Saturday, October 23, 2010

Somebody’s Daughter Program to "Make a difference in our community"

In honor of “Make a Difference Day” I am posting an idea I had many years ago for a way that people in churches could help women in need of recovery. I will be sending out church letters to some local churches; it is something the Lord put on my heart about 8 years ago when I was first writing the book, “Somebody’s Daughter."

Make a Difference Day /Somebody’s Daughter Program
I am a mother who is concerned about drug usage and rehabilitation in the state of Florida. My burden is especially for women who have been on a cycle of drug abuse, jail, treatment and relapse. It seems to me there are more resources for men coming out of jail than for women, and even less caring community help for older women who may have children or have led more of a “street life.”

As a woman and a mother I am familiar with the problem. I have a 43-year-old daughter who has a history of incarcerations in the Volusia County Correctional Facility. She has been in this cycle off and on for over 20 years. I’m sure that, if she could, my daughter would go back and erase the time she took the first narcotic. But sadly my ex-husband was the one who first gave drugs to our daughter. He was a pedophile who started her on the downward spiral of addiction. Although I have tried implementing parts of this program with her I find that sometimes mentoring by someone outside of the family can have a greater impact and success. She is drug free over 2 years now and has made great strides in her life. She is often asked to be a speaker at Recovery programs and is a member of several programs. She works the steps through personal groups, NA and AA groups.

I have been trying to think of ways for the community to help without having to depend on the State for a lot of financial aid. I believe a challenge to faith based organizations and churches might provide an outreach in conjunction with treatment programs. I would like to see church members, willing and trained, to do the type of mentoring that mends lives and also saves the taxpayers money.
On the attached excerpt from my writing, I offer some thoughts that perhaps you might consider when you have the opportunity to challenge the members of your church or faith-based organization in outreach and mentoring.

I wrote a book called “Somebody’s Daughter.” As women, each of us is somebody’s daughter, and each family has their own painful reasons for the things they do. I may not be able to help my daughter, I may not be able to help your daughter, but by God’s grace, we can all help “Somebody’s Daughter.” I welcome input into this idea, as I don’t feel the Lord has given me the whole picture yet on this idea. In the past years I wrote First Lady Columba Bush when they were in office, as I thought it might be beneficial for her daughter, Noelle, to have a way to give back to the community. I also wrote First Lady Laura Bush for her input and may be sending a letter to First Lady Obama. As far as I can see this would not be something that would cost the state anything as each church member would see it as a way to become a volunteer or a “point of light” in their community.

I would welcome your thoughts by e-mail:

Thank you very much for your time.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Somebody’s Daughter Program

We want to broaden welfare reform by making it easier for faith-based groups to be involved in the tackling of hopelessness and despair.
From a campaign letter, 2002, President Bush

For many years the Lord has put something in my heart concerning churches helping women caught in the addiction, jail and treatment cycle. I believe if many churches in a city would commit to “adopt” a wounded woman (one woman per church) we would see a better chance at true recovery. There seem to be many programs for men when they get out of jail and not as many for women (An example is FL/GA area Teen Challenge programs have eight in-house facilities: six are for men). They sometimes turn to their old lifestyle patterns sooner because they have less support. Or they are more able to find a man to support them in their old habit.

Many times on WAPN “Prayer Line” and in the community I have heard people say they are ready to be there for the men when they get out of jail. There are a lot more treatment centers for men and more “Teen Challenge” centers also. Yet the women are very needy. They may have lost everything including children. My daughter did, but is now finding the Lord’s favor & recovery.

I say, “adopt” because I believe adoption is in the heart of God. We can go to Him and say “Abba Father,” because He has adopted us. It is a true love relationship. The reason I suggest one church, one woman is because if the whole church could share the burden of mentoring and providing support services to that one woman, it would not be so hard on a few families or Christian brothers or sisters. People in recovery need to be with loving, responsible people so they don’t have idle time. They also need to be in family situations instead of relationships where their “user mode” kicks in and they find themselves in a sexual situation or temptation.

A woman in recovery needs a lot of encouragement, but she needs practical things also, such as transportation to NA, AA or Overcomers Meetings, or to a job. They need to learn to become responsible and how to use their time wisely. They need to learn to give, as their life has become very self-centered. Their habit has called out to them to be filled, and that has been their main focus. They have forgotten what it is like to be part of a family or how to interact with their loved ones. They need to be with safe people. But they also need to be safe and not toxic to people. If this has been a long cycle of drug usage, they have used people instead of loving them. They need help to find their way back. H. B. London and Neil Wiseman give an answer they believe will help children in our society. In the book, “It Takes a Church…Within A Village” that answer can work perfectly for the wounded woman also. I have inserted “wounded women” where they had children written in the original text. The question was “What must the church do?"
The church is being called and challenged to deal with a void in our society. “Wounded women” need more tightknit, trusted, nurturing relationships. “Wounded women” need adults who can model Christ for them and introduce them to a loving Savior. In a world today where women grow up with so much violence hatred, anger abuse, neglect, and so many evils, the church must become the village that creates, establishes and lives out Christian values. The church must become the most meaningful fellowship that exists to meet the needs of our decaying society.

This is a complex subject, and I don’t believe the Lord has finished showing me what He wants in the matter. From my research, I feel asking for recommendations from the local treatment centers or recovery centers (Such as The Haven, Serenity House or Avenues 12) for names of those women that they think may follow through with help from the community. That may be the best place to find that one woman your church would choose to adopt. The concept is not “village mentality,” but it is putting recovery where it belongs: within the body of believers. There is no healing that is permanent except through the Lord. But I believe willing people working together can help a “wounded woman” become an Overcomer. Remember when you help a daughter you are helping a mother also. After all these years with this in my heart, I am also open to churches using the plan for a “Somebody’s Son” outreach also.

Donna Collins Tinsley 2010 Book addendum


386 756-5553 Please put “Somebody’s Daughter” as the subject.

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