Thursday, July 31, 2008

Soaring to Love

Hello, this is Rev. Karla Fleshman from the BCI Board of Directors.

I am the founding pastor of Imago Dei Metropolitan Community Church located in Delaware County, PA; and a resident of Wilmington, DE. As an avid writer seeking to share winsome reflections about the human condition, I hope to encourage individuals to tap into their passion and purpose (re-)discovery and resurrecting their hopes and dreams. I grew up in Gettysburg, PA in a home where three of the adults struggled with drug and alcohol addictions; and learned at an early age the importance of self-love as essential to experience wholeness in mind, body, and spirit. As a new member to the Board of Directors, my postings are intended to offer spiritual encouragement to the reader.

Soaring to Love

Have you ever seen a flock of black birds flying in unison?

There can be something majestic and beautiful in gazing upon black birds in flight. They swoop and loop and turn suddenly to the left and to the right as if each were linked together by a mental wire. This mental wire of interconnectivity sends a message in a split second before the turn so that these beautiful black birds to do not crash into each other.

It is almost like a ballet in the air that one can be drawn into watching the birds loop and swoop for hours on end. It is possible to be mesmerized by the unity and conformity of the flock of beautiful black birds.

Question, though…

What if you were the black bird? How would you feel being tied to the crowd having to go in whatever direction the crowd chose? What if you flew with a flock of black birds that decided to fly straight into the heart of a tornado?

The feathers would surely fly!!!

Mindful that our natural human condition longs for community and the heart’s desire for inter-connectedness, there may be times that individuals choose the wrong flock in which to fly.

Are you flying with the right flock?

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, writes:

“You are happy when you can relate to other people and other living beings. If not, you feel all alone, in your world, no one understands you and you understand no one. Love is critical to our happiness.” (The Art of Power, Harper One, 2007:14)

It is possible for a beautiful person to join with a group of people who choose to fly into a path of destruction simply because the beautiful person longs for love and to belong. In fact, each person in that group flying a path of potential destruction also longs to belong; and perhaps none have been taught how to get along in life in loving ways.

If we are unable to tap into the beauty within and unable to see that we are beautiful within then the path we will naturally choose to fly is one that may not be beautiful or loving at all.

The feathers fly.

Daily each person is faced with many choices to fly toward a rainbow in the sky or toward a storm brewing on the horizon. Each day each person makes choices with which group they will fly—the flock they choose will influence whether they seek the beauty or the beast inside.

In addition, how the person chooses to be, either influenced or an influencer, will determine whether they see beauty or beast. Will a person choose to seek love?

Bishop Carlton Pearson, an African-American Fundamentalist Preacher, writes:

“Everything you experience has love in it somewhere. Each encounter exposes part of the self you must really love, because each encounter reveals more of the essence of who you really are.” (The Gospel of Inclusion, Azusa Press, 2007:207)

Our inner-being longs for community; and sometimes we have to take what is given to us by way of community. We have to fly with who we are with in that moment in time. However, we don’t have to choose to take on the attitude of the flock. We can choose instead to seek the love inside and among those with whom we soar.

In fact, if we choose the path of claiming love among and amidst those beautiful folks who long to belong and love, but don’t know how to either belong or long to love in healthy ways, perhaps the universe is asking us to lead them in flight.

Just maybe the Universe is asking us to lead the beautiful toward soaring love.

Daily Message 7/31/08

So many of us, never grew up to be... what we planned. However...We are still growing and changing and learning. AND...We can make a new plan. Then...We can tell God and see what he thinks of our plan!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Daily Message 7/30/08

We would all, like some measure of peace in our lives and it begins in our own hearts. Be willing to let go of any anger and discontent you may have. Make room for the pleasures in your life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

300 Participants

Today, Tuesday July 29th, we enrolled our 300th participant in the needle exchange. The exchange has been operating in Delaware for a year and a half.

Daily Message 7/29/08

Just one moment in time, just one decision, can be the defining factor for a whole future. That one moment can set into motion, the events and circumstances, that can take the rest of a lifetime to change. Think wisely. One minute / 60 tiny seconds.

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Drugs Bring Death" - One Man's Sign Starts A Movement

In one Ohio city, a grass-roots movement against drugs has been started by one man with a handmade sign and a message that gets right to the point.

For about four hours, Jesse Lowe stood silently by himself holding a cardboard sign with three words scrawled in black marker: "Drugs Bring Death."

His message wasn't aimed just at the dealers or residents of the neighborhood scarred by shootings and fear. He wanted the city to hear him.

His wife, Cynthia, told him to take someone with him, but no one was willing to go along that first time. Neighborhood association leaders called his stand heroic while others said he was naive and putting his family at risk.

A week after that first protest, about 15 people stood with Lowe at another intersection in the same neighborhood.

"The courage of one man is spreading to everyone," said police Maj. Kevin Martin. "This is what the solution has to be. As police, we're limited in what we can do."

According to the article, there have been real results to come out of this campaign. Residents are more inclined to report suspicious activity; a coalition has formed among residents, police, and community leaders; and a website has been launched. You can’t help but admire the spirit of Mr. Lowe and those who later joined him to stand up to the drug dealers on their territory. The message certainly gets people’s attention as well. We wish them continued success in their efforts to clean up their city.

So is this the kind of “real solution” to drug-related crime that so many cities are looking for? And do you think it would work here?

Daily Message 7/28/08

If...We have to get through the day, one hour at at time, then We will ask God to give us his strength, one hour at a time. God never thinks any job is too small.

Friday, July 25, 2008

An "Opioid Hit" From Your BlackBerry?

We in the addictions field like to say everyone is addicted to something, whether it be illegal drugs, alcohol, food, or caffeine. What about information? This article says that exposure to new and interesting information releases opioids in the brain, just as heroin does. We are biologically wired to seek out stimulating knowledge, news, or gossip because it gives us an “opioid hit.” But can this craving for information become harmful when done to excess, like compulsively checking your BlackBerry?

I am not a BlackBerry user myself, but I do have a habit of interrupting whatever I’m working on to open a new email. Even if I’m in the middle of something important, as soon as that email notification pops up, I need to find out what it is. Because you never know, it might be more something important than what I’m doing! Usually, it isn’t. But now I know why I do this. Darn you, opioids!

Daily Message 7/25/08

We do not need, outside confirm the true value of ourselves. We do not need, the approval of others...for we are children of God. He loves and accepts us, just the way we are. Just the way He created us.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We're On Facebook!

Now you have one more way to connect with BCI, keep up with what's happening, and tell us what you think. Check out our page on Facebook and become a fan!

We've got photos, useful links, and the success stories you find here on the blog. Write on our wall and post on our discussion board. And, you can share all our content with your friends with the click of a button. We’ll be adding more to our page soon so check back often to see what’s new.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Daily Message 7/23/08

RECOVERY: Discovering, something that was previously lost. To reclaim, that which was misplaced. To find, something that was missing. How wonderful...when we, "find" ourselves, through our recovery. Look and you shall find...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Playtime! Thanks to You, Our Kids Have A Playground

We did it!!! Seven months ago, BCI appealed to you to help us build a playground at The Lighthouse Program. Today we have surpassed our goal of $17,000. To everyone who contributed, we appreciate it so much!

Take a look… the playground is here! And it's great that we've gone over our goal because now we can make it even better with benches, a sandbox, and toys.

We want to say a special thanks for a grant that put us over the top, from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Bank of America’s Local Grants support community organizations helping make their neighborhoods better places to live, in areas including affordable housing, arts councils, and children’s advocacy groups. The foundation awarded over $11 million to organizations in the Wilmington community in 2006.

Building this playground is a big deal – it’s not just about giving the kids a place to play. It’s about creating a cheerful, home-like environment for kids displaced from the comfort of their own home. It’s about giving them an outlet for relaxation and releasing stress while their moms work on their recovery. It’s about family bonding for families who need it.

Soon, we will announce a special event to honor all the donors and volunteers who have supported The Lighthouse Program. On behalf of our moms and kids, thank you again for your generous support. Celebration time!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

5 Questions for Jeremy Zane, Therapeutic Supervisor

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: Jeremy Zane
Job: Therapeutic Supervisor, Lancaster Center
Time with BCI: 4 years

1. Safety Net Services is one of the BCI programs you’re involved in. How are you addressing an unmet need for substance abuse treatment and HIV/AIDS services in Wilmington?
Our main focus is getting people into treatment. The [Christiana Care] infectious disease clinic, who is the largest HIV treatment provider in the city, was referring a lot of people to Brandywine, and a lot of people weren’t making it. The first thing that we’re doing is the seamless transition. A lot of times we get referrals from the infectious disease clinic the day people find out they’re HIV positive. In fact, in the first five months, there’s already been 4 or 5 where we were at the infectious disease clinic the moment they found out that they were positive. So from day one, we’re linking up these two services. We want people to understand that HIV is treatable, that it’s not a death sentence anymore, as long as a person takes care of their body, and takes their medication. Also, substance abuse treatment can coincide with HIV.

We’re talking about a population that is probably taking the bus everywhere, or needing to get rides. Transportation can be a very significant barrier in itself. We’re talking about a person who could be going, in one day, from substance abuse counseling, get on the bus, go downtown, go out to the infectious disease clinic, sit all day out there, get the things that they need to get done, and then go back into the middle of town to Connections or Community Mental Health for their mental health services. That’s a lot of running around. And if the person is in a lot of need, and needs services every week, the chances they will get those services consistently, decreases greatly, having to run around town that much.

Having Christiana Care’s remote site here, a person can come in, get their substance abuse treatment, see the nurse practitioner, get their HIV meds, and they’re able to do it all under one roof. The mental health component also can be contained here. A person with mental health issues can have their evaluation done here, can have their medication management done here, can get their prescription through here. Everything that person needs is contained under one roof.

2. You also helped start Recovery Counts for people who weren’t succeeding in the usual track of treatment. What is this program and how did it come about?
I remember the day, there was a particular client who came over and said, “They’re discharging me off the clinic, but right now, I’m clean. I can give a clean urine right now, but I’m being discharged.” And from that moment, Basha [Silverman] and I kind of looked at each other and thought, “I wonder how many other people there are like that, who are being told they’re discharged, and now, this is when they’re going to decide to make that change?” And after looking at it, we found it to be quite common. So what we wanted to do was to come up with a program that, we say in a very concrete way: This is your last chance at treatment. If you do not demonstrate changes now, you’re going to be referred to a higher level of care, and you’re going to be discharged from the opioid treatment program.

We started a pilot program of about a dozen people. And what we were able to do was, really offer them more intensive services. We’re going to have a couple of groups a week, we’re going to be meeting for an individual session every single week, until we get through this and over this hump. And from that point, it started to grow. And then what we started to realize was that, maybe we should start working with people at the beginning. Anybody who’s on contract at all is then going to go into this program.

The reason they’re not succeeding in treatment is because, maybe we’re not offering intensive enough services. This person needs to be seen more than once a month, and they need a case manager, they need to be coming to group. And the same person running the group needs to be running their individual counseling sessions, so they can incorporate what’s going on in group back in the individual session, in a seamless way.

We also look at an outcome questionnaire. By decreasing incarceration risk, housing need, [and increasing] interpersonal relationship skills, education and employment, it has a correlation with their urine screens. As negative urine screens go up, these factors improve.

3. Recovery Counts and Safety Net Services could both be described as harm reduction approaches to addiction treatment. Do you have an opinion of whether harm reduction or traditional treatment is more effective for clients?
I personally believe that a harm reduction model is more effective. Now, you have to really define what harm reduction means, because it means different things to different people. Some people who are on the liberal side of the harm reduction model say that no one should ever be penalized for urine screens, ever. That a person should never have negative consequences, should never have hard holds. I’m certainly much more on the conservative side than that. I believe that a person needs time to change. They’re going to be positive while they’re in treatment, and the day they walk in the door, you can’t possibly expect them to just, all of a sudden, start submitting negative urine screens. So where is that point? Is it two months into treatment, eight months into treatment? And from my point of view, that’s going to be different for everybody. That toleration, that acceptance that a person’s going to be positive while they’re beginning treatment here, in my opinion, is still part of the harm reduction model.

I also believe, however, that there’s also some point where, if we’re not demonstrating changes at this level of care, and allowing the person to continue their behaviors at this level of care, it’s more detrimental than it is helpful. And we need to make efforts to get a person into a higher level of care, which can be perceived as punishment. If we’re discharging a person because we believe they can’t succeed at this level of care, and they don’t want to go inpatient, then that person’s probably going to perceive what we’re doing as punishment, and I think some of the purest harm reduction model thinkers would also think that that’s punishment as well.

4. How did you get into the field of addiction treatment?
I got introduced to Brandywine when I was at Wilmington College with my undergrad degree. Basha had come in and was doing a presentation about the outreach services that Brandywine had to offer. And at that point, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with an undergraduate degree in psychology. And that was the first time that I became interested in outreach in general, and in getting into the substance abuse field. So I came in for an interview, and there was a project they had just gotten some funding for, and I just kind of fell into it that way.

And once I’d gotten involved and started working with the population… you grow into it. It became something that was very interesting to me. The substance abusing population has mental health issues, they have medical issues, and counseling people with substance use disorders, you get a little piece of everything. So, as opposed to just working with people with depression, or just working with people with post-traumatic stress, you get all that here, but the common thread is, everybody’s also abusing substances. So you get a more complete package, and a more dynamic caseload, in my opinion.

5. What is rewarding about your work at BCI?
I think everybody says that they’ve got a couple of clients who’ve really made changes, and with some of the clients that I’ve had now for 2-3 years, you see them struggle and struggle and struggle, and then finally get to this ultimate goal. The first time a particular client gets travel bottles. When somebody is detoxed successfully who was about to be kicked off the clinic a year ago. Everybody’s got those two or three clients that they’re always going to keep with them. That type of satisfaction, that type of reward and internal satisfaction that you get, I don’t see how you could possibly get that at any other job.

Daily Message 7/21/08

What are "the seasons of our lives"? Are they reflective of our age, or our experience? Whatever the season of your life, take time to enjoy what that season brings. For everything there is a season and God's love for you is reflected in each of them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Daily Message 7/18/08

Sometimes, the changes that we need to bring into our lives, can feel as overwhelming as the problems. Embrace the changes and look to the future with an open heart and more open mind.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Daily Message 7/17/08

When all goes wrong, we have to remember that we are exactly where God , would have us be, good or bad. Experiencing all, that He would have us learn. Some things are learned, so that we may show and teach others. It's often called "wisdom".

BCI Welcomes New Board Member

BCI welcomes Reverend Karla Fleshman of Wilmington as a new member of our Board of Directors. Karla is Founding Pastor of Imago Dei Metropolitan Church, as well as a Church Plant Consultant with Metropolitan Community Churches. She has a background in social work, HIV/AIDS, and spirituality.

The BCI Board supports our treatment services through fundraising activities and promotion of our mission to the community. We know Karla will be a wonderful addition to the organization. Please join us in giving her a warm welcome to BCI!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Daily Message 7/15/08

The world needs heros and warriors. Sometimes, you have to step up and stand in defense of those, who for one reason or another, can't. Be willing to be a voice. Help them be heard.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Denise Kitson Receives Guardian Angel Award

Brandywine Counseling congratulates Denise Kitson, Program Director of The Lighthouse Program, on receiving the Guardian Angel Award at the Delaware HIV Consortium's 2008 WOW Awards Gala.

Pictured at right, Denise receives her award from Peter Houle, Executive Director of the HIV Consortium. Arlene Bincsik, President of the HIV Consortium Board of Directors and head of the Christiana Care HIV Program, gave the following speech:

"It is said that a guardian angel sits on your shoulder and protects you and comforts you in times of need. This year’s Guardian Angel Awardee is Denise Kitson of Brandywine Counseling and the new director of The Lighthouse Program in Sussex County.

"Whether it is feeding the hungry, supplying clients with street kits of tooth brushes, soap and other necessities, helping them access healthcare, finding shelter, HIV testing or entering rehab, Denise has always gone above and beyond the call of duty to help her clients and the marginalized populations.

"When others said no, Denise has always said 'How can I help you, help yourself?' She is a program manager, a case manager, a counselor, a confidant, a shoulder to lean on, an ear that listens, a compassionate volunteer all rolled up in one incredible woman. But most of all…she has been a Guardian Angel to hundreds of people when no one else cared! She strives to empower clients rather than enable them. The Delaware HIV Consortium proudly bestows the Guardian Angel Award to Denise Kitson. Congratulations!”

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Linda DeShields, A Pioneer of Addiction Treatment in Delaware, Dies at 63

Linda DeShields, a steadfast advocate for Delaware's most disadvantaged citizens who helped build programs for treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation, died on Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware. She was 63.

Linda was one of the pioneering black females in Delaware’s treatment services. She opened the doors for people of color to enter this field, and is thought of as “the Harriet Tubman of treatment” for the state’s African American women and men. This legacy continues today, as many of the outreach workers she hired have ascended to supervisory positions. Her daughter, Rochelle Booker, is the supervisor of Delaware’s first needle exchange program.

In the late 1980’s, Linda started her career at Brandywine Counseling, Inc. (BCI) as Delaware's first HIV/AIDS outreach worker. Later, as Director of Outreach Services, she hired a team of indigenous outreach workers who were in recovery themselves, and often recently released ex-offenders. She had a strong work ethic, often working 10-12 hours a day when it was necessary to get the job done. She passed on these values to her team, many of whom had never held a job. Throughout her career, she became the voice for her clients in the community and diligently worked on behalf of them to ensure better access to the services they needed.

Linda recognized that addicted persons face interrelated challenges such as housing, crime, and domestic violence. In addition to her full-time job, she worked with numerous community organizations that dealt with these social ills. She was a liaison with the Wilmington Housing Authority for drug and alcohol services, a position that was the impetus for the creation of the NSAFE HIV case management program at BCI. She also worked with Mayor Sills’ administration as a community liaison focusing on substance abuse and related problems. Linda also appeared on the cable TV show “Women 2 Women” on channel 28 to interview women on women’s issues. She highlighted successful business owners, struggling domestic violence victims, as well as those addicted to drugs, and offenders.

One of the populations Linda was most passionate about was inmates, particularly women. For nearly 20 years, she volunteered at the Women’s Correctional Institution. She would go to WCI on a daily basis, meet with inmates about to be released, and prepare them for what to expect and to meet important goals like rejoining the workforce. She was also a very dear friend to the staff and often called to just check in on them. The staff remembers her as “an inspiration [who] always had a listening ear, and never turned away.” The way she touched the lives of the offenders and so many officers was like “being touched by an angel.”

Linda also volunteered at the Plummer Center, coming to the dining hall to have lunch with ladies who did not get family visits or any money. Her heart was in this work and she genuinely cared for the inmates. She continued her visits even after suffering a stroke that left her in a wheelchair.

Linda was also a member of the Police Advisory Board, and went to many parole board hearings to advocate for ex-offenders. She did substance abuse evaluations on offenders who had been referred to the Public Defenders office, and made recommendations for treatment as well as for pre-sentencing investigation.

Another passion of Linda’s was children in at-risk situations. She did weekly prevention and education interventions with arrested youth at Bridge House and Ferris School. She also worked with organizations seeking mentors, such as Eighth Street Baptist Church’s "Magic and Minds Together," which developed therapeutic drama skits for kids. The program was the result of a faith-based partnership with Brandywine Counseling, a connection Linda initiated before such partnerships were mainstream.

Rev. Ty Johnson recalls that Linda “was way before her time. She made the connection between the power of spirituality and power of recovery and knew it was vital to success and healing.” She knew that once she connected Eighth Street Baptist, whose board members were ex-offenders in recovery, to the recovery community that had resources, that things could change.

Linda DeShields was an inspirational and influential figure at BCI. She laid the groundwork for many of the services we provide today, and positively affected the lives of countless Delawareans. She will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be held Monday July 14 at 12 Noon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2300 N. Claymont Street, Wilmington, 19802, with viewing from 10 am - 12 pm only.

Daily Message 7/10/08

As human beings, we make errors in judgement. We make mistakes. As children of God...we are forgiven. Who are we, to deny ourselves and others forgiveness.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Daily Message 7/9/08

Dear Lord, we turn to you in our hour of need. Teach us to turn to you in gratitude, when we thank you for our blessings.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

BCI Alpha North Wilmington Center To Move to Edgemoor Community Center

Brandywine Counseling's Alpha North Wilmington Center will be moving to the Edgemoor Community Center effective July 16, 2008.

The program will move from its offices at 98 Harvey Road, which it has occupied since opening in 2002. The North Wilmington Center is a satellite site of the BCI Alpha Drug Free Program, which offers outpatient drug and alcohol counseling to Delaware residents.

Our new location within Edgemoor Community Center will make treatment services available to North Wilmington residents at a location that is well-known within the community and easily accessible by bus. The Edgemoor Comunity Center is a not-for-profit, community-based, multi-service agency that provides a broad range of educational, recreational, self-enrichment, and family support services.

Our new address is: 500 Duncan Road, Wilmington, DE 19809.

Our new phone number is (302) 225-8008.

Our new fax number is (302) 225-8010.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Daily Message 7/7/08

It's not the journey, or the stops along the way, but the final destination that matters in the end.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

5 Questions for Susan Hammond, Counselor/Case Manager

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: Susan Hammond
Job: Counselor/Case Manager, Lighthouse Program
Time with BCI: 5 years

1. The Lighthouse Program was started to fill a need that wasn’t being met in Delaware. Where would these women and children be right now, without this program?
My job with Brandywine used to be the DFS [Division of Family Services] Liaison. I saw women who had either lost their children, or they were close to losing their children because of addiction being in their lives. And there was nowhere that I could help them go. I’ve seen moms come in with kids that they really didn’t know that much. Maybe it was babies, maybe it was kids that stayed in daycare a whole lot, or stayed with other relatives.

But now that we have The Lighthouse, the mothers can choose to come here, receive their addiction treatment, and bring their children with them. So there’s no need to stick kids in foster care. There’s no need to separate mothers from young children. And it’s kind of neat.

2. What kinds of things do you help the women with?
I do a lot of case management during the individual sessions. Most of the time, by the time women hit treatment, their problems are kind of multiplied. I have some clients who don’t have their driver’s license, they have never received any job training, some of them needed eyeglasses. So my job is to refer them for services, and there are agencies that provide help with some of that stuff.

Most of the women work with Vocational Rehabilitation. Some of them have sought out help with passing their GED. Some of them are looking at classes at Del Tech. Some of them are getting to the level here at Lighthouse where they can find some employment, so some are actually seeking employment now. And it’s good to watch them grow, and to see them becoming responsible, productive members of society.

I just finished an Education Group on maturity, about measuring their own maturity. This morning we had a Concern Group. Usually we have process groups, we have other education groups. There’s parenting people who come in here a couple times a week. There’s all kinds of different groups! There’s Computer Group, Sewing Group, all kinds of different groups.

3. One of the most difficult things the women must do is learn to change long-held behaviors and attitudes associated with their addiction. How do you help them do this?
This is a modified “T.C.,” therapeutic community. In a therapeutic community, ultimately it’s the people in it who run it. In a modified therapeutic community, it’s a little bit different, we still have staff overseeing the women running the program.

Usually, women notice behavior of other women. And if it bothers them, most of the time it’s something within themselves. Maybe it’s a behavior that they find themselves doing sometimes. Or maybe it was a behavior that they used to do that caused damage. Usually there’s some reaction to it. But it’s up to them to use the tool of the therapeutic community, and call these women on their issues. If a resident would see another resident acting out in some way, it’s up to them to bring it to Concern Group, because here, I think they say, “I am my sister’s keeper.” And that’s because those who know the people well are the ones who can see their behaviors.

4. What advice do you have for someone who would like to do the job you do?
Go back to school. It’s never too late. I was doing a job that I really didn’t want to do anymore. And that was painting houses, and hanging off the ladder, and scraping paint, having it in my eyes and my mouth and my nose. And I was no longer physically able to do that work. I went back to school - this was after I got clean, of course - and I got a degree, and I came to work. I worked several jobs before I came to work for Brandywine, but I’m glad I’m here. I’ve known Shay [Lipshitz] for a long time, and when I heard that Brandywine was going to open in Georgetown, I said, “Oh, I want to work for you!”

As a recovering addict, I hope to soon be celebrating 19 years clean on July 27. It takes a lot more than I thought it did, but it’s really rewarding work. I can go home at night and lay my head on the pillow, and fall fast asleep, knowing that I’ve done the best I can do at any given time.

5. If you had $30,000 to donate to BCI, what would you do with it?
Make Lighthouse bigger. Buy the parcel of land over there next door, or maybe that one back there, or that one there, because I think we need to be bigger than ten moms.

Daily Mesage 7/3/08

July 4th. Independence Day. As Americans, we have the right to be free. Our government and our military, see to that. As children of God, we have the right to be free from our addictions and if we let go and ... " let God" He will see to that". He will show us the way, to that freedom.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's A Girl!

Our Lighthouse family has grown by one! One of our moms delivered a healthy baby girl early today.

Director Shay Lipshitz, always one to go the extra mile for her clients, was on hand to lend her support.

Mom and daughter are both doing well. Congratulations!

Daily Message 7/2/08

For those of us who have chosen to walk a path of recovery, let's remember to take time, to thank those who are willing to walk it with us. For supporting us and believing in us. For sometimes taking a backseat and letting it be all about "us". They are truly appreciated. Friends - Family - Counselors - Clergy THANK YOU

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Daily Message 7/1/08

We can get done, this day...ONLY...what we can get done ! Pretty simplistic. The problems arise, when we can't accept that.