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Organization Update – 2/15/19

Hello Competent Women!

Did you miss me? I sure missed sharing all the exciting stuff that’s going on in the organization with you!  Where to start…

How about Conference? We combed through the workshop applications and set our tentative schedule. I am still following up with the presenters but we were able to offer all of our peer applicants (i.e. 4C women) a slot, which made me incredibly happy. J There will be a great balance of peer presenters and professional presenters again this year, so a little something for everyone. I’m making a new webpage with the full schedule, registration information, travel tips, and answers to all your lingering conference questions – that should be launched next week, with registration opening on March 1st. Lisa, our volunteer coordinator extraordinaire, is busy procuring a small army of additional 4C women to help with specific areas of need, including developing the printed conference program, working the registration tables, coordinating all the fun additional activities, and planning and executing the new Gala dinner on Saturday night.

Our workgroup simply could not decide on a conference logo from amongst the many beautiful logos submitted, but we managed to narrow it down to the 2 above. Which one do you think best embodies this year’s theme of Hello Happiness? Click here to put in your anonymous vote!

Last week I missed my blog post because I was busy in Maryland for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Advisory Council meeting. Dr. Deidra Roach did a compelling presentation called Women and Alcohol about the need for more resources to be directed to researching, preventing, and treating alcohol use disorders in women. Unfortunately, this is one area where the gender gap is closing rapidly, a subject which I am currently researching for my upcoming webinar for the Cigna Behavioral Awareness Series: Coping with Substance Use Disorders on March 20, 2019. I was able to make a personal connection with Dr. Roach and I let her know that WFS is always happy to partner with researchers to strengthen the evidence on self-help options such as the New Life Program. This was followed by a day of self-care with our MD administrative volunteer and CM – we went to a salt cave, bought some shoes, and got massages, followed on Saturday by a fantastic f2f meeting where we geared up for Valentine’s Day by writing ourselves love letters. What a wonderful way to practice Statement #7!

The other Management Teams are moving along nicely. Internet Services launched the new chatroom on February 1st and I have heard nothing but good things. They are also starting to play around with some of the other cool features of the new platform, such as Journals. I’m excited to see how that develops! We received and distributed the new statement and motto posters to all of our face-to-face groups, and plans for the new Moderator’s Support Circle continue to be developed by the Face-to-Face Management Team. The Materials and Literature Team is working on a revamp of the Reflections for Growth series and is starting to brainstorm ideas for a new offering for the bookstore, and we finalized some guidelines about how to help grow this blog and start featuring the most important individuals – the women who are rocking this recovery thing using the New Life Program! The Fundraising Management Team is vetting some important new software to help us organize our fundraising efforts, and as a nice plus, our generous volunteers. We’ve also launched the Teddy Bear Challenge, which is already garnering a lot of enthusiasm. And the Outreach & Events Team had a small (me +1!) meeting discussing strategies to increase the availability of in the U.K.

Thank you to all of the wonderful women reading this – leave me a comment and let me know what you think of all these changes or if you have any questions or want to get more involved. (I changed the settings so you can now leave comments anonymously.) I’m so grateful to be on this journey with you and I would love to hear more about you!

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

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello Competent Women!

I wanted to give a quick shout-out of love to all of our 4C women today! Whether you have a sweetheart or not, I sincerely hope that all of you can take a moment to practice a little self-love and self-appreciation today.

I remember one year, well before I found WFS, that I was feeling very sorry for myself on Valentine’s Day (Statement #2). I was single and I was moping about being without a sweetheart on this day that we set aside to celebrate love. I wandered listlessly into the grocery store during my lunch break to try to find something appealing to eat. Right at the entrance was a large display of Valentine’s candy and gifts, seemingly mocking my loneliness, all 75% off. “Wow,” I thought, “I could buy something for every single one of my friends for that price.”

As the faces of the dear men and women in my life began to play like a slideshow in my mind, it slowly dawned on me that I did, in fact, have a whole lot of love surrounding me (#7). Sure, I wasn’t romantically involved with anyone, but lots of people loved me, and I loved them in myriad ways. I loved the way my best friend always took my side when I was struggling with a difficult situation. I loved that I could go to another one of my friend’s houses any time and just sit on the couch and watch bad t.v. with him when I was bored and feeling alone. I loved that I could get into wacky political debates with another one of my gal pals. And I realized that they probably loved at least a few things about me, too! (#10)

I resolved then and there to change my attitude and not spend a lonely evening feeling sorry myself (#13). I grabbed a basket and filled it to the brim with heart-shaped boxes of cheap confections and cheesy kid’s valentines cards (#6). I spent the afternoon making a mental list of who I wanted to share love with that evening and plotting my driving route (#12). When I got off work, I happily slogged through Seattle rush-hour traffic to make my rounds (#11). I didn’t call ahead of time, I just showed up on people’s doorsteps, silly V-day tchotchkes in hand, surprising my friends with my message of love, receiving a quick hug and maybe sharing a tear or two of surprised joy, and running off to the next house (#3). If they weren’t home, I left them a love-filled surprise and received messages of appreciation later (#10).

Since then, I’ve had many Valentine’s Days when I’ve had sweethearts, and plenty without (#13). I’ve had lonely single V-days, and lonely ones when I’ve been in a relationship, too (#4). One year early in my sobriety, the only living soul I could think of who loved me was my cat! (#10) I’ve isolated and wallowed in my misery some years (#2), and been able to turn myself around in others (#3). This year, I am single but definitely not alone (#5). I have thousands of Sisters worldwide, bonded together in overcoming our addictions, learning to give love, learning to receive love, and supporting each other as we learn to love ourselves a little more (#8).

What’s your favorite Valentine’s story? I invite you to comment below and share with the world! (Blog comments may be left anonymously.)

Much Love,
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.
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Organization Update – 1/25/19

Happy Friday Competent Women!

More good things happening as always here at WFS.

The Internet Services Management Team met to further discuss the launch of the new chat room, which is due to go fully live on February 1st! They’re also talking about new ways to use this great new software, which includes many more features than just a chat room. Have you ever wanted to keep a recovery blog to share your journey but didn’t feel comfortable posting it on the public web for everyone to see? Well we may just be able to help you with that!

Speaking of blogs, we have a new volunteer who is going to help get this public-facing blog a-hoppin’! I’ll let her introduce herself when she is ready, but keep your eye out for increased content being posted. We are hopeful that posting more content here will help folks who are curious about WFS learn more about all the wonderful things this New Life Program has to offer.

On the conference front, I was able to speak with our headliner for the WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2019, Karen Drucker. She is just such a special person and we are so fortunate to have her joining us for the entire weekend! We’re also getting some really great submissions in response to our Call for Presentations and our request for conference logo ideas. It still amazes me how every day my gratitude can grow for the amazing women of this organization.

Speaking of which, I’ve also got an angel volunteer hard at work searching for a new venue for the 2020 conference. That’s right – WFS is on the move! Where will it be? Well, we don’t know yet but we will make the announcement at the end of this year’s event. Better show up so that you can be among the first to hear the news!

On the boring “we’re good stewards of your donated funds” front, our beautiful Treasurer Britt Rodriguez was here this week doing our annual selected transactions audit. We combed through a plethora of receipts and bookkeeping records, tracing transactions from start to finish. This is an important financial control so that you can be sure your contributions are being spent appropriately and tracked properly… even if it’s not the most exciting way to spend a couple of January days!

Until next week, we at WFS remain…

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

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Organization Update – 1/18/19

Hello Competent Women!

It was another busy week of Sisters doin’ it for themselves! I had the honor of three more meetings with 4C volunteers this week. It creates some late nights but also lots of enthusiasm and motivation to keep this organization moving forward!

Tuesday night was Internet Services Management Team (IST), where we discussed the ongoing transition to the new chat software for our online meetings. Also really exciting is the extra chat room we will be able to have available – the New Life Café – which will be a drop-in chat space for women to casually socialize outside of official chat meetings in a real-time open environment.

Wednesday night was the Fundraising Management Team, a team that is still in early development. Our new Peer Coordinator had a detailed agenda and outlined some basic tasks that will help us lay the groundwork for a healthy donor program. Another sister stepped up and volunteered to lead two of our recurring campaigns this year – wow!

Thursday night was the Board of Directors meeting, where we passed the new Whistleblower Policy, which is also posted on our Governance page. We encourage anyone with serious concerns about misuse of WFS funds or program services to report them so that we can do our best to ensure that all WFS business is carried out in an honest and responsible manner.

I am also really excited to report that I was able to get in touch with WFS Annual Weekend Conference favorite Karlee Fain (pictured above), who will again be joining us for workshops and Opening Ceremony at the 2019 conference! With Karen Drucker, Annie Grace, and Veronica Valli also on the bill, this conference is really going to be great! Don’t miss it June 7th through 9th, with pre-conference activities starting on Thursday, June 6th. Registration will open late February or early March.

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

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Organization Update – 1/11/19

Hello Competent Women!

I want to extend a BIG thank you to all the 4C women who attended the Management Team meetings this week! I was in the office late 2 nights but it was definitely worth it to feel the enthusiasm and collaborative energy.

Over the weekend, the Conference Planning Workgroup has another fun online planning session. We decided on a theme! It is Hello Happiness!, which emphasizes the joy and enthusiasm that waits for us in sobriety. Each year we like to link our theme to the New Life Program, and it’s not hard to see how this relates to our 4th Level of Recovery: Using new attitudes to enforce new behavior patterns. This Level includes Acceptance Statements 3 (Happiness is a habit I developing), 6 (Life can be ordinary or it can be great), and 11 (Enthusiasm is my daily exercise). We also had a WFS Online member reach out to a prominent recovery blogger and invite her to join us and she has agreed! She and I had a great meeting on Wednesday and she will be joining us for the entire weekend, giving a keynote address, leading workshops, and being a part of our Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Keep an eye out for your next Call for Presentations email to find out who it is!

Next is getting an icon/image ready for marketing materials. We are soliciting submissions from competent women like you! Have an image in mind that says “Hello Happiness!” to you? We need two versions: one color (for marketing materials) and one black & white (for printing). Images should be at least 5” x 4” with a minimum of 300 dpi. If you use the works of others, please be sure to use royalty free/creative commons images only – nothing that is copyrighted or trademarked. Images may include the theme statement and/or the WFS logo, but should not include the words “recovery,” “sobriety,” or similar. I’ve created the above collage of previous logos to help inspire you! Simply email your submissions by January 31st to volunteer@womenforsobriety.org.

First off was my weekly meeting with our amazing Volunteer Management Team Peer Coordinator, who graciously sets aside an hour each week to meet with me and help me keep everyone straight! Wednesday was Outreach & Events and Materials & Literature open team meetings. These are two groups that have had a difficult time taking off, but are so important to getting WFS into the hands of more women in need! We started off with some brainstorming and a few people even signed up for tasks. I posted the list of ideas and projects on the Everyday Living forum on WFS Online and I’m hoping that we can inspire even more women to get involved. Members of WFS Online can find those lists and a link to the next scheduled meetings of these two groups online.

On Thursday night, our Face-to-Face Management Team met, which is our strongest team right now, operating a high strategic-planning level. We welcomed two new team members, updated each other on current projects, and also discussed the upcoming revision of the Moderator’s Manual. We have a couple of field professionals that I met on my trip to the Houston NAADAC conference last October, and I am very excited to be branching into this type of collaboration for WFS programming!

Next week is our Fundraising Management Team meeting, so make sure to join us if you are enthusiastic about making sure that WFS will have the funding to keep providing services for years to come. Log in information is on the forum or email me at admin@womenforsobriety.org. That’s it for this week! Have a great weekend everybody!

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

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Organization Update – 1/4/2019

Hello Competent Women!

It’s an exciting new year here at Women for Sobriety! We are busy here at the office with year-end tasks – taking inventory, double-checking the financial records in preparation for year-end reporting, and processing all those fantastic donations by our generous 4C women! Our CMs and CCMs really stepped up and sent in so many of their group donations so that we could get them into the books under the appropriate year – thanks so much to all of them for their diligence and of course their continuing dedication to bringing this life-saving program to their local communities!

Our volunteer Management Teams are gearing up for the new year, too. The Volunteer Team is busy as always recruiting and screening 4C women to help with tasks. The Face-to-Face Management Team has prepared a new special item to support our weekly meetings (more details soon) and distributed a survey for the upcoming CM Support Circle, and I launched a new CM Tools & Resources web page just for CMs, CCMs, and their helpers. The Internet Services Management Team has met several times and is busy with implementing a new chat room for the WFS Online support community. The Outreach & Events, Fundraising, and Materials & Literature Management Teams will all be holding open meetings for interested volunteers over the next 2 Wednesdays. Check in on the forum or email me at admin@womenforsobriety.org if you’d like to attend – anyone willing to help is welcome!

The Conference Planning Workgroup is hard at work – planning is going great and we are working on organizing some smaller sub-groups to work on specific tasks like coordinating the informal activities, fundraising auction, etc. One of our online participants reached out to a prominent online recovery coach/blogger and I’ll be meeting with her next week to further discuss arrangements. I just love the women in this program – such take-charge women! Now while the professionals are great, I will take a moment to say how much our conference attendees love workshops facilitated by bona fide 4C women, so please consider filling out a Call for Presentations form and sharing your competence with your Sisters by developing an engaging new breakout session. Workshop presenters will again be receiving a waiver of their base registration fee ($300 value) for the weekend!

Of course, the most exciting news for us in the office this week is the new window dressings, thanks to our online Bloomers group! You can see in the photo above that we went for a solar filter film on the top window panels, wide-slat blinds for the side windows, and a roller shade on the door. I know it doesn’t look like much, but if you check out the photo from 11/16, you can see what an improvement this is! I am still amazed that the Bloomers raised the money for this restricted fund in less than 24 hours. Thank you, Bloomers!!!

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

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Organization Update 11/30/18

Hello Competent Women!

Running a little late tonight and I have a 4C holiday open house to get to so I will make this brief. Lots of exciting things happening here at Women for Sobriety as usual. We had a very successful Giving Tuesday, bringing in $8,000 in direct donations! We are still waiting to hear from Facebook, which was running a donation matching campaign with PayPal. Many 4C women logged on right at 8 a.m. EST to claim our piece of that pie. I keep checking my inbox like a kid on Christmas morning!

One of our online groups, the Bloomers, also ran a quick restricted fund campaign to help brighten up the office a little. In under 24 hours, they raised $890 to replace the old, dirty blinds in the office. A local volunteer has coordinated the whole effort, obtaining the bids from the blinds folks, running the campaign, and she’s now even scheduling all the work herself. We office gals are super appreciative and looking forward to having a fresh, clean face to the world. I’ll be sure to post pictures once the facelift is complete!

The Board of Directors met this week and we got the 2019 budget finalized. What a relief, and the meeting only ran 3 hours! I tell you, it is such an honor to serve with this dedicated bunch of women. The time and energy they put into governing WFS – on a volunteer basis, no less – is truly astounding! We are very excited to be able to direct thousands of donor dollars to outreach next year. This has been the result of many years of hard work reducing administrative costs so we can spend the money where it is needed most – getting this life-saving program into the hands of the women out there who are literally dying from their life-threatening problems, including alcohol, methamphetamine, opioids, benzodiazepines, and other drugs. I hope to return to the national NAADAC conference next year and increase our repertoire even more. Moderators are encouraged to let me know if there is an event in their local communities that they could use a few dollars for! Let’s fill those rooms!

We also got two new corporate officers this week. I am proud to welcome Britt Rodriguez as Treasurer and Lisa Lerner as Secretary. Britt has served on the Finance Committee for many years and so is very familiar with our books, and also has a sharp mind and experience with accounts that will serve WFS well. Lisa has been a Certified Moderator for over a decade and will do a great job keeping all of our corporate documentation in tip-top shape. Please join me in thanking these dedicated women for extending their commitment to WFS in these vital roles!

Okay, I better get off to this wonderful sober holiday party that has already started without me. I have been so grateful this holiday season to be surrounded by the love and support of my Sisters, even though I am far away from home. I couldn’t ask for anything better in my life!

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

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Organization Update – 11/16/18

Hello Competent Women!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, as usual. Lots of exciting things happening in the organization and lots of great volunteer opportunities, and lots of volunteers stepping up to the plate to help grow this program!

We got a really enthusiastic volunteer to partner with a member of the Face-to-Face Management Team on starting a monthly support circle for our Certified Moderators (CMs) and Certified Co-Moderators (CCMs). They are looking at videoconferencing and audio conferencing options to bring our in-person group leaders from across the US & Canada together to share ideas, support, and encouragement for themselves and their group facilitation. What a great resource this will be for the 4C women who dedicate themselves to bringing the New Life Program to their local communities!

The Conference Planning Workgroup met last Saturday night and I will be honest, it was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a Saturday night! So many wonderful new ideas were being generated and pragmatic solutions to actually make them happen. With big names like Karen Drucker and Annie Grace on the schedule already, this year’s conference promises to be one of the best yet! Have an idea for an informal activity or a full workshop/breakout session for the 2019 conference? Let us know! Use the Call for Presentations form for formal workshop and breakout sessions, or email volunteer@womenforsobriety.org if you have an idea for an informal group activity you would like to lead.

On the outreach front, we’ve been invited to participate in another project with Choice in Recovery. Many will remember that we participated in this video project to help educate the public about the many options that are available to people in recovery from Substance Use Disorders. Choice is creating an online course for treatment professionals to learn more about the many pathways available to their clients and has asked us to participate. Some folks may also remember the webinar I did in July 2017 for the Cigna Drug & Alcohol Awareness Series. I blushed when I heard that it was their most often replayed webinar from 2017! I am preparing another webinar for them, tentatively scheduled for March 2019, where I will focus on the closing gender gap in addiction demographics.

Other new volunteers include a new Peer Leader for the CCL Workgroup, bravely coordinating our Certified Chat Leaders as they bring online meetings to our WFS Online community, and a couple of women who may be taking on some blog editor work… I have lots of ideas on how to expand this blog to make it even more helpful to the women of the New Life Program and others who are interested in the organization, but not nearly enough time to do it all. Hopefully, these 4C gals will be able to help with this exciting expansion of this public resource!

I was also reminded that in one of my previous posts, I promised a picture of the new heaters in the office, so I’m making it my pic of the week this time. Compare it to the pics in the 10/27/18 Organization Update post and you can see how much smaller and unobtrusive they are. And so warm during our first big snowfall of year this week!

Alright, folks, that’s all I have for tonight. Thanks to all of you for reading and especially to our fantastic volunteers who are stepping up and helping make change happen. We have a lot of women in addiction and recovery to help, and we can do so much more together!

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

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Organization Update 11/2/18

Hello Competent Women!

I realized that I forgot to introduce you to the newest member of the WFS office team! Amanda joined the team in October as our new Office Clerk. A local young woman in recovery, Amanda is excited to get to share her enthusiasm for sobriety through her work for WFS. Amanda will be helping with picking and packing bookstore orders, sending literature to groups, filing, scanning, cleaning, answering the phones, and general office assistance. Please join me in welcoming Amanda to the office!

The Face-to-Face Management Team met this week. We had a great discussion looking at our requirements for Certified Moderators and Certified Co-Moderators, which lead to a suggestion that we create a Moderator’s Support Circle – a regular meeting where our community group leaders can come together to share support encouragement. What a great idea! We have one member of the F2F team willing to contribute, but she will definitely need another volunteer to help make it a reality. CM/CCMs with experience with conference call meetings and/or webinar software strongly encouraged to apply! We also talked about the idea of inviting professionals with education and experience in group dynamics to participate in an update of our Moderator’s Manual. I have a few people to invite, but I would love to hear from you have this type of experience and are willing to lend your expertise!

We are also looking for a Peer Coordinator for our Fundraising Management Team. Peer Coordinators are the people responsible for helping keep the management teams active, productive, and on track. They help schedule and lead team meetings, follow up with the workgroups working on specific tasks, and make sure that everyone knows what they’re doing. Our fundraising team has not quite taken off yet, so this is a fabulous opportunity for someone who wants to step up, take charge, and build the team of their dreams! Experience in fundraising, grant writing, corporate sponsorships, and other non-profit funding strategies are strongly encouraged to email volunteer@womenforsobriety.org to volunteer.

I also finally got the Organizational Chart updated – you can find it in the Governance section of the About page, too. It’s really important to me that we are as transparent as possible right now, so I’m glad to be able to share this. You’ll also see the 2017 IRS Form 990 uploaded there. As with all non-profit organizations, we are required to make the past 3 years of 990’s available for public review. If you’d like to request copies of 2015 and 2016, just send me an email and I’ll get them sent directly to your inbox! We also decided to do a regular annual report rather than another mid-year report for 2018, so keep your eye out there for that.

Now I know what all of the forum participants are thinking – what ever happened to the feedback/ideas report that was promised? Well I haven’t forgotten, I’ve just been very very busy, but it looks to be a rainy weekend, so I plan to cozy up with some hot tea and my copy and paste buttons and get that posted as soon as I’m done with my new tap dance class on Saturday afternoon! (#statement6)

Physically speaking, I’m continuing the great office cleanout. I’ve recouped some good money selling off surplus equipment and supplies and I’m so happy to announce that the new heaters are installed! Just in time for winter!

Well, folks, that’s about it for this week. I’m very excited to see that people are starting to leave comments – please feel free to post any questions you have about all the exciting changes at WFS. I want everyone to feel like they are an important part of the changes going on organizationally and programmatically here at WFS – since of course, everyone is! Together, we can reach so many more women and do so much more! Thanks for helping!

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

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Organization Update – 10/27/18

Hello Competent Women!

Sorry for the lag between updates (I did warn you that I might miss some, right?). I have come to realize that, in relation to this new job, I haven’t been practicing Statement 1 very well. I have very much been letting the job run me, and it is time to take my power back and take charge of this job! I will admit, this is a bit par for the course for me. Like many of you, I am a woman who is comforted by routines and finds that there is always a period of adjustment when my schedule is changed, for better or worse. But the New Life Program has taught me to not permit myself to become overwhelmed, and to use the adjustment period as an opportunity for growth, exploring and applying new ways to prioritize my emotional and spiritual health.

Anyone who’s friends with me on Facebook may have noticed that I have been listing an awful lot of surplus equipment in the last 2 weeks. One of the Board’s strategic goals is to get all of our printing and AV production outsourced. When Jean started WFS back in the 1970’s, on-site printing and distribution was definitely the more economical option. However, the tides in this area have changed, and it is now more fiscally logical to contract out these needs. We are still reducing our sale item inventory in order to make storage and distribution outsourcing more viable, but have already been successfully contracting out production. Therefore, I have been recouping some of our funds invested in equipment and supplies by selling surplus that is no longer needed. This has been quite successful and has also opened up a lot of space in the office – just in time for the new heaters (see below). Speaking of which, another part of this goal is increasing the availability of WFS materials through downloadable and electronic content. We have already made the Program Booklet available through Kindle. We need your help researching the ins and outs of this new frontier, and volunteers who are either familiar with or willing to learn formatting written and AV content for secure and professional electronic distribution. Any takers?

We had another work party today with some enthusiastic volunteers who helped continue the cleaning and organization effort in the office. The most crucial accomplishment of the day was clearing out the spaces beneath the hanging unit heaters that are being replaced on Monday. This was no small feat, as you can see from the pictures. Bookshelves, filing cabinets, and even our mini-fridge had to be moved so a special lift can be used. My most sincere gratitude and appreciation for these volunteers and for the many women (and one dad!) who donated funds to help pay for the new heaters. It has been quite frustrating that the landlords have refused to help with this cost, but such a wonderful opportunity for me to see how 4C women will always come through!

I met last week with a focus group that helped me evaluate a popular evidence-based recovery app. The company had approached WFS after finding that many of its users are women. In today’s “mommy needs wine” culture, I can’t say that I’m surprised, unfortunately. As PerditaX taught us in our Science of Addiction and Recovery workshop at the WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2018, this is one area in which the gender gap has, unfortunately, almost completely closed. In 1900, men were 3.6 times more likely than women to experience harm as a result of their drinking; by 2000, the ratio was reduced to 1.3 (Slade et al, 2016). It sounds like we may be moving forward on adapting the app to the WFS New Life Program, but I will need a solid commitment from a few volunteers in order to be able to do it. I need women who are very familiar with our New Life philosophy to help comb through the app and make detailed suggestions/edits to make it a true representation of the WFS program. Please let me know if you can commit around 5 hours/week for the next few weeks to help with this!

I also promised you a follow up on the NAADAC conference that I attended earlier this month. It was wonderful to be there sharing our program with so many addiction professionals. A few of them said, “Oh, Women for Sobriety! I didn’t know you guys were still around!” and I assured them that I am determined to change that! Most of them were pleased to hear of our viable option for their women clients for the first time. I’ve often said that I am an amateur neuroscience nerd, and I had some real addiction-counselor-fan-girl moments when I got to see Darryl S. Inaba, PharmD (co-author of Uppers, Downers, All-Arounders) give a keynote address about the neuroscience of addiction (swoon) and when Carlo DiClemente, PhD (co-creator of the Transtheoretical model – or Stages of Change, as it’s more commonly known) stopped by our table and tell me how he always makes sure to include WFS in his counseling textbooks! I was also interviewed for this episode of the Rebellion Dogs Radio podcast. It was a very crowded room and you can hear a little nervous laughter on my part (blush), but I’ll still share it with you anyway. Also interviewed is Branislav Jankic, whose photography exhibit, Letter to my Mother, was on display. (Teaser: I’ve been talking to his Producer about how to share some of this touching work with the 4C women of WFS at our 2019 conference!)

Speaking of conference, the Conference Workgroup continues to be hard at work planning the WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2019. Please let us know if you’d like to help – we’ll soon be releasing the Call for Presentations application for presenters. We’ll again be offering to waive the base registration fee for women choosing to “work” over the weekend by presenting a workshop, so this is a great way to help offset those travel expenses. Local WFS groups are also encouraged to consider volunteering to help host conference in their city in 2020 – you heard that right! WFS is looking to branch out and bring the conference experience to different areas of the country in order to make it more accessible to our Sisters nationwide. Of course, we can’t do it alone, so if you know of a great venue near you, please let us know!

I also took some time to ask for ideas and feedback about our online peer-support forum from current participants. I know I shouldn’t be the one to make those rules, since I don’t get logged in very often anymore. I believe the decisions really belong with the user community. I have received lots of great ideas, which I’m still in the process of cutting and pasting into a report to share. We’ll then discuss as a community which ideas we want to pursue and what changes, if any, to make. It has so far been a very collaborative process, and I’m optimistic that we will all be able to continue to work together to strengthen this great 4C resource. Development of the new chat room has continued, with a new direction being pursued by our Internet Services Team since user testing exposed a number of problems with the program we had been trying to implement. Great group effort, everyone!

Okay, I think that’s most of the happenings around here… I know I am forgetting stuff but it is time for me to start my “weekend.” Thank you for reading and thank you for all that you do to help strengthen and grow this New Life Program!

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