On October 24th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. lost a beloved volunteer, Claire Pierce Moreira. She passed away leaving her new husband, sister and father behind.
While it's tempting to regard her passing with sadness alone, we can’t. We had too many moments of levity, some of them during times of hardship, to remember her with a heavy heart. Here’s why:
Claire is real. She told you what she could do, and what she couldn’t do. When she said she would be at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. she was there. When she couldn’t help us out with a request, she said no. Its one of the many things we appreciate(d) about her.Claire had the unique capacity to shoot straight with kindness. Her delivery of even seemingly bad news was provided with graciousness. When we encountered a fiscal crisis, Claire offered her help with accounting services--a tremendous need at the time. We asked her questions, she told the truth. Claire’s intuition seemed to always strike the right note; when she gave news that was hard to hear, she followed up with a hug. She was empathic, supportive, smart...and she used all these beautiful aspects of her personality to make our agency stronger, more fun and authentic.
Claire wouldn’t let us wallow in our stress. During times of agency stress, Claire offered stability mixed with levity, even during a time of scarcity.Thank you, Claire. We will always be grateful for that.
Claire was hilarious. She had this sneaky, dark sense of humour that could take you off guard. Claire was never funny at the expense of others though, she was funny in her bones and you could tell that her humor helped her through some of life’s trials. She made these observations that would make you laugh for days. We loved having her around. We miss her wry commentary. We miss her irreverent jokes.
When she left this place, we lost a real, intelligent woman who offered so many gifts to survivors of domestic violence, our community, and us as individuals. Its still hard believe she’s left; but she’s not really gone. Her spirit lives on at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., along with other friends who have left us, Claire will always be remembered, appreciated and revered.
Now we suppose that all there’s left for us to say is thank you, thank you, thank you Claire. We miss you. We appreciate you. We will never forget you.
October Echando Pa’lante Gathering
The focus of our Echando Pa’lante
(EPL) October meeting was finding new ways to turn traumatic experiences into empowering ones, so we invited Dr. Maria Trivino Villar, an art therapist who is visiting from Spain. Using guided imagery, a technique used to support people interested in anything from healing their bodies to solving emotional problems and reducing stress, Dr. Trivino Villar
led an activity where participants individually reflected about difficult experiences and what they have learned from them. Then, Dr. Trivino Villar encouraged participants to express their feelings and thoughts through an art activity. The goal was to reclaim difficult experiences and leave the meeting feeling empowered.
Art activities are always welcomed among EPL members, so we usually have one every couple of months using the A Window Between Worlds
program facilitated by Paola Souto
, our Latina Program Manager.
And even the kids in Children’s Group
had fun with an art and crafts game! This evening was another example of how survivors can reclaim their lives, support each other, and leave feeling stronger and more connected to one another.
Volunteer Spotlight: Travis Marsh
1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc?
I first started with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in July this year.
2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
I had an ex-girlfriend, Danielle, who was in a domestic violence relationship. She was one of the best people I had ever met in my life. She truly cared about everyone she knew. She tried to leave, and it ended up costing her life. If I can help even one survivor navigate the dangers of domestic violence successfully, then her death is not in vain.
3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
So far I’ve been involved in events and social media. Both were strengths of Danielle’s, so it felt like a great place to start my volunteer work. Eventually I want to be involved in the crisis line too.
4) How has your involvement impacted your life?
I have learned so much more about domestic violence in this whole process. It’s been eye opening to realize the depth and breadth of the problem, and in how many different ways it can impact people. I feel humbled that I did not know about this before, and I want to do what I can to change it. It’s also been cathartic to volunteer at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., and it’s helped me deal with my own grief.
5) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc?
Take a few minutes every so often to get in touch with the reason that you want to help fight domestic violence because it can help provide tremendous positive energy and motivation. We’re all in this to help survivors, and it can be really powerful to take a few minutes every so often and reflect on it. I know it helps me feel like everything I do is aligned towards a greater good.
Read more about Travis by visiting our blog
C.U.E. (Connect.Unify. Evolve.) Tips:
Get a Running Start on your Mind, Body, and Spirit
Volunteers and employees at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. work hard to create a strong, peaceful, and resilient community. To continue to build and sustain our community we need to take care of ourselves and practice self-care. One of the best ways to practice self-care is exercise. To get our members and followers of our newsletter to take an active role in their health, C.U.E. would like to suggest fun new interesting ways to engage in your health.
Who says exercise is boring? In recent years, a new exercise trend has risen in popularity. It’s called “Themed Running”. All you need is running shoes, a fun group of people, and you will get lasting memories, all while improving your health. Let’s think of it as running with a really fun twist. The Color Run, is a great example of a “Themed Run”. The Color Run is a 5k race (approximately 3 ½ miles), whose main goal is to promote health and happiness as well as bring communities together to participate in “the happiest 5k on the planet”. Participants are doused from head to toe in color powder every kilometer. It’s not timed so anyone from beginners to seasoned veterans can participate. The best part is you can go with a group of friends, coworkers, or community members and express your individuality by running for a specific cause, like ending domestic violence! This is a great way for the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. community to take an active role in their health, while also running for something we believe in. The next upcoming Color Run event is March 15, 2014.
to see really cool footage of The Color Run.
for other “themed runs” that we can participate in.
If you’re interested in forming a group to run The Color Run in support of W.O.M.A.N., Inc., contact firstname.lastname@example.org
~ By Janella Parucha , W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Social Media Volunteer
Sorority Holds Fundraiser to Benefit W.O.M.A.N., Inc
The first event is an ongoing “Stay-At-Home Tea Party” Fundraiser
that began this October and will continue until the end of this year. The general premise involves sending out packages of tea, along with information about W.O.M.A.N. Inc. and an optional donation request return envelope. Recipients are invited to enjoy the complimentary tea at their own convenience, while reflecting on anti-domestic violence services the optional donation will benefit. This more indirect, laid-back, fundraiser gives all people an opportunity to support anti-domestic violence efforts on their own time and place.
Their second event was a Self-Defense workshop
held on Saturday, October 19th, which included an educational presentation by W.O.M.A.N. Inc. on “Domestic Violence 101”—which provides a broad overview of what domestic violence means and how W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s services
may help. The Self-Defense workshop combined with the educational presentation both seek to help not only empower survivors of domestic violence, but also to help empower the general public through an increased awareness and subsequently, preparedness of domestic violence issues.
We are so very grateful for the sorority’s efforts in helping us do this crucial work and are consistently humbled by the greater community for their support in abolishing domestic violence!
To learn more about this Bay Area’s sorority’s fundraising efforts, please visit the WI Blog
Staff Highlight: Maureen Egan, Educational Development Manager
1) How long have you been working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc?
I have a long history with WI. I started in 2005 as an MFT Trainee and have stayed connected with the agency ever since! I've worked in a variety of capacities with the agency.
2) What do you do at W.O.M.A.N., Inc?
I returned to WI in September 2013 as the Educational Development Manager.
3) How did you come into this profession?
I have been passionate about working with survivors of domestic violence for many years and was thrilled to join WI to complete my training as an MFT trainee and Intern. Now, in addition to WI, I work as a psychotherapist and I teach.
4) What are you looking forward to as W.O.M.A.N., Inc continues to grow?
I am excited to return to the agency and work with the team to identify and participate in opportunities for continued growth and development.
5) What do you enjoy most about working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc?
The people who work here. They are some of the most funny, fun, intelligent, and dedicated people I have encountered in the environments I've worked in. It's truly awesome to come to work and feel supported and enthused on a daily basis.
Purchase A Beautiful Necklace to Benefit W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
Just in time for the holidays!! Purchase the gorgeous Devorah Triple Crystal Necklace from Agapantha
for a friend or family member and help support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Agapantha has generously offered 25% of the proceeds to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. from sale of this necklace during the holiday season. Get yours (and one for your pals, family, etc.) today!
La Red Latina 3rd Annual Conference against Domestic and Gender Violence
On October 19, La Red Latina hosted the 3rd annual Conference against Domestic and Gender Violence for Spanish speaking communities in the Bay Area. La Red Latina is a coalition of over 25 agencies fighting to end domestic and gender violence in the Latino communities. Among those agencies, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been a core member since the first annual conference in 2011.
The 3rd conference was a big success! We held it at the Skylight High School, a beautiful public school in the Fruitvale BART area in Oakland, surrounded by trees and nature. Participants were able to attend two workshops (morning and afternoon) choosing between 8 different options during each time slot that included legal clinics, art therapy, women’s rights debates, and dance classes.
Before and after the workshops, participants had access to resource tables offering information ranging from legal aid to housing support services in different counties around the Bay Area. The conference also included a ceremony commemorating individuals who have made a positive change in the Latino communities and a big raffle with fun prizes.
While parents were participating and learning in the workshops, their children enjoyed kid-friendly activities where volunteers facilitated games, face-painting, crafts, and all-around fun times. After enjoying the delicious free lunch made by a local vendor, we participated in a community zumba lesson that got us all moving.
The Conference against Domestic and Gender Violence is a day for our Spanish speaking communities to come together and celebrate our strengths. It’s an opportunity to take time to say NO to violence, empowering each one of us and giving us the hope of building a violence-free life for us and the future generations. To learn more about La Red Latina’s 3rd Annual Conference, please contact Paola@womaninc.org
Community Education Series: Supporting Friends and Family of Survivors
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. invites you to join us on Wednesday, November 20th for our second session in the three part Community Education Series: "Supporting Friends & Family of Survivors." The event will be hosted by our Outreach Coordinators, Annie Fisher and Jaymie Frazier
At W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we frequently receive calls on our support line from the friends and family members of a survivor. They might understandably feel unsure of how to be helpful, and may feel scared for their loved one and overwhelmed by the situation. This Community Education Series session will focus specifically on providing practical tools for audience members in providing support for their loved ones: Peer Counseling Builders & Blockers, Checking Assumptions, Red Flags, Providing Referrals, Safety Planning, Self-Care.
Overall, we hope to promote the importance of domestic violence prevention and the positive ways one can respond to domestic violence in the community.
What: “Healthy Relationships”
When: Wednesday, November 20th
Where: San Francisco Public Library – Main Branch, 3rd Floor: Martin Paley Room
100 Larkin Street, SF, CA
Time: Check-in: 5:45 p.m.; Programming: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Facebook: Check out the Facebook Event for more details!
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Receives Eva Fund
Our agency is pleased to report that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is a grant recipient of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence’s Eva (Emergency Victim Assistance) Fund. The Eva Fund will help support one of our Latina Program [MT1] clients by providing them $500 to support basic needs such as rent assistance and groceries.
The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV) is a statewide membership coalition of domestic violence agencies and victim service providers to foster unity within the domestic violence movement in California. Thank you California Partnership to End Domestic Violence for your support and for all the work you do to strengthen the Domestic Violence Field in our great state.
to learn more about the CPEDV
This Holiday Season, Help our Adopt a Family Holiday Gift Card Drive!
This holiday season, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is looking for some very special donors to support families who have experienced domestic violence. Many of our clients have recently left abusive relationships and lack the funds to get their children holiday gifts. Others are finding it difficult to find work, or their jobs allow them to provide the bare minimum for themselves and their children. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is asking donors to provide gift cards, rather than actual wrapped presents, for participating families. Your donation of a gift card allows the survivor to be part of the holiday shopping experience, allowing them to pick out the best gifts for their children. Read what our Latina Program Coordinator has to say about how she has seen Adopt A Family (AAF) support the survivors she works with:
"AAF has been a great program for our clients. Last year one of our Latina Program clients, Susana, whose name has been changed for confidentiality, had a blast shopping for presents for herself and her daughter. Susana and her daughter were trafficked into the U.S. at the beginning of 2012, so last December was the first holidays they spent away from their home and family. It was a difficult time for them, as Susana was waiting to hear from USCIS about her immigration papers, and they had just left a domestic violence shelter and were living in a small room in the Mission. Susana received gift cards for Target and Ross, and she told me it was the first time she went to those stores. She had so much fun! She spent the whole day looking at everything and finally decided what to get for her daughter and herself."
AAF gave Susana and her family, as well as many other families, the opportunity to experience the holiday season in a different way. We all know that gifts and presents could never replace being close to family but AAF helps survivors make the best out of their current situations. In Susana’s case, it made it easier for her and her daughter to get through the holidays, and enjoy an experience that many of us have enjoyed before: having fun while picking presents for the people we love the most, including ourselves.
Please help empower survivors of domestic violence and make the holidays special for their children! Join our 6th Annual Adopt a Family Holiday Gift Card Drive today! Send your name and contact number to: email@example.com
W.O.M.A.N., Inc Takes Over Elixir
Wednesday December 4th, 9pm-2am
Our volunteers will be taking over Elixir and bar tending, all in the name of ending domestic violence. Come out and party in the mission, and bring your friends too! The more people come out, the more money we'll raise. Check out our Facebook event page
for more details.
Friday, January 17th
1:15 pm to 5:15 pm
SF Public Library (Main) - 100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Floor 1: Mary Louise Strong Room
When: Saturday, January 18th
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
SF Public Library (Main) - 100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Lower Level (LL) Latina/Hispanic Meeting Room A - 1:00 to 5:00 pm
This is a mixed-level writing workshop, open to all adult 18+ and is intended for participants who have done significant work on confronting one's emotional upheavals and traumas. If there is story you are wanting to tell, but are having a difficult time finding the language or approach, we will do a series of breathing exercises to ground you in your body, generative writing exercises to help you resource material from your lives, and writing prompts to give your storytelling direction.
Sports Basement Fundraiser
When: Thursday, December 19th, 6pm-8pm
Sports Basement (1590 Bryant St)
Join us for an evening of celebrating our wonderful volunteers and community supporters! We will be creating profiles for our community board, enjoying each others' company and snacking on some light refreshments. It'll be a great time to buy some holiday gifts and get to know the W.O.M.A.N., Inc community.
Community Education Series
When: Wednesday, December 18th, 5:45pm-7:30pm
Where: San Francisco Public Library (Main Branch)
Details: This Community Education Series will be focusing on healthy relationships and how to support someone who is in an unhealthy one
The following in-kind gifts (new or gently used) will help W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to support survivors of domestic violence in a holistic and relevant manner:
Small rolling luggage case for laptop
Digital camera with video
Gift Cards for Walgreens, Safeway, Ross, local restaurants, etc. (For survivors and children who must flee without funds).
Motel Vouchers (for those survivors who may only need one night in a confidential location until they can find a shelter or leave town).
Muni Passes, Muni Passport or Muni single ride tickets, or BART tickets
People willing to throw a Party With Purpose Party for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. For more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at (415) 864-4777 ext 317
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Facebook Followers - https://www.facebook.com/WOMANInc
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Twitter Followers - https://twitter.com/WOMANinc
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Pinterest Followers - http://pinterest.com/womaninc/
To learn more about contributing to our wish list or making other types of donations, call Jill Zawisza at 415-864-4777, Ext 306.