A Message From Our Affiliate President
A message from our Williamsburg Affiliate President, Corey Trench, on our [2018-2019 board] year accomplishments:
At tonight’s annual meeting, we will elect our new board. As President, let me give you an update on this past year and a sense of the upcoming year.
The 2018 – 2019 year has been full of activity. We offered the Family to Family (F2F) course at the Williamsburg United Methodist Church and trained, as I recall, nearly 20 people. Our support groups, Family and Connections, continue to see steady participation. Every year, we serve over 1,300 people. This is a real tribute to our group facilitators: Linda Roush, Rachael Smethurst, Scott Smethurst, Steve Uzelac, Bryan Sanderson, Joanne Balls, Joe Bell, and Andrea Bond. We now have four people trained to teach the F2F course: Joe Bell, Allen Whitehead, Jennifer Kirvan and Meriah Crawford. We are grateful to Marcia Partch; her service has set the standard for exceptional teaching. We have now placed ourselves in a position to offer F2F once per year. This was a board goal. Joe Bell has organized the teaching team and secured a place at the House of Mercy to teach F2F there in September.
Our NAMI Willimasburg Facebook page has been re-activated, with Jennifer Kirvan’s assistance. We posted pictures from NAMI Walks Virginia, which was very successful for us this past year. We almost met our goal of raising $4,000. Thank you Claire Brantley. We doubled the number of walk participants. Maybe it was the pizza?! Our new fundraising goal is $5,000. Jennifer Kirvan and Joanne Balls are in charge of this year’s walk and we are off to a terrific start. You will be hearing more from them soon.
A highlight for me was we started a youth group. It was hard. Only one person responded. But, it did lead to making a t-shirt that everyone wanted at the actual walk. Kudos to Claire for sticking with it. Working with youth could be no more important as a pursuit. This year we started working with Bacon Street, UMFS, and the Eastern Region Systems of Care on a NAMI inter-affiliate (Hampton Roads/Newport News and NAMI Coastal) basis. By this Fall, we will have re-constituted new groups. We will keep repeating the process this until we create a group that lasts.
As many of you know, we have been working to establish a Fairweather Lodge in Virginia. One. This is a house in a neighborhood where people in recovery live autonomously, coached by a lodge coordinator. The lodge is more than a house. It is a system designed to empower and support its members, who all must work. NAMI Williamsburg started the research into housing over four years ago. In July we open the first lodge, with four residents.
At the same time, Hope Family Village, our spinoff nonprofit, secured a commitment to lease, for $1, 25 acres for a community-based housing project for 25 families and their loved ones. We have been working with both state and local authorities on the implementation of this project. We offered the county a preliminary conceptual design. All government agencies have been duly impressed by our progress and penchant to persist. Recently, we had two people attend the Portland National Cohousing Conference to help us further our knowledge about creating a community. Over 500 people were in attendance and cohousers always want to know more about us. Our project is absolutely unique in the country. An opportunity created because of NAMI Williamsburg and generous donors.
NAMI Williamsburg participates in the CIT training program and the stakeholders meeting at CBH. I would like to thank Joe Bell for teaching two sessions this year. I know our participation in this group is appreciated.
Financially, NAMI Williamsburg remains very strong. Carmen Andreoli set up a wonderful accounting system for us. His work, along with that of Gerry Hanley, in setting up our 501(c)3, our policies and procedures, make for a small but very mighty affiliate. I thank them both for their hard work.
Finally, we re-started Supper Supers. We will continue to have them on occasion, maybe with speakers this year. We just might have only two dinners. Nothing tops our Holiday Dinner, we discovered.
There will be more to come, as we assemble this new board. I am very excited about our newest member, Scott Smethurst, and those we will nominate; Steve Menzies and Lynn Bañez, and elect tonight.
Hope to see you there.