Happy New Year! We’ve been busy since our last newsletter. Read on for the updates.
By Cheryl Houk
It remains busy at residential with the implementation of the new program and all the holiday events. We keep our clients very busy during this difficult time of the year. For many, this is the first sober holiday they have experienced in many years.
This year we started on Thanksgiving eve with residents volunteering at the Annual Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving dinner at the LGBT Center. The next day the residents and friends were provided a wonderful Thanksgiving meal prepared by alumni and new assistant kitchen manager Walter.
On December 1st during World’s AIDS Day, alumni and volunteers came on property and decorated for the holidays while the residents attended the Mama’s Kitchen’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. When they returned, they were in awe of the holiday magic which had occurred. The property had been transformed.
In that same week was Stepping Stones annual Winter Tea, held to recognize the many volunteers who put in countless hours of time to support our services. Alice Henry was honored for her many years of volunteer service to Stepping Stone.
Next on the calendar was the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus “Jingle” at Balboa Theater, one of our favorite holiday traditions. This is an annual event that Gay Men’s Chorus graciously donates tickets to Stepping Stone residents and outpatient clients. It was exceptionally good this year and enjoyed by all.
Staff went off property this year to have a wonderful holiday party in Coronado. There was great food and great company. It was announced that Outpatient was the winner of the “1st Annual Holiday Office Decorating” contest.
Next came our wonderful Christmas celebration, put on by our alumni thanks to all of their fundraising efforts throughout the year. Christmas morning Santa Claus came to visit, bearing gifts for each resident. The alumni provided an amazing breakfast. Of course, Christmas dinner was prepared with much love by Walter.
We began the New Year with pinatas, food, and lively music. Residents, outpatient clients and alumni with sober friends rang in the New Year with Karaoke and dancing.
By Pam Highfill
Stepping Out had numerous opportunities to celebrate, volunteer and grow this past quarter. We were glad to welcome Joe Wescott to our team after Inez moved to VVSD. We started outreach in North County and started collaborating with San Diego LGTBQ Center at Sunburst, their transitional-age youth housing program.
The celebrations started in October when our volunteer Jeff received the Alice and Ross Volunteer of the Year award at the Stepping Stone Gala. Jeff dedicates valuable time at Outpatient services doing many different things. He helps clients and prospective clients find the information they need and is very valuable to staff, helping with several of our tasks. We were very pleased that he was nominated as volunteer of the year.
We celebrated Halloween by getting decked out in costumes, even our “mascot” Wyatt, who came as our “prison” dog.
Then came the winter season. This year we had two events, a cookie exchange party and our holiday luncheon. The cookie exchange party was for participants and the community. Apparently gay men haven’t quite grasped the concept of “exchange” because while everyone was great at bringing cookies, very few people left with any. Residents and clients were well supplied in cookies until after the Christmas holiday!
We would like to thank the alumni association and a few other generous contributors who provided us with necessary funds to provide outpatient participants with a holiday lunch, and the alumni association presented each client with a gift bag for the holidays. This ongoing tradition of alumni providing such a wonderful holiday season for all our clients, both outpatient and residential, is much appreciated.
By Chris Mueller
Stepping Stone continues to grow with many new faces. Many times the first face you will see as you enter Stepping Stone residential is our newest employee, Jeffrey Francway. He works the morning shifts at the front office and serves as our new front office volunteer coordinator. Jeffery volunteered for over a year prior to being hired and as a volunteer showed himself to be consistent and reliable. Jeffery is an alumnus of Stepping Stone and has been involved in our services in some capacity for over 30 years. We are very grateful that he has accepted this position with our team. Anyone interested in volunteer on the phones can find Jeffrey in the residential front office Monday through Friday, 9 am – noon.
We continue to look for certified substance use disorder counselors. If you or anyone you know might be interested in joining our amazing team of professionals, please contact Matthew Page at 619-584-4010 ext. 121.
ZUMBA FOR THE RECOVERY COMMUNITY
Monday Nights 6:00 PM
3928 Illinois Street
MALE BODY IMAGE GROUP
Wednesday Nights 5:40 PM
3928 Illinois Street
THE RECOVERY RIDE 2020
The Recovery Ride is a charity bike ride coming up on April 19, 2020, benefitting Stepping Stone. Please join us as a cyclist or virtual rider. Whether a casual or recreational cyclist, or training for something more serious, our three route lengths (12/25/40 mile) will satisfy one and all. For more information, visit The Recovery Ride website.
Ways to get involved:
- Register for The Recovery Ride at join.therecoveryride.org.
- Volunteer to help with The Recovery Ride at therecoveryride.org/volunteer.