Are Recovery and Generosity Synonymous? You Betcha!
Have you ever noticed how giving people in recovery are? I’m not talking about monetarily, I’ve seen too many 12 step meetings fold due to lack of funds to make such a bold statement (don’t shoot the messenger). What I’m talking about is the giving of their time and their experience. Those are priceless resources! For any group to be successful it needs people to:
- A) Be a part of the group
- B) Help run the group
Now finding people to show up to events, workshops and retreats is my job. I send out the emails, post on social media, make and print flyers and
posters but we need volunteers to spread the word. At our SERVICE BEYOND SELF: Volunteer Sign-up dinner 17 people signed up to announce A2WG events at meetings they attend and bring flyers to those meetings (see pic). Now there are over 25 people out there spreading the word about recovery events which can strengthen women’s sobriety. The more women we can reach, the more women we can help!
Coordinators & Leaders
For every event that A2WG hosts we need coordinators, leaders and helpers to make it happen. Sometimes it takes a small amount of volunteers like January’s event “Let Us Entertain You” where we took a group of ladies to the movie theater and out for ice cream (1 leader/coordinator and 2 helpers) and sometimes it takes a large amount of volunteers like our upcoming “Drop the Rock” three-day retreat (August 7-9, 2015), which takes a whole village to make happen.
Every year we get generous women volunteering their time to pull off this amazing weekend. Anyone who has been to the 3-day summer retreat can tell you that attending it can be a life changing experience. The workshop portion is recovery on steroids, but we also have FUN. There’s swimming, crafting, yoga, drumming, dancing s’mores making and the famous “No-talent Talent Show” (a complete hoot!). There’s also personal time for reflection, meditation, sitting on the beach, skipping rocks and labyrinth walking.
Let me give you an idea of all the volunteer positions the retreat needs… First we raise money every year for scholarships. This takes going out to local organizations and making requests, our bottle drive, and four days of bake/gift sales. We manage to raise enough money to send over 1/3 of the women to the retreat on scholarships every year. This opens the door to many people who would not normally be able to attend since the cost of the weekend is $170. So THAT’s a huge undertaking and we get wonderful women every year who bust their rears to make sure we get that scholarship money.
Next, we ask those who are able, to bring snacks for the snack table. There’s also the presenter, two coordinators, a craft coordinator, ride coordinator, gift bag makers, charm person, set-up/break-down people, a smore’s person, yoga instructor, handout printer, folder stuffers, coffee/beverage makers, snack table attendants, cat herders, butt can emptiers, bed strippers, labyrinth person…phew, I know there are more positions but frankly, I can’t recall them all and my fingers are getting tired of typing.
So what’s my point? ALL of these positions get filled every year with women who have the most generous spirits I have ever met. Women in recovery reach out and give of their precious time to make sure other women get to have an experience of a lifetime. It’s the most heart warming thing to see. Why do they do it? Let’s be honest, many of these ladies work full-time, have children, go to school AND have their 12 step meetings to attend and maybe even a few sponsees too. They are busy people. Why do they add another thing to their already full plates? Simple. Because they are smart. They’ve figured out that helping other women in recovery will strengthen their own recovery. They’ve also figure out the biggest truth of all about giving back… It feels GREAT!
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to all of the women who attended the SERVICE BEYOND SELF: Volunteer Sign-up Dinner on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015. It was a miserable day with freezing rain and it was cold and dank outside, but you ladies showed up and not only did you show up but you signed up! The energy in the room was palpable because of your generous spirits.
We have some really neat events coming up for the rest of 2015-16. Keep an eye on the website/Facebook/Twitter pages to keep informed about upcoming events. We could still use a few coordinators and we can always use helpers so feel free to reach out to us and let us know you are available. (Contact Us page.)
Also, a special congratulations goes out to Jessica K. who won the grand prize raffle that night, the 3-day summer retreat for 2015!!! Yay Jessica! Jessica has never been to an A2WG retreat, so this will be a real treat for her.
Peace, Love & Sobriety