One of my core beliefs as a writer is that words are a powerful way to create connections between people. I believe that each individual has a unique story to share and that there is both catharsis and connection created when we do that sharing.
Of course, I don’t think that the written word is the only way to connect with people. It’s just one way of doing so. In my own life, I have been involved in connecting with and helping others in many ways. Here’s a short summary:
Training with SF SPCA for pet therapy volunteering
Jewish Culture panel participant, 2014
Volunteer online counselor, TeenCentral.net
Women’s networking group, member
I joined a terrific women’s networking group. We serve to support each other in all ways, particularly creatively and in our professional businesses.
2006 – 2007
MoKa House, freelance writing media company co-owner
I co-owned and operated a media company called MoKa House writers that helped emerging online writers sustain a living with steady freelance jobs. The company ultimately didn’t work out but during the time we were open we succeeded in connecting several writers with great freelance jobs.
See my WOW on Writing interview about MoKa House.
2003 – 2005
Licensed therapeutic level foster parent
Intern, Child Protective Services Sex Abuse Unit
Mentor, foster child program
I was a foster parent in my own home for two years working with tweens and teens requiring therepaeutic level care. For a portion of this time I also did volunteer work, first as a case mananger intern at CPS and then as a mentor with a foster care services agency in Arizona.
Theraputic group home, staff member and supervisor
I worked in a therapeutic-level group home for children ages 4-13 first as a staff member and then as a house supervisor. We provided daily support and care to children in the foster care system who had unique behavioral needs. I also worked in their educational department, including work in their special needs classrooms.
1999 – 2003
Create Me Free, founder
This was a mail-based non-profit organization working with artists and writers in prison. Our mission was to help incarcerated men, women and juveniles use creativity for catharsis. I assigned mentors to each inmate and we worked through letters to help encourage their creative efforts. Create Me Free produced a quarterly zine of art and writing, which had a subscription-based following and was also placed in a select few alternative bookstores across the nation. Although the organization is no longer active, a few of the inmates continue to work with their mentors today. Two have been published.