Thursday, September 4, 2008

Volunteer Spotlight: Eul Lee, Lighthouse Program

Eul Lee does a weekly "Creative Expression" group with the moms at The Lighthouse Program on Wednesday afternoons. They do everything from crocheting, to painting, to making jewelry. She also teaches computer skills. In our latest volunteer spotlight, Eul tells us about her experience in her own words:

I had been looking for ways to help women in trouble, particularly female prisoners who have kids whom they could not tuck in every night. My idea was to teach them to make tuck-in blankets for their kids as a way to connect with their kids while making them and for the kids to feel their moms around them especially at night. I had no idea what [The Lighthouse Program] would be like. Then, I found the problems these women are in are much bigger than I had ever imagined.

I had initially tried to teach them how to crochet. Some already knew how to crochet and some didn't. Even very novice ones picked up crochet very quickly, generally much quicker than others I had taught before. I found they are very creative and resourceful. They enjoy small projects they can finish in an hour or two and show off, such as painting a picture frame, making earrings, etc.

I also tried to work with them on computer skills. They all enjoyed Mavis Beacon program (a very good software to help improve typing skills) very much. Most of the women seem to have some knowledge in MS Word and some other MS software, but not in depth.

I saw the real improvements in most women as weeks go by. I see smiles on most women there. Sometimes I hear them sing. Some would encourage others and try to get the newly joined ones involved in activities. Some decided to leave the program, which is a very heart breaking experience for me. I wish I could see them again somewhere some time.

While they have to live with the consequences of their choices - losing kids and family, sometimes their freedom, and precious years of their lives - it is good that there are programs such as BCI if they are willing to get help.

I am not sure whether I can take much credit for helping them, but I do hope they acquire the skills they need to cope with the lifetime recovery and learn the importance of their soberness in their kids' lives.

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