastern time) on Sunday night, 3/31/19!

Check back next week for a photo of our exhibit booth at ASAM!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update 3/22/19

Hello Competent Women!

Here’s this week’s happenings at WFS:

Teddy Bear Challenge

BunnyH shared that we are up to 28 bears being customized and donated to this year’s Teddy Bear Challenge drawing. But we only have 13 donors so far! I guess everyone is just going to get 2 bears each… unless you donate today! We are off to a great start financially with $2,600 of our $10,000 goal already collected. But what about the bears? BunnyH reminds us that we have…

  • 834 WFS Online members who have logged on to the forum in the last month and over 2,000 in the last 6 months.
  • 72 in-person WFS meetings across the US and Canada
  • 13 weekly chat meetings
  • over 100 WFS Online members who take the Daily Pledge to stay sober every day

She has challenged us to spread the word to find 100 donors. (Our most fruitful year of the Teddy Bear Challenge we had well over that many.) Will you help us get there?

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Our office volunteers have been hard at work this week helping me get ready for my upcoming trip to the ASAM national conference in early April. We are putting together some great Professional Sample Kits to hand out. These will contain sample literature and provider education articles to improve physician knowledge of what the New Life Program is all about. They will also contain a variety of outreach items like brochures, business cards, and bookmarks that the providers can give to their patients when they tell them about WFS.

If you are planning to attend the ASAM conference, please stop by booth 529 to get your goodies!

New Software

The WFS Board of Directors met this week and, among other things, approved another major software migration for WFS. NeonCRM is an all-inclusive software solution for non-profits. The things that it will be helping us with include donor and volunteer management, task automation, and event registration. My favorite part about it is that it will allow us to track service delivery at a level that we have never done before.

I know I am showing my true nerd colors (I consider “nerd” a compliment, don’t worry), but I can’t wait to get the new system implemented. It will make us much more efficient so we can focus our energy where it really counts – helping women! And it will help us demonstrate the effectiveness and growth of our program, too.

 

Well that’s all I have to report this week. Time for me to head off to a Management Team meeting!

Enthusiastically Yours,
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 3/15/19

Hello Competent Women!

Here’s just a few of the things that we have done this week.

Materials & Literature Management Team

The team met this week and reviewed our first ever Personal Stories category post. Yes, we are expanding this blog and trying to incorporate more of your voices! Who better to inspire women to start their journeys on the New Life path than the women who are already walking it? The post premiers tomorrow morning and shares our 2019 conference theme… how apropos!

We also delved further into plans for a new comprehensive WFS handbook/workbook. I put both words there because we couldn’t quite decide what it will be yet! Should we make one big, more comprehensive handbook that introduces WFS concepts and gives enough “meat” to really work through them? Or should we make one smaller handbook that introduces basic concepts, and then supplement that with additional, more involved workbooks for each Level of Recovery? Decisions, decisions!

We decided to look at what some of our peer organizations are offering, as well as our own extensive catalog of items, and circle back next month to make a more informed decision. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below! (Comments can be left with a pseudonym!)

WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2019

Registration is still going strong. Best news of all? We have collected $950 in Scholarship donations! We finalized some plans for the Silent Auction and the Paddle Raise, as well as the joyous surprise during the 11 am and 3:30 pm break periods on Saturday. I touched base with the volunteer who has agreed to design this year’s conference program, and another who has agreed to be my right hand women for the Joy of Transformation event – talk about #12 in action!

Office Volunteers

Now here are some very special women that I sometimes forget to mention here… my intrepid office volunteers! One woman stops by every Wednesday to help with cleaning, office tasks, and errands. She is so great and does everything I suggest to her with a smile! She has been coming for a little over a month now and is quickly becoming an important part of our team. Another regular office volunteer recently retired. Her work’s loss and our gain, I guess! She was here on Wednesday, too, and even treated us all to lunch. What a sweetie! And another 4C woman who has been with WFS for quite a while has been stopping by more lately, and has agreed to help with some computer tasks. How did I get so lucky?

Annual Report

You may not have noticed, but just today I posted WFS’s very first Annual Report! The Board of Directors has been so hard at work ensuring that this corporation is running smoothly and in line with best practices and legal guidelines. It is exciting to have this opportunity to brag on it! Now that we have our first report under our belt, we are sure that we will be able to continue this important practice in the future!

Don’t forget to share your thoughts on our handbook/workbook conundrum below!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 3/8/19

Hello Competent Women!

Sorry, 4C women, I was out with the flu this week and most of my time since returning has been playing catch-up, but here are a couple tidbits for you:

WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2019

Registration opened with a boom with 30 women registered in the first week! I saw some familiar names and some new names on the list. My favorite part of this annual event is making real life connections with the amazing women of this program. We are a pretty awesome bunch.

Quite a few women have stepped up to volunteer to lead informal activities on Thursday and Friday before the official conference kicks off. Volunteers are also starting to step up to help with wake-up and wind-down activities. There are still a few slots left, so let us know if you want to coordinate a morning jog, evening meditation, or anything in between. Together, we are making this conference one to remember!

Also, I made some progress in my plans for a super fun surprise at the event… you will just have to show up to find out what it is!

Teddy Bear Challenge

Total collected so far is $1,190! Keep checking back on the WFS Online forum Everyday Living category for weekly updates and watch that fundraising thermometer fill up.

Cigna Webinar

Don’t forget to set a calendar reminder for Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 1:00 pm EST for my webinar, Closing the Gender Gap: Women and Addictions. It used to be that men were significantly more likely than women to experience problems with drugs (including alcohol). However, these differences are quickly diminishing. We will explore how and why these numbers are changing, as well as how gender-specific needs of women can be addressed in recovery.

Attendance is by telephone, so no need for any fancy software! Simply call the number provided on the Cigna Substance Use Disorder web page.

 

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 3/1/2019

Hello Competent Women!

 

Conference Registration Launched

Did you see our new 2019 Conference page? It has all the details you need about this year’s Annual Weekend Conference. Read about the beautiful DeSales campus, travel, lodging, and all the fun activities and workshops planned. Take advantage of the Early Bird Registration period and save $20 when you register by March 30th!

Outreach

We’re all registered up to do outreach at the ASAM, NCAD, and NAADAC national conferences in 2019. These are great opportunities to multiply our reach by educating treatment professionals about WFS. As a result of last year’s major outreach effort at NAADAC, we have had numerous agencies start offering the New Life Program as part of their care.

This week’s photo is a table that I staffed at the Greater Philadelphia Area Counseling Association Trauma Symposium last weekend. They donated the space FREE – thanks GPACA! I was able to make some great connections with local mental health and chemical dependency treatment providers.

Good Governance

We had a Board of Directors meeting last week. We passed the new Document Retention and Destruction Policy – and you thought your job was boring! Now I am only half kidding, because sometimes the nitty-gritty work of managing a charitable organization can be really boring. However, all this boring behind-the-scenes stuff is important to making sure that we have an ethical organization with sound business practices. This helps us ensure that we will be around for a good long time. It also helps ensure that we are spending your donated funds where they really count – empowering women to overcome addiction!

Other boring stuff I’m working on includes continued exploration of a new CRM software solution. This will allow us to focus more of our organizational time and energy on program development and volunteer empowerment. So even though it isn’t exciting now, it will be a great thing in the long run.

Teddy Bear Challenge

Now speaking of fundraising, if you aren’t involved on our WFS Online message boards, then you have been missing out on the exciting preparations for this year’s Teddy Bear Challenge. Online member BunnyH is practicing Statement 12 and has taken charge of this annual fundraiser with gusto! She has been sending hand-sewn teddy bears across North America. Volunteers will be stuffing, accessorizing, photographing, and naming the bears to prepare them for adoption.

As with the past 2 years, we will do a drawing at the WFS Annual Weekend Conference, when the bears will be matched to their new homes. To enter to win, donate to the Teddy Bear Challenge through our website. You can also send a check with “Teddy Bear Challenge” in the memo line. (18 years and over, no donation necessary to win, 1 entry per person; email contact@womenforsobriety.org with name, shipping address, phone number, and email to enter without a donation.)

Well that’s it for this week, my competent friends. See you soon!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.