After having spent the past two months on a sabbatical away from HAVEN, I feel recharged, refreshed and ready to go! It is amazing how time away from your daily routine, can give you a new perspective on so many things, both personal and professional. I spent time conducting uninterrupted academic study at Stanford University, as well as researching and reading. It was incredible and invaluable. After many years of working so intensely, having two months off was a true gift.
Probably the one aspect of work that I missed the most was being a part of a team, being part of something greater than myself. I’m not so sure that I am cut out to be an independent contractor or single employee. I missed the discussions, give and take, discord, comradery, humor, and passion that comes with being part of a team. And especially part of the team at HAVEN – they are one special group of people!
On the flipside, it is because of this great team that I was able to go off on my two-month adventure without worrying about what was happening at my HAVEN home. This group afforded me the luxury of time away without worry or interruption, which I know makes me the envy of many of my colleagues. Having the pressures of operating a 24/7 program taken off my shoulders was again a gift – one that will keep on giving.
So today, I am ready to dive in and the next few months at HAVEN promise to be exciting. Here’s a snapshot of what we have to look forward to as we start to wind down 2014:
- Literally seeing the earth move! With the paperwork of our New Market Tax Award wrapping up, the earthwork at our future home is underway. I cannot wait to start to see the building take shape in the coming weeks. You can also keep track of the progress of #BuildHAVEN by connecting with us on Facebook and subscribing to our E-Newsletter.
- Many enjoyable fundraising events – yes, raising money can be fun! On October 12th we will hold our Second Annual Tailgate Event at the Birmingham Country Club and on October 28th our 21st Annual Courage House event with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. As the Detroit Lions’ season is underway, with new leadership and enthusiasm, we are excited to partner with the Lions at both of these special events. I hope you will plan to join us at one of these FUNdraiser events!
- National Domestic Violence Awareness month in October. Although breast cancer awareness is also very critical to women’s health, October is much more than pink. With domestic violence currently in the national spotlight, we hope that you can help us in raising awareness of this CRIME in your community – including taking and sharing our #HAVENPledge (stay tuned for details). Do you know that based on national statistics and state information that we can estimate that at least 150,000 homes in Oakland County are impacted by domestic violence? Someone on your street, at your office, attending your children’s school, working at your local grocery store, is suffering right now and living in fear.
- A panel for parents (date to be announced) on raising boys to be non-violent is in the works. As the mom of a son, now a young adult, I am excited about this conversation. It is easy to forget when we look at the Ray Rice’s of the world, that they were once a young toddler, a preteen and a teenager. It is important that we all look at how we can help shape young men to become adults who respect and value women as their equals, can respect those who are different, and who don’t buy into misogyny. I hope you will be able to join us to learn more from a diverse panel of parents and professionals. Even those of us who are no longer actively raising children will benefit from this presentation. As the proverb goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” so even when our own children are grown or if you don’t have children, there’s still work to be done.
- Our Prevention Education team is ramping up to share their knowledge in schools after summer vacation. I can’t wait to hear their stories of what they are experiencing in their work with area school children. Unfortunately they are operating barebones after losing significant funding for prevention activities. Please consider supporting these efforts by making a donation.
- The summer weather really made our garden grow! I am anxious to participate in our final fall harvest and revel in results of how much produce we were able to grow and share with those individuals and families we serve.
I hope that your summer was a relaxing and restful, that you had the opportunity to spend time with family, eat a s’more or two, and are now cherishing the return to a more normal routine. I also hope that you are ready to roll up your sleeves along with me and dig in to make a difference in the community – let’s work together to bring awareness to others and support to those in need. Everyone deserves to have a life without fear. It is great to be back!