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I am new to the Sarasota area and so am still learning lots about the community.  Yesterday I learned about two non-profits I felt were worth mentioning.  A good friend is on the board of the first non-profit, Family Promise of Sarasota.  Family Promise has partnered with several local churches and synagogues to provide displaced families with temporary shelter in the churches and synagogues themselves.  Given the state of the economy with seemingly epidemic job loss and foreclosures, the efforts of Family Promise are undoubtedly a welcome relief for many.

Each congregation participating in Family Promise provides overnight lodging and three meals daily for 4 families – up to 14 persons –  for one week every three months on a rotating basis.  Family Promise guests stay in each congregation from 6:00 pm to 7:00 am daily.  Once sheltered, the families then concentrate on what they need to accomplish to achieve stability in their lives for themselves and their children.  Each morning guests are transported to the Day Center where those who are not employed will meet with the Director/Case Manager who will refer them to community resources based on their individual needs.  The Day Center is also a place for parents to care for pre-school children and make use of the computer and phone in search of housing and employment – this is the hub of the organization.

It is the organization’s goal to continue cultivating friendships in the community for collaboration in providing a variety of services for the families to help them regain stability in their lives and move on to a home of their own.  Once the families have been in the program for 60 days, they have the opportunity to refer our families, who qualify, to programs such as the Salvation Army FAITH program which can help them achieve their goals.  Keeping the family together, while transitioning them from homelessness, is vital.

Nationally nearly 5,000 congregations participate in Family Promise with literally thousands of volunteers who help families regain their independence.  Families with children make up the fastest growing segment of the homeless population and most of the children are under the age of six.  Family Promise gives individuals who want to help a way to help that is most rewarding.

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Thought for the day

Be the change you want to see in the world.  Ghandi

As a new Executive Director with Woamtec, I am launching the Sarasota Chapter on September 22, 2009, at Michael’s on East restaurant.  Please join us!  Check out Woamtec at www.Woamtec.com.

Gratitude

I am collaborating with my good friend, Peggy Hoyt, on a book about gratitude and appreciating marketing.  Please check back soon for more information.

WOAMTEC

Women On A Mission To Earn Commission is a premier networking group designed to appeal to the business woman who is already successful and simply wants to grow more.  It is not designed for commissioned sales people only, rather any strong female who wants to increase her company’s bottom line and overall revenue. They want to attract women who have achieved success and do not need to be taught, but rather have the knowledge to teach each other on a social and interpersonal level.

Their philosophy is not to compete with any other networking organization, but instead to offer a pure social, stress free networking atmosphere, where women can simply be women. WOAMTEC also offers a networking opportunity where women can focus on keeping their priorities in order of faith, family, and career without feeling guilty about it!

Tomorrow I attend my first meeting of WOAMTEC.  I am attending as a guest of the DeBary, Florida Chapter.  Tomorrow’s meeting should be quite busy as they are offering free portrait shots for their members and there will be a formal presentation for SendOutCards.  What fun!

For Women Sailors

On October 5, 2008, I and two friends, Radeen (Island Spirit) and Vanessa (Wind Runner), launched a new website for women sailors . . . www.WmWAVES.com. The site was inspired by a desire to bring women sailors together to share everything of interest to us . . . from boat recipes to how we can become comfortable handling a man-overboard situation and more. It is for women sailors (defined as “travelers by water”) everywhere. Please visit the site and learn how this project got under way, what we hope to achieve and what it can do for you. Registration is FREE and we hope you will share your articles, calendar events, et cetera, and help us spread the word.  Let’s join together and become one unified and strong group of Women Making WAVES!

My Cruising Past

My husband and I recently returned from a two-year hiatus, which we spent cruising on our Island Packet 440 Sailboat “Charmed.”  Check out our sailing blog at www.svCharmed.Blogspot.com.  We left New London, Connecticut in August 2007 and, once out of the Long Island Sound, made a bee-line for Cape May.  This was my first off-shore run and my first overnight sailing experience.  To make a long story short, we traveled south mostly via the Intracoastal Waterway, and made it all the way to Marathon, Florida (with a lot of stops in between) before heading north again.  After many stops again as we headed north, we spent the Summer of 2008 in Maine after crewing on our friends’ boat Wind Runner on a two-week trip to and from Bermuda.  That is my longest off-shore run so far.  Then after Maine, it was back south again, and this time we made to the Bahamas for a few months.  Now Charmed is docked in a lovely slip at Twin Dolphin Marina in Bradenton, Florida, and we’re working on getting our land legs again!