Tooting our own horn!

Last summer, I had the humbling privilege of meeting with a group of approximately 20 adult "children of hoarders" at the Dante House, with our host, Dr. Suzanne Chabaud. Dr. Chabaud was preparing to open her online survey of adult children from hoarded homes, and this group came together to share commonalities, offer support, and to become empowered to make change for others like us, especially those children who might still be living in a hoarded home.

One of my colleagues, Momma B, as I call her, has been writing for years as a way to move through the chaos of her childhood. Her blog is on my list over there <--------. But just recently, her book by the same name, Nice Children Stolen From Car, became available for purchase.

As for me, I've been plugging away on the lack of hoarding resources over here in little tiny Spokane, WA. Almost a month ago, with the support of my church, we launched a ministry for those affected by hoarding, directly or indirectly. The ministry is called Lightening the Load, and its mission is simple. It is our goal to make assistance and resources available to those affected by hoarding in this area available, regardless of availability to pay or creed. 

We launched our first workshop, Un-Buried in Treasures, a facilitated self-help group. Our initial group is fantastic! Although I was slightly nervous that we would be able to do something positive, so far the participants have been very enthusiastic and appreciative. The workshop is comprised of fifteen sessions over 20 weeks, so we're still very early in the process. Another workshop will be offered in September/October once feedback from the first workshop can be gathered and any necessary changes made.

Adult Children of Hoarders Spokane is also going to roll over into the Lightening the Load bucket. This will not require any changes for participants, but allows funding for materials to fall under the Lightening the Load budget. Because Lightening the Load is a ministry of Sheltering Tree Church, donations are potentially tax-deductible. For more information about donating, please leave a comment and I'll connect you with them!

Our next hope is to train a team of volunteer "Clutter Coaches" who will be available to go into homes and coach participants as they do the hands-on aspect of discarding. These coaches will never make any decisions regarding what a participant keeps, donates, recycles, or discards. The purpose of a coach is keep participants' focused on the task, ask thought provoking questions to help participants understand blocks to decision-making and to minimally evaluate the participant's mindset. 

As the director of Lightening the Load, it is of utmost importance to me that participants feel safe, accepted, and encouraged. Just as each of us have a unique fingerprint, our situations are unique as well. LTL's goal is never to make a participant feel as though they are just "another hoarder", but instead to make sure that their intrinsic value and unique personalities are embraced. My own call to action was based on the knowledge that God saw me as I was, with all the mistakes, pain, and anger I harbored toward my parents, my family, God himself, and the world, yet loved me enough to not give up on me or cast me aside. We share this love and acceptance with those in our community affected by hoarding and its effects.

Okay, that's enough. I haven't posted in ages, and here I am rambling on and on. I'm just so very excited to be starting to help those affected by hoarding in Spokane. I'll keep you posted!


Sidney said…
We're all very proud of you, Ceci! And I just received Barbara's book yesterday. It's very good so far!
Sidney said…
I am very proud of your good works, Ceci! Please keep it up.

And I received Barbara's book yesterday; it's really good so far.
Good work! That is so cool of you. It must feel great to have a way to give back. :)

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