Friday, May 30, 2008

The Art Group's Lighthouse Donations Box

This is Daniel Norvell, I'm a Counselor at ALPHA and I run the Art Group. The Art Group ALPHA Program has created a donation box for The Light House Women's and Children's Program for raising funds for a Playground for the residents children which is located at the right hand corner of the front desk coming into the BCI/ALPHA Wilmington site. 15 individuals participated in the project over a five week period. The donation box includes a sled ( for the money to roll into the box) and a merry –go -round that moves, a swing set that swings and a see saw that moves up and down with carefully crafted paper dolls and a sandbox. On each side of the box is a collage for each panel of the box reflecting the joys of playfulness and imagination of childhood. The Art Group came up with the idea based on the concept of a miniature playground as a group challenge taking available Art materials to create the miniature play ground. Each person discussed the joys of having a play ground when they were small, being a a child and rekindling positive past memories and creating positive memories and futures for the children of the The Light House Women’s and Children’s Program.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

BCI Is Closed Friday May 30

All BCI offices are closed Friday May 30.

We're all attending training on the important topic of crisis intervention, so we can better serve you, our customers. Increasingly, you come to us for help with complex issues, and we want to be prepared with the answers you need.

In case of emergency, please call 911.

Daily Message 5/30/08

You can't live life, looking in the rearview mirror. Looking straight ahead, keeping your eyes on the road and remembering not to drive to fast into the future. Slow and steady, one day at a time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daily Message 5/28/08

The sum of who we are and who we want to be, is not based on where we've been and what we've done...but where we want to go and who we want to be.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Daily Message 5/27/08

Nothing should ever be, beyond our imagination. Much less, our grasp. So use your imagination...then reach!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

5 Questions for Cindy Pence, Counselor

5 Questions is our ongoing feature where we introduce you to the people who make Brandywine Counseling run, spotlighting a different staff member every two weeks.

Name: Cindy Pence
Job: Counselor, Newark Center
Time with BCI: 4 years

1. Why did you decide to become an addiction treatment counselor?
I have my Bachelor’s in business, and I developed a love and desire to be in this field from my own experience and my own recovery, even though there weren’t drugs and alcohol in my recovery. I came from an abuse and codependency background, and in the midst of my therapy, from day one, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. And I knew that I could not be successful in this field until I had reached the healthy mindset that I needed to be in, in order to counsel other people. I went into my own therapy in ’97, and approximately 7 years after that, in ’04, I got the job with Brandywine, and I was very blessed when they offered it to me. And I’ve loved it. My job has had a positive impact on my own well-being in my own life outside of here, because I can practice here with clients what I already know from my own recovery knowledge.

2. Many of our staff decorate their office with personal items. Tell us what you have in your office.
It’s like my home! I wanted to have an office that was full of serenity, where people would feel comfortable. Instead of an office setting, a homelike, warm setting. When I had my interview with Pam [Stearn], I’ll never forget - when I saw my office, I cried, because I couldn’t believe, it was the first time I had a closed office with a door on it! And I remember looking in one of my corners, picturing a Christmas tree there. So ever since I’ve worked here, I’ve had a Christmas tree in my corner, and clients have always complimented my tree.

3. What is your biggest challenge in doing your job?
Having difficult clients. I have some that are very personable. They warm up to me, connect with me from day one. And then I have a select few who challenge my weaknesses with patience and endurance. But I also am blessed when I have these kind of clients, because it tells me where I need to work, and how I need to be professional in helping them, and focus on their needs.

4. What advice do you have for someone who would like to do the job you do?
Make sure they have a passion for it, and that they’re really attuned to other people and their needs. And they don’t put themselves ahead of the clients. They really have to have compassion for other people, and have good boundaries.

5. Tell us your favorite client success story.
I have a client that came to me on a contract, and is now going to be in [Methadone] Medical Maintenance II, where he gets the 14 days of wafers, by next month. So that right there has just been an accomplishment, where I worked well with him. He did the harder part, but I could see that his individual [sessions were] an asset in his life and [led to] good outcomes. [He learned to avoid] being around negative people, being influenced and triggered to go use illicit drugs. [He] developed a better support system, which I helped him do, and I also spoke of the consequences if he didn’t do it, which could help him make better changes and choices for himself. And as he was accomplishing through treatment, he would express self-assurance. He gives himself all the credit and not me, which was good.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Daily Message 5/22/08

There comes a time, when the worldly gloves come off, the mask of falsehood comes down and who we really are...bows, to the grace of God in surrender, remembering to "let go and let God".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Daily Message 5/21/08

Sometimes...tears are the best way to wash the soul.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Daily Message 5/20/08

The deeper you look into the past, the more likely you are to change the future.

Playground Update: Longwood Foundation Makes a Gift

BCI has received another major contribution toward the Lighthouse playground. The Longwood Foundation has awarded us a grant of $3000 toward this project. This is wonderful news!

The Longwood Foundation is one of the nation’s largest private foundations, and among the top Delaware foundations by total giving. Fields of Interest include Arts, Culture, Community Development, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services, Youth Services, and Hospitals. The foundation distributes over $35 million annually to various charities, primarily in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

We've sought the support of foundations while we also appeal to you in the community. Though the playground itself costs $10,000, the total costs will be higher when we include installation, play mulch, and landscape fabric. So we still need to hear from you! Our goal remains at $10,000 from our supporters in the community, and if we can get there, foundation grants will cover the remaining costs. Just over $2500 to go – this blog is up to more than 250 visitors a month, so if we all gave just $10, we would reach our goal!

Donate by mail
Donate through JustGive

Monday, May 19, 2008

Daily Message 5/19/08

"Both" good and bad habits are perfected... with repeated practice.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Daily Message 5/16/08

Forgiveness is the easiest way to lift a heavy weight from your shoulders and your heart. Including and especially, self forgiveness.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Community Shows Their Generosity to The Lighthouse Program

We at BCI continue to see a wonderful response from people in the community who want to help out the Lighthouse Program by donating time or items. Thank you to all of you!

Several volunteers are teaching classes for the women, including crocheting, card making, and computers by Eul Lee, sewing and ceramics by Ann Morrow, and Life Skills and early recovery by Nancy Bloom. Their help has been incredible and the women LOVE the classes - thanks ladies!

We want to thank everyone who has donated toys, clothing, a huge train set, five sewing machines for the sewing class, and handmade quilts for babies. We also received a care package from Bear Hugs for Babies, a local charity that specializes in providing baby supplies to families in Lower Delaware affected by extreme poverty, homelessness, and/or disease. This is a great organization - please check out their website to learn more.

What do we still need for our 8 women and 9 children? Pampers. Lots of Pampers! I believe there's still a need for strollers, bicycles, tricycles, and wagons. If you have items or services to donate, please call 302-484-8080 or send us an email. All donations are tax-deductible. Thank you, donors and volunteers, for being such an important part of our women's and children's recovery.

Daily Message 5/15/08

Letting go, is much more difficult than holding on...because we tend to hold on for dear life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions for BCI Alpha Clients

"Can I change my counselor?"
"What happens to my treatment if I get locked up?"
"What treatment plan?"

The staff of BCI Alpha have put together a list of answers to these and other Frequently Asked Questions specific to this program. You can get your copy here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Daily Message 5/13/08

The "illusion" of who I am, looks at me from my mirror. The "reality" of who I am, looks at me from my heart.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Update: They Paved The Road!

OMG! They fixed our road! They fixed the road to the Newark Center! No more potholes that will eat your car!

If you're not a Newark client with firsthand experience traveling Brookhill Drive, read this post to see why this is such a cause for celebration.

Wow, I never thought I would see the day! We don’t know who did it, but thank you! These repairs were so overdue and make such a difference.

So, do you think we'll see our no-show rate improve?

Daily Message 5/12/08

In all the world there is only "one, me". I will value myself for who I am and I will remember that I am a child of God and I am loved.

Friday, May 9, 2008

5 Questions for Brenda Harris, Records Clerk

5 Questions is our ongoing feature where we introduce you to the people who make Brandywine Counseling run, spotlighting a different staff member every two weeks.

Name: Brenda Harris
Job: Records Clerk, Lancaster Center
Time with BCI: 20 years

1. Tell us what you do at BCI.
The job that I do consists of putting charts together, doing admissions, discharges, basically making sure the paperwork is filed correctly and on time, answer the phones, just a little bit of everything. It’s a lot of paperwork, but it’s what I like to do, and I enjoy it.

I might spend 2-3 hours just working on admissions, and then start on my discharges, making sure the paperwork is there, breaking the charts down, or I might just file. It’s one of those jobs where I’m not bothered a lot, I don’t have someone standing over me to make sure that I’m doing what I need to do. People trust what I do. I love what I do. I’m not sure if anyone could have the patience that I have to do this. So far, in my 20 years, I haven’t gotten bored with it yet.

I think the biggest challenge is trying to get everything done. It’s like it’s always ongoing, and as soon as I think I’m basically done with a project, then it starts all over again. If I can go home at the end of the day and say that I have everything done, I would be happy!

2. What changes have you seen in your nearly 20 years with BCI?
When I started at Brandywine, I didn’t really know what it was. It was a little tiny office. There was one cabinet for admissions, one cabinet for discharges, and one cabinet for evaluations. I would say probably about 100 [clients were here], probably a little less than that. I was interviewed by Janice Sneed, and she basically told me what the job was going to be, and I started, and lo and behold, I’ve been here ever since.

To come in and start working at Brandywine, and to meet clients, and then they end up becoming counselors here, that’s been rewarding to me. And making good friends. Just seeing the changes, seeing Brandywine grow from one floor into many different sites, has been truly amazing to me.

When I started back in ’88, the clientele was older than I was. They were a little friendlier. The clients today are much younger than when they used to come into treatment back then. Now I’m starting to meet the children of past clients, the personalities are a little different.

There is a whole population, the age group of 18 to 25, who don’t know about treatment, who don’t know where to go. They’re either too proud, or they don’t think they have a problem. They don’t see mentors. And I know that the word about BCI is out there - but there’s a population that’s still out there struggling. Just to know that there are people that care about you, just to come in and see whatever you need to get, and all the other things will fall into place. That hits home for me, because there are so many young men and women in that age group who are just struggling. And I know that we see a lot of kids coming in, but getting them in and keeping them in, so they can take their first steps to live their life sober, and just their whole quality of life.

3. BCI is moving toward totally electronic records. How is that going to change what you do?
I’ve been doing this paperwork for so long, I would love to see something different. Everybody’s going electronic now. It’s going to be a learning process, a learning process that I would need to know, and that I would love to know. It’s going to be a challenge to learn, to make that change, but I think it’s going to be a wonderful challenge for me, I really do. I think it’s about time, and I’m ready for it!

4. Tell us your favorite client success story.
I don’t think I have a favorite client. If I had to pick one, it’s one client, much older. Every time I see him - and I don’t see him that often - he always asks me, have I been on vacation? And we always start laughing about that, and I say, “No, they moved me to the basement, that’s why you don’t see me that much!” So I would say he would be one of my favorites, but I’ve never come across a client that I’d say that I dislike, I think I like all of them.

5. If you had $30,000 to donate to BCI, what would you do with it?
I would give it to the Perinatal program. They have a lot of single women and children. And being a single mother, and going back to school and changing my quality of life, I would give it to that department. Because if there’s ever one mother who would like to go back to school, to continue her education, to change her quality of life - just one - I would like that. Children need to see a change, and mothers can do that for their children, to break that cycle. It’s about changing your quality of life, and that’s what I think I would do with it.

Daily Message 5/9/08

Figuring out which paths will lead to a sober lifestyle, for the future...will take recognizing, which paths led to our addiction of the past.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Daily Message 5/8/08

It's not in doing the ordinary...that displays courage, but in taking on the things that we know, will challenge and possibly change us.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Daily Message 5/6/08 has to be, all about you. Until you have found enough of yourself, to share again. Don't feel guilty or selfish for taking what you need, to heal yourself.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Sketch of Our Playground

We've picked out the playground we want to build at the Lighthouse Program - here's a sketch! There will be three different slides, climbing equipment, a critter puzzle, and a sandbox (not pictured). Those will be some lucky kids.

We are less than $3000 away from breaking ground, so if you haven’t contributed yet, there’s no better time. Donate today and help give our families a place to play, relax, and bond.

Daily Message 5/5/08

We are each, our own greatest miracle. We have the chance to prove it with each new sunrise.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Daily Message 5/2/08

The greatest revenge, against those who refuse to believe in us, is not only to succeed, but to take our message of faith and sobriety out there into the world and help others experience the same success.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Daily Message 5/1/2008

If, God truly lives within all of us, who are we talking to... when we talk to ourselves?