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How to Talk About Current Events Without “Getting Political”

I want to talk about how we talk about tough stuff today. There are a lot of difficult things going on in the world right now, and I feel like we have reached an unprecedented level of polarization in America. Everything – even a major community health crisis like a global pandemic – is being heavily politicized, divided into “red against blue”.

So where does that leave us 4C women, who come from a variety of backgrounds, belief systems, and political affiliations? How do we support each other as we navigate our very real and often very deep feelings about current events and how they affect our New Lives? How can we capably and competently process the effect these topics are having on us whilst simultaneously maintaining caring and compassion for ourselves and our Sisters?

The easiest-to-manage answer is to just put a complete moratorium on anything “political” in our groups, which has been a practice in WFS in the past. However, given that it seems like nearly everything is a political issue these days, it doesn’t feel like that is a sustainable or helpful solution, and is likely to strip our meetings of the dynamism that our founder Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick intended for us. I would propose that the complicated challenges facing today’s women call for more nuanced solutions.

A Sister on our WFS Online community summarized the need for a conscientious approach well by saying,”The political IS personal because it influences our lives, our thoughts, our feelings, our anxiety levels, our enthusiasm and capacity to think positively about the future.”

So, here are some ideas on how we can effectively navigate these difficult topics whilst also gaining support for our New Lives, respecting the diversity of our Sisters, and maintaining a safe space for all:

  • We can share about our personal emotions without directly referencing which “side” of a political issue we stand on.
  • If that’s not possible, we can share about our personal emotions in response to a current event without trying to persuade others to agree with us.
  • When someone opens up to us about their emotions, we can keep our response focused on their personal experience, and leave our own opinions out of it.
  • If we are feeling emotionally activated by someone else’s share, we can take a break before responding. If we are really having a difficult time staying in compassion, we can simply choose to not say anything at all.
  • We can reach out to our personal support system (outside of WFS) for help processing our own emotions if needed, without trying to rally others to take our viewpoint or pitting Sisters against Sisters.
  • If a 4C Sister comes to us for individual support, we can support them emotionally without getting involved in their interpersonal conflict. We can take what they are saying with a grain of salt, knowing that their perspective and interpretation is just that – theirs – and that we don’t have to take their opinion on ourselves.
  • We can refrain from contacting someone individually in response to something shared in a group setting that we disagree with, especially if our contact is unwelcome.
  • We can respect others’ boundaries if they tell us they need a break from a topic, or from us.
  • We can respect the guidance of our community facilitators (Certified Chat Leaders, Forum Management Team, and Certified Moderators) by respecting their requests to redirect our sharing to focus on recovery, return to the topic at a meeting, or otherwise modify our behavior to be in line with WFS philosophy and guidelines.
  • We can assume good intentions, even when behavior is unskillful.
  • We can acknowledge and accept that most of us are here precisely because we don’t have the best skills at navigating challenging situations, that each 4C Sister is in a different place in her healing journey, and that we are all doing the best we can with the tools that we have available to us.

Talking about controversial current events, politics, and other types of difficult topics in WFS meetings might be new ground for some of us. But I believe that we are 4C, capable of keeping the focus on ourselves and our recoveries, without wading into persuasion and convincing. There will probably be missteps. Some of us will make mistakes. I might get caught up in the moment and spout an opinion or two – it has been known to happen. But I have a lot of faith in 4C women. I’ve seen us do some pretty amazing things!

With Much Love,
Adrienne Miller
WFS President/CEO

Do you have any additional ideas about ways to talk about the effect that current events are having on our New Lives without getting into debate or conflict? Please share them here!

You are also invited to the new inclusion workgroup of 4C women exploring how to dismantle our personal and organizational biases. Please participate in our brief survey to assist us with planning!

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How Intersectional is Your Feminism?

Feminism & Women For Sobriety
by Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD

In the early years, I was always startled when persons referred to WFS as part of the feminist movement and yet, I see quite clearly that it is.  Although I always knew that the values sought for through the Program are for women to be free from domination from others and to find themselves, I just never spoke of the WFS Program in this way.

But what is feminism?  Has there ever been a movement or a word so badly treated and misunderstood?

To me, feminism is the right of women to seek equality in jobs, in payment for those jobs, and to be treated equally under the law.  But it is so much more then that too.

To me, it means that we are to seek an equal status for ourselves and, in order to do that, we must find ourselves, define ourselves, and believe in ourselves.  And that’s what our program seeks to do.

Too long we have been treated unfairly through the overriding dominance of the male system, yet there was none other.  Too often I think we wanted to rebel but didn’t put anything in the place of the rebellion.

We cannot rise up against something unless we have something better to offer and I believe that can only happen when we change ourselves from dependent persons to independent persons, women strong in our beliefs, convictions, and commitments.

It is too easy to cry out about inequality without any substance underneath.  The WFS Program should provide a way to make us strong in beliefs that provide substance to our outcry.  Improving ourselves ultimately improves society.

One therapist, Miriam Greenspan, believes our thinking is at fault.  Women fail to recognize the ways that men depend upon women and we end up thinking of ourselves as ‘dependent,’ when, in reality, it is men who are dependent.  Women have been misled in our thinking.  Society continues to accommodate male independence and thwart women’s, and so we, as women, have impaired thinking.

Women for Sobriety stands for women’s strengths.  Both the program and the organization are dedicated to women finding inner strengths to create, and live the kind of lives we desire to live.

 

In the late 1980’s, WFS program founder Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick wrote the above article for the Sobering Thoughts newsletter. She also wrote frequently about women’s rights and the gender pay gap, and openly lamented about the Equal Rights Amendment not being ratified. Additionally, Jean testified twice before senate sub-committees advocating regarding the gender-specific needs of women with substance use disorders. Indeed, Jean was not afraid of “getting political” when it mattered – when it was relevant to the cause of empowering women so that they could come into their own and take control of their lives and their addictions.

As feminist theory has evolved, it has broadened to recognize the concept of intersectionality. This is the idea that in addition to the challenges faced by all women in our culture by virtue of their gender, some women face additional systemic and social barriers that compound marginalization and pushes them further to the fringes. These systemic and social barriers can range from the more invisible challenges such as education level, class, socioeconomic status, and sexuality, to more visible differences such as physical disability and non-white skin tone.

It’s not an “I-have-it-worse-than-you” competition. It’s about acknowledging and recognizing imbalances so that we can correct them.

It has taken me a long time to de-stigmatize my own feelings about having prejudices toward people with different skin tones. I was raised to believe that only bad or evil people are “racist”, and I initially felt really defensive when I started to look at my own subconscious prejudices. “But I’m a good person!” was my underlying thought. It took me a long time and a lot of work to accept that my deeply ingrained biases didn’t make me a bad person — they are simply an inevitable result of growing up in a society that was built on a racialized system. We have come a long way, yes, but there is still a very long way to go.

It’s a lot like recovery. I had to come out of denial so that I could grow.

I recognize my privilege as a white woman. Even though I have experienced a number of other sources of marginalization, my skin color is not one of them. I recognize that I sometimes jump too quickly to sharing my own, unrelated challenges when my friends of color share their stories of racial discrimination. I recognize that I am quick to say that I advocate against racism while in actuality I take very little concrete action to change the system that perpetuates it. I recognize that even though this topic is important to me and highly relevant to WFS (our program surveys show that a disproportionate number of our participants – over 90% – are white), my own insecurities and privilege kept me from addressing this critical topic sooner.

This is also a lot like recovery. It’s not a single event to unlearn a lifetime of conditioning, it is an ongoing process.

Today, I am following Jean’s example and taking a risk. I am “getting political” about something that matters to me, and something that I believe should matter to every single woman that walks through the proverbial WFS door. I am scared to be “going there” in my official capacity as WFS President/CEO. I feel really vulnerable sharing these things in this public way, and as a public figure in this organization. Yet I know that my discomfort does not come close to comparing to the discomfort of my 4C Sisters of color. And I know that as a woman in a leadership position, my conscience would not be clear if I did not respond in some way to the issues that are currently being raised.

Today, I accept the responsibility of proactively learning from the resources available to me.

So here I am, asking my 4C Sisters:

  • What are we, the white women of WFS, willing to do to make sure that we fulfill the mission of WFS – to help all women find their individual path to recovery?
  • How can we effectively reach out to women of color and help them feel welcomed and included in our groups?
  • How can we hold each other accountable for creating a community that not only welcomes, but actively celebrates, every woman who finds our New Life Program?
Image Credit: https://iwda.org.au/what-does-intersectional-feminism-actually-mean/
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WFS Policy & COVID Updates

Women for Sobriety

POLICY & COVID UPDATES

 

Dear Competent Women,

I know it’s been a tough week. No matter where you are in the world, I can’t imagine that you haven’t been touched in some way by the current pandemic. As always, WFS and a whole community of 4C women are here to support and encourage you.

Competent Women Getting Stuff Done

Here’s an update on our major service areas and how 4C women have been coming together to keep each other supported during this time:

  • Face-to-Face Meetings – Our Administrative Assistant III, Suz C., has created about 40 free G Suite accounts for our Certified Moderators to use so that their local communities can continue to stay connected during social distancing measures – thanks, Suz! The best thing about the meetings being hosted on Google Hangouts Meet is that women may choose to join by video or by phone, which is a great option for those who may not be comfortable with videoconferencing software. We have confirmation that approximately 40% of our in-person meetings are now meeting virtually. Wow! Thank you to our myriad Certified Moderators who are stepping out of their comfort zones in order to continue supporting their local communities.
  • WFS Online – Our peer-support forum at https://wfsonline.org continues to provide 24/7 support for any woman with an internet connection. The Certified Chat Leaders rallied this week and held the very first WFS Online Video Meeting on Friday – great job, CCLs! In addition to facilitated Video Meetings, the videoconferencing room is available for informal peer-support whenever a facilitated meeting is not being held. I will also be holding a new morning check-in meeting every weekday for a couple of weeks to help explore the new software. The “Great Start Girlfriends” will meet at 9 am Eastern/8 am Central/7 am Mountain/6 am Pacific M-F for half an hour from Monday, March 23rd to Friday, April 3rd. Join us at https://wfsonline.org for a brief pick-me-up to brighten your day!
  • WFS Bookstore – The state of Pennsylvania has ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close, but luckily this doesn’t include Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses. This means the WFS online bookstore continues to operate, with shipping frequency slightly reduced to 2x weekly (from normal 3x weekly) due to decreased demand and to reduce travel of valued staff.
  • WFS Office – It is deeply important to me that we continue to empower women and not add to the growing number of laid off workers due to the current health crisis. I am so proud to say that no WFS staff have lost any income due to recent events – in fact, we are busier than ever implementing new solutions to keep women connected and supported during this time of increased need!
  • Annual Weekend Conference – The WFS Board of Directors has made the difficult but necessary decision to make some changes to conference plans this year. In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, we are postponing our physical event to 2021. I am currently in contact with Hamline University to negotiate rolling our current reservation over to next June – we appreciate everything the local Twin Cities community has done to prepare for the big event, and we want to honor their work by visiting next year. We will follow up again once the new dates are set. The Board also voted to waive the 10% Cancellation Processing Fee for women who already registered for 2020 and do not wish to roll their registration over to 2021 – please join me in extending my thanks to the board for their care and compassion of women who may be struggling financially in these uncertain times.
  • Virtual Conference 2020 – We know that many women need support, connection, and inspiration like never before, so we are still going to have conference 2020 but in a new way – virtually! We’re busy contacting our presenters, exploring software, and revising plans to bring the conference experience home to you. I’m optimistic that with a lower registration fee and no travel needed, we’ll be able to reach so many more women. The event will still be held the weekend of June 12-14, 2020, so keep it on your calendar! Please keep your eye on your inbox for more announcements as those plans develop.

Triple Your Donation with a Double Match

I was brought to tears yesterday when an angel donor pledged to match this year’s conference season donations 2-to-1 for up to $40,000 in matching funds! You read that right: for every $1 you donate, they will donate $2, effectively tripling your money. Please help us get the full $40,000 by reaching the $20,000 goal by June 14, 2020. As a bonus, receive an entry in our Teddy Bear & Bunny Drawing by making your donation through the Teddy Bear Challenge. This year, drawing winners will have the option of receiving the stuffed animal personally or donating it directly to someone in need who has been affected by the COVID pandemic. It’s a win, win, win!

DONATE NOW

Mr. Rogers’ Mom Said to Look for the Helpers

I realized last night that, for me, spotting helpers is not enough. I am comforted so much more when I am actively doing what I can to make things better. I’m challenging you, too, to take it one step further and be a helper. WFS needs you now more than ever!

  • Not struggling with your sobriety during this tough time? Great! Please rejoin your local f2f group (most are meeting online or by phone) or the WFS Online peer-support forum and lend your strength and knowledge to those that need it. You are a competent woman, and you have much to give your Sisters.
  • Comfortable with Zoom and/or virtual conference software? The Conference Management Team could really use your expertise as we work toward implementing our first ever virtual conference. Please email conference@womenforsobriety.org if you are interested.
  • Have at least one year of continuous sobriety? Help us expand our online peer-support services by volunteering to lead one of our new Video Meetings. Fill out the Volunteer Application and select 07. Certified Chat Leader. The software is easy to use and we are trying to pair up facilitators so one can run the meeting and one can run the tech.
  • Passionate about supporting the fiscal health of WFS? Join the ranks of bear & bunny creators or help promote the Teddy Bear Challenge and other conference season fundraising activities by emailing fundraising@womenforsobriety.org. Help us meet our 20k match goal!
  • Know something about digital literature or media publishing? With sales of physical items dropping dramatically, we are feeling a new urgency to support the organization by releasing our literature in downloadable formats. If you have experience with converting literature, workbooks, audio, or video materials for downloadable sales (Kindle, iTunes, e-Pub, etc.), please email admin@womenforsobriety.org.

A MESSAGE FROM BUNNY, PEER LEADER OF THE TBC WORKGROUP
It is not just about the money…
It is not just about the bears and the bunnies…It is a time of great concern over health and well being for all.

As you read this, the volunteers in WFS are responding with support for you. In posts on the WFS Forum, in Chat meetings, in their response to setup Video meetings in areas that have had to cancel face-to-face sessions.

Rest assured that you have an army of sisters you can reach out to… via the WFS Forum messages or phone or email. If you are having anxiety… take the leap and contact one of us or join a meeting! If you see this message, you can find us! We are Chat Leaders, Certified Moderators, WFS Board of Directors, Phone Support Volunteers, and sisters on the WFS Forum!

Take care of yourself and your family. When you have time, consider a donation to The Teddy Bear Challenge. Funding the services and tools that this volunteer army uses to help the WFS community, in part, comes from The Teddy Bear Challenge.

CLICK HERE to donate to the Teddy Bear Challenge

Hugs and Aloha,
BunnyH
bunny@womenforsobriety.org

Have a Listen

Check out the latest episode of the SoberSoul Recovery Podcast where Lynn Matti interviews yours truly (I still haven’t listened to it!) about WFS and the upcoming conference. It may be bittersweet hearing about the upcoming event which has now been postponed, but take comfort in the fact that Lynn has already agreed to join us at our Virtual Conference 2020!

A Friendly Reminder

Here are some resources put together by experts to help with difficult emotions during this time:

I send you all deep appreciation, care, and love as you move through recent challenges and maintain personal, emotional, and spiritual growth. Again, please join us on our online forum 24/7 or call the office at 215-536-8026 during business hours (9 am to 5 pm US Eastern, M-F) if you need support or encouragement, or to support and encourage others.

Bonded in Compassion,
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Self-Imaging in Recovery – Free Webinar Tomorrow!

Stuck at home with social distancing? Hop on the phone and join WFS President/CEO as she delves deep into the topic of self-imaging in recovery.

Workshop Description: Due to the impact of addiction on multiple areas of life, many people with a substance use disorder feel a strong loss of identity when they try to make changes to their substance use. We will explore why this is so, and share some simple methods to help the recovering person redefine their self-image to one of an empowered, capable, and sober individual.

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Presenter: Adrienne Miller, Women for Sobriety

Link to Seminar: cigna.com/substanceuse

Call-in number: US/CAN Toll Free: 1 (866) 770-3260    Int’l Toll: 1 (509) 844-9004

Read the handout [PDF]

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WFS & COVID-19

Dear Competent Women,

I am writing today to address the current coronavirus pandemic and its implications for the services of Women for Sobriety, Inc. First and foremost, I wish to share my love and compassion for any difficult feelings you are experiencing in this uncertain time. My brother and his family live in China, and I am originally from Seattle, so all phases of this outbreak have hit incredibly close to my heart. All feelings, whether they are frustrated because you feel like this is all overblown, or fear for the health of yourself and/or loved ones, are valid. Indeed, I have probably felt them all myself over the past couple of months.

Here are some resources put together by experts to help with difficult emotions during this time:

The Women for Sobriety Board of Directors will be developing a more detailed policy response to the current outbreak at their regular meeting next week. In the meantime, the WFS office is making the following adaptations and recommendations related to our services:
  • Face-to-Face Meetings – Since WFS in-person meetings are held in a wide geographical area, there is no single recommendation at this time for whether or not local meetings should be continued. We refer to the competent women of each area to decide what is best for them, based on WHO and federal CDC recommendations, that of their local health authorities, and their own personal needs and health considerations. You may wish to contact the Certified Moderator in your area before making the drive to your local meeting. Please do not attend meetings if you are experiencing symptoms or have recently been exposed to someone who is sick.
  • WFS Online – Our online peer-support forum will continue to operate and be available to women 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at https://wfsonline.org. Online chat meetings will continue daily as scheduled. I am working with our online volunteers to expedite the implementation of online video meetings in light of recent events. Check in on the forum regularly as that project develops.
  • WFS Bookstore – WFS will continue to take online bookstore orders and fulfill them on schedule, unless local health authorities require the closure of local businesses or restrict local travel. I consider our life-saving work to be essential and I am committed to continuing to bring hope and New Life to the women seeking it.
  • WFS Office – Fortunately, WFS has made many updates to procedures that will allow most operations to continue through telecommuting by all employees. Emails and phones will continue to be answered during normal business hours.
  • WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2020 – Since the situation is rapidly-developing, it is uncertain what affect this might have on our annual event in June. The Conference Management Team is continuing to plan for the event, and we are also exploring a number of contingency plans. The Board of Directors will be evaluating special policy adaptations that may be indicated in this area.
I wish to extend caring and compassion to all as we navigate this health event. Please reach out via our online forum for support as needed, or call the office at 215-536-8026 during business hours (9 am to 5 pm US Eastern, M-F). You do not have to go through this alone.

Much Love to All,
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Autumn Update – WFS Newsletter

Autumn Update

December 2019

 

2019 Highlights

  • Launched customized new chat room for online chat meetings.
  • Modernized the WFS Online Community with new software.
  • Increased conference attendance by 20%.
  • Conducted outreach at three major national conferences for addictions professionals.
  • Launched new Friends of WFS software to streamline donor, volunteer, and event management.
  • Relocated office, downsizing to save on overhead and channel more funds to empowering women to overcome addiction.

WFS Office Relocation

In September 2019, after much sorting, organizing, purging, and packing, the WFS office completed its first move in over 35 years! Thanks in large part to outsourcing of our literature production tasks, we were able to downsize our square footage by half. This is part of an overall effort to decrease overhead so we can spend your generous donations where they really count – developing the New Life Program and empowering women to overcome addiction!

Our “new” building is a classic Quakertown structure that is being restored – check out those amazing original hardwood floors! Shown in the picture is our streamlined bookstore and shipping department, with a circle of chairs that we use to hold our weekly on-site WFS meetings.

Replay

Soberful Podcast
Listen as one of our 2019 conference featured presenters, Veronica Valli, interviews WFS President/CEO Adrienne Miller about the New Life Program.

Beyond Addiction Show
Go to Episode 32 for another in-depth interview with President/CEO Adrienne Miller about the New Life Program.

KYW Newsradio
Quick tips for navigating the holidays sober.

Personal Stories

From the WFS Blog

HOME AT LAST
…There is nothing special about me, I just realize the importance of putting in the effort to get what I want and what I am worthy of. Because of Women for Sobriety, I am doing what I dreamed of as a child and countless things I never would have dreamed of. Read More

NOTICING THE JOY
I recall feeling like I was going to lose my mind around my one year mark, but then SO MANY people told me that was absolutely normal. I recall the day that I realized that I didn’t know how many sober days I had accumulated… I actually had to count. I cried for the joy of that ~ it was my new normal and that day I knew I had found my New Life! Read More

 

New Meetings

Maplewood, MN: Wednesdays – 7 pm
For Licensed Healthcare Professionals Only

San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico: Wednesdays – 10:00 am

Everett, WA: Thursdays – 6:30 pm

Patterson, CA: Saturdays – 10:00 am

Chandler, AZ: Saturdays – 10:00 am

Albuquerque, NM: Wednesdays – 5:30 pm

Save the Date!

Auction Coordinator Needed!
Do you look forward to the annual fundraising auction at conference each year? Help us carry on the tradition by volunteering to coordinate the event! If you are interested in taking the lead on this vital fundraising project, please email admin@womenforsobriety.org today!

Call for Presentations Available
Learn more about being a conference presenter on our conference page.

 


 

What WFS Does

The WFS New Life Program is a self-help program that promotes behavioral changes through positive reinforcement, cognitive strategies, letting the body help and dynamic group involvement.

Women for Sobriety meetings, also frequently referred to as “face-to-face” groups, are available in the United States and Canada. WFS meetings are limited to women who are personally engaged in recovery from problematic drug and/or alcohol use.

WFS Online is a free, open forum for women overcoming their addictions using the New Life Program. WFS Online consists of a 24/7 message board, as well as online text chat meetings.

WFS provides Phone Support via women who have volunteered to be phone contacts for women who may not have access to other WFS peer support or who wish to develop a more individualized support relationship.

WFS hosts an Annual Weekend Conference. This retreat-style weekend offers workshops, presentations, and WFS meetings from Friday evening to mid-day Sunday.

Your year-end gift will allow WFS to continue providing services to women in recovery! Thank You!

Donate Now

 

Financial and other information about Women for Sobriety’s purpose, programs, and activities can be obtained by contacting WFS at PO Box 618, Quakertown, PA 18951; 215-536-8026; or contact@womenforsobriety.org, or for residents of the following states, as stated below. Registration in a state does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation of WFS by the state. CO: Secretary of State, 303-894-2860, www.sos.state.co.us/ re: Reg.No 20183006027. FL: CH53986 A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. IL: Contracts and reports regarding WFS are on file with the Illinois Attorney General. MD: For the cost of postage and copies, from the Maryland Secretary of State. MI: MICS No.CS 58804. MS: The official registration and financial information of Women for Sobriety, Inc., can be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office by calling 1-888-236-6167. NJ: INFORMATION FILED WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING THIS CHARITABLE SOLICITATION AND THE PERCENTAGE OF CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED BY THE CHARITY DURING THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD THAT WERE DEDICATED TO THE CHARITABLE PURPOSE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY BY CALLING (973) 504-6588 AND IS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/charfrm.htm. REGISTRATION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT. NC: Financial information about this organization and copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-814-5400. NV: The state of incorporation of WFS is PA. PA: The official registration and financial information for WFS may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. WA: From the Charities Division, Office of the Secretary of State, State of Washington, Olympia, WA 98504-0422, 1-800-332-4483, or www.sos.wa.gov/charities. WV: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, West Virginia 25305. CONTRIBUTIONS ARE DEDUCTIBLE FOR FEDERAL INCOME TAX PURPOSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAW.

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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.