Writing for the Soul Workshop™

The Key to Nonprofit Success? Sutainability.

Nonprofit organizations impact our lives and our communities.  In fact, statistics show that more than 80% of the population will access services provided by a nonprofit organization in their lifetime.  If you doubt that number, think about all of the different nonprofits that provide community outreach in specialized areas –like organizations that provide car seats, or anti-bullying organizations like Stand For The Silent, that you may interact with. But how do these vital organizations stay funded?

“Nonprofits are changing the way they do business because government funding is not returning to pre-recession levels, philanthropic dollars are limited, and demand for critical services has climbed dramatically,” said Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF). “At the same time, 56 percent of nonprofits plan to increase the number of people served. That goal requires change and innovation– for nonprofits, for those who fund them, and for the broader systems we need to preserve and expand economic opportunity and social progress.”

In order to meet their goals in a complex financial environment, successful organizations are focused on efforts that create sustainable programs.  In an environmental context, sustainability generally means finding a way to use resources in a manner that prevents their depletion. In the nonprofit sector the phrase “financial sustainability” is commonly used to suggest that the nonprofit will be able to sustain itself over the long-term, perpetuating its ability to fulfill its mission. It needs programs that generate revenue, that help fund the greater mission.

Nonprofits must work for the greater good, but also RUN LIKE A BUSINESS if they want to maintain their services.  Not-for-profit, or nonprofit, is not synonymous with unprofitable. In fact, the term is not only a misnomer but has impeded many nonprofits from succeeding in their missions and being good stewards of the resources entrusted to them by donors.  The key difference is that instead of generating profit, a profitable charitable organization is SUSTAINABLE. This includes incorporating key small business practices, like those created by Jack Stack in The Great Game of Business.

995097_535945159786549_511219681_aSuccessful organizations know the importance of sustainable programs like Writing for the Soul Workshop™, a dynamic and innovative writing program growing at a remarkable rate globally. Through the #writeforthesilent Project, our Global Community Partnership with Stand for the Silent gave a platform and a voice to children and adults standing against bullying by helping them get what is on the inside …out in a whole new way: The Bully Diaries.

While the participants were impacted and empowered by the program, the program and Stand For The Silent is empowered by contributions from book sales, creating a cycle of sustainable funding and impact. It continues to be a win-win for all of us so that SFTS can take their presentation to schools around the world …even if the school can’t afford to pay them. Here’s a video from SFTS to give you a glimpse of their impact:

About The Bully Diaries

The Bully Diaries Cover 96dpi

Chances are that you experienced bullying in your life.  Whether your experience was as a victim, a bystander, or the bully, if you search your memories, you will probably find instances when bullying was a part of your life.  For many of us, these experiences have defined us and shaped us.  Our experiences made us stronger, and helped us become who we are today.

When you are being bullied, it is hard to think about much more than getting through today. For others, there is no today.  Their experience being bullied was too overwhelming, and drove them to a devastating and permanent solution to the temporary pain.

The Bully Diaries has prevent teen bullycides here in the US and in Perth, Australia. Do you need to generate “Key Source Funding” like our global community partner Stand For The Silent? Then partner with us and let’s customize a project just for you. Use the Contact Form below to connect with us.

 

Donor Spotlight: Meet Peggy Egan

When you meet genuinely good people, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. That’s how I felt after meeting Peggy Egan for the first time while having coffee at Starbucks. Our tables were so close together that I couldn’t help listening as she talked passionately about how she’d improve the community once elected to the gentleman sitting across from her. Elected to what? Curiosity got the best of me, and I needed to know.

When Peggy’s meeting ended, I turned and introduced myself. I told her that I couldn’t help overhearing her conversation, and then I asked if she was running for election. With an incredibly big smile, Peggy looked up at me and told me that she was running for District Court Judge. My next question was, “Why?”

Peggy went on to explain to me how she wants to make the Little Rock District Court a partner in community improvement. When Peggy finished speaking, she asked me about what I do. I told her about my Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program. I had no clue that she’d find us online, and go on to make a donation to help me give away books this summer. I’m eternally grateful to Peggy for her support.

Below, is a photo of local area teens in Little Rock who received a copy of Stories of Hope courtesy of Peggy’s donation. To donate books, simply click on the picture.

Stories of Hope by Writing for the Soul Workshop™

Stories of Hope was written by teens through our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program. Like the caterpillar whose cathartic change becomes the most beautiful of butterflies, Stories of Hope will leave the teens who read it inspired and changed, like their peers that penned the book.

Stories of Hope is simply emotional nutrition and a must have for any teen. That’s why I’m working hard to give away 10,000 books to parents and teens throughout Arkansas this summer. ​My name is Eric Jones, and I am the creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™. One thing I’ve learned is that no matter their differences, teenagers go through so much in life. Some more than others.

 Take a look at our Trailer:

Learn More About Our Donor

“Egan, a public school teacher for 16 years, moved to Little Rock in 1999 to attend law school and has practiced in Little Rock since, primarily in Juvenile and criminal divisions of circuit court. She’s worked the last two years as deputy public defender in Pulaski District Court. She recently received the Pulaski County Bar Association Lawyer Citizen Award in recognition of her volunteer work.” –Max Brantley, Arkansas Times

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Online

Join our online community!

As an extension of our writing program, we’ve created Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Online. It’s free and easy. Our online classes are powered by Storybird.

Storybird allows us to create a safe, positive community for creativity while you access Writing for the Soul Workshop™ online to write your stories. You will find new friends from across the globe, and discover their stories too. It’s a great and safe way for our participants, mentors, family and friends to stay connected.

Use Storybird to write stories or poetry using beautiful artwork as inspiration. You will LOVE Storybird. And as developer of Writing for the Soul Workshop™, we love how it builds literacy, creativity and digital citizenship, all within a safe environment that respects data privacy. Millions of students around the world use Storybird, and it gets a 5-star rating from Common Sense Media.

Storybird starts with images first to inspire your story. Here’s how it works:

Step One: Browse artwork and get inspired. Choose an illustrator, or search for a portfolio of images using keywords. Click on lightning bolt located in the bottom right corner of the picture you choose to begin your story.

Step Two: Choose a format.

  1. Picture books (more art, less text)
  2. Longform (chapters, less art)
  3. Poetry (one image, select words)

Step Three: Tell your story. Drag and drop images onto your picture book as you write. Use the Insert button to illustrate long-form chapters. Refresh word sets and art to create visual poetry

Step Four: Publish, share and print.  Publish your work to Storybird’s public library or keep private. Share on your social networks, via email, or embed elsewhere. Order gorgeous printed books and poems as keepsakes and gifts.

Click below to below to register, and we’ll email you an electronic Consent Form. Once it’s completed, then you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to access your first assignment. Returning members can simply login. Happy writing!

Donor Spotlight: Meet Corey Foreman

“If you stay small enough long enough; God will make you big enough soon enough.” -Corey Foreman 
In today’s Donor Spotlight news, I am pleased to feature Corey Foreman. He’s dedicated his whole life to serving youth, and he is my little brother. Recently, Corey made a contribution to help me give away books to teens living in Arkansas this summer. ​My name is Eric Jones. I am the founder of TGIM Digital Publishing, and  creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™.
Corey has been an avid supporter of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ since 2011. He currently works with youth in Marianna, a small city located in Lee County, Arkansas. As a native of Lee County, Corey’s degrees could have taken him anywhere, but he choose to go back home. Over the years, countless youth that Corey has mentored are glad that he did.

Corey has organized and exposed our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program to over 100 teens in his community since 2012. Stories of Hope contains poetry and short stories submitted by local area teens where Corey has offered the program. Here’s a sneak peek at one of them:
Is There Hope?
Hope for me?
Is there hope for me to change what I do in life?
Does anyone hear me screaming for hope?
Hope?
Does hope ever hear me through this thick wall?
The walls around me hard to breath.
Can’t move, it is hard to breath.
Hope through these walls, is there?
 

Emotional Nutrition for Teens

Stories of Hope is emotional nutrition for teens and their parents. Stories of Hope was written by teens who accessed my Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program in cities around the US. Like the caterpillar whose cathartic change becomes the most beautiful of butterflies, Stories of Hope will leave the teens that read it inspired and changed, like their peers that penned the book.
One spark of hope can ignite a passion to succeed in the life of a hopeless teen. Corey knows this, which is why he supports my mission to give hope to 10,000 parents and teens this summer. I need your help to accomplish my mission too. Click on the GoFund Me screenshot below to make a one time contribution. When you do, I’ll send you a free download of “Thank You” buy Kansas City recording artist Rashad.

Pain is real. But so is hope.

“I hate you!” I yelled, angrily running to my room. I grabbed a scarf and sat on my bed with it around my neck. I began pulling on it as hard as I could until I heard, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” This was the start of long-term treatment for me. -Hanah 
The quote above is taken from the story of a remarkable young lady, who submitted it during our Let’s Make a Book Event at the 4th Annual Maker Faire in North Little Rock earlier this month. It was Hanah’s first time accessing our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program, and sharing her story wasn’t easy. You can read Hanah’s story in the next release of our Stories of Hope series this fall.
For teens like Hanah, it’s never easy writing about their experiences especially when life hurts. That’s why we created an approach to help them be more able to take effective action in the face of emotional discomfort during the program, using writing as therapy.
Writing for the Soul Workshop™ helps students appreciate each moment of their life, no matter how they’re feeling. It is not your average writing program. Our focus is not academics, yet students who access our program begin to do better academically. When engaged, the writing program becomes a safe haven for writers to simply get what’s on the inside …out. Misspelled words and all.

Donate Today

Teens like Hanah access our writing program at no cost to them because of  donors like you. Help us to continue our work by making a one-time contribution. Pain is real. But so is hope.

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non‐profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” and are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Donor Spotlight: Meet Roy Brown

Roy Brown is a barber over at Masters of Barbering & Styles located at 7103 Colonel Glenn Road in Little Rock, Arkansas. Recently, Roy made a contribution to our 2018 Summer of Hope Book Tour. I shared with him that while working with teens, one thing I’ve learned is that no matter their differences, they all go through so much in life. Some more than others. Roy agrees, and that’s why he’s doing his part to help me give away 10,000 books to parents and teens throughout Arkansas this summer. ​My name is Eric Jones. I am CEO here at TGIM Digital Publishing, and the creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™.

Stories of Hope is emotional nutrition and a must have for any teen. Take a look at our Trailer:

Stories of Hope was written by teens through our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program offered around the US. Like the caterpillar whose cathartic change becomes the most beautiful of butterflies, Stories of Hope will leave the teens that read it inspired and changed, like their peers that penned the book.

Roy is a Little Rock Native who wants equal opportunity for all youth, especially those living in Arkansas. His contribution will be used to give books to teens living in Little Rock

Support our Donor and Save!

Roy’s message to teens when cutting their hair is “Go to school and mind your parents.” Do you live in the Little Rock area? Go see Roy and mention “WRITING FOR THE SOUL WORKSHOP” to receive $2 off your next hair cut! To schedule an appointment, give Roy a call at: (501) 243-0540.

2018 Summer of Hope Book Tour FAQ’s

While working to help people live full, rich and meaningful lives, one thing I’ve learned is that no matter their differences, they all go through so much in life. Some more than others. That’s why I’m preparing to give away copies of Hope Outside the Walls and Stories of Hope to 10,000 men, women and children throughout the state of Arkansas this summer. My name is Eric, and I am the creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™.

Stories of Hope and Hope Outside the Walls is emotional nutrition, and a must have for countless Arkansans around the state living in poverty or struggling to recover from a traumatic life event. When I first created this campaign, my target audience were teens living in at-risk communities in the Top Ten Most Dangerous Cities over 200,000 in the US. However, during our Summer programs here at home, the request for books by participants and parents who couldn’t afford them was overwhelming.

To give away 10,000 books, I will need the following in funding:

$37,200 for Books

Total: $37,200 ($3.72 covers the cost of 1 Book)

No one is born “bad.” Hurting people hurt people. Be a part of my Writing for the Soul process by making a donation today. 

To help me meet my goal, I’ve created a GoFundMe page. Will you be a part of the Writing for the Soul process? For your donation of any amount, you’ll receive your choice of a free Hope Outside the Walls or Stories of Hope eBook.

2018 Summer of Hope Book Tour FAQ’s

Why did I create Writing for the Soul Workshop? Because writing changed my life. I knew that writing could help others too, and I was right. To date, the program has prevented 6 teen suicides that I know of.
My first participants were Crips and Bloods.  It wasn’t the differences that brought them together, it was the pain.  Watching them write for me made me realize this one thing …writing could actually, literally, set them free. Free from the mental agony of guilt, shame and so much more. I watch as it happens every time a teen shares their story with the others during the program. Indicators include behavioral changes, better grades, abstaining from drug use and more.
You can download my free eBook “My Life in Five Words: Writing for the Soul Workshop™ at www.writingforthesoulworkshop.org to learn more.

Who are you and why are you qualified to do what you do?

Eric is CEO of TGIM Digital Publishing and founder of Writing for the Soul Workshop™. He has successfully completed Texas Department of Criminal Justice Substance Abuse Treatment Program, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Peer Recovery Support Specialist Training, Texas Department of State Health Services Peer Recovery Coach Training and Turning Points Parenting Curriculum by Caring for Kids of The Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center.

What is Writing for the Soul Workshop™?

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is not your average writing program. Our focus is not academics, yet students who access our program begin to do better academically. When engaged, the writing program becomes a safe haven for writers to identify what they’re feeling on the inside, and to write about why they feel that way. Misspelled words and all.

Why do this, and how will it impact those who receive a copy of the book?

According to http://www.talkpoverty.org, Arkansas has a population of 2,898, 630 and 499,225 of them are living in poverty. Most of them have no clue that a writing program like ours even exists, simply because it isn’t offered in their area. Most of them have never even traveled outside of their community.  Giving these residents copies of our books allows us to expose them to Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as well as how to access it online at no cost.

Why the heck should people give you money for this?

Offering a program like this requires an annual operating budget of $193,700. Because we are a business with the heart of a non-profit, we do not pass on those costs to participants. Our program offers better educational outcomes than school alone. As the Will Stegerson foundation reminds us, “In order to reach a kid, you’ve got the meet them where they are. And if you can meet them where they are, then you can take them somewhere else.” So many of them feel hopeless. This is what a student who submitted her story in Stories of Hope shared: “I can’t remember the last time someone told me they loved me, appreciate me or that they care. I don’t trust people. I don’t know how.” -Stories of Hope

What will happen when you reach your goal of $37,200?

After reaching our goal, our first stop will be at the Foote Homes housing projects in Memphis, TN on July 9, 2018. 

Foote Homes is a legendary landmark, and is the last remaining housing project in Memphis, TN. We’ll set up a booth for teens to get a book, bookmark, flyer and access our program on

What impact will this have on society?

2018 has already offered an emotional punch for everyone in our society, especially our teens. They witnessed the largest mass school shooting in history, and some of them didn’t make it. Our country seems more emotionally charged than in times past, and our youth need social emotional skills to cope with these emotions. It is clear to us that for them, expressive writing has some clear emotional and psychological benefits. Benefits that along with education, will prepare them for the 21st Century Workforce and to deal with life on life’s terms. Hurting people hurt people, and they take out their pain on the world around them. Imagine a program for teens and families that helps to make the hurting stop. That is our impact on society beginning with the Natural State.

What testimonials have you had in the past?

“This workshop is incredible!!” -Jeffery Powell, North County Recreation Complex Manager in St. Louis
“It was fun to watch the kids get excited about writing as they learned about how to get what’s on the inside out.” -Duane Gruis, United Cerebral Palsy Heartland
“I liked this workshop because the workshop it gave me a chance to express my feelings through writing.” – Nate
“I liked the workshop because I got to express myself and hear Eric’s story.” – Daelyn

“What I liked about this is the writing because I love to write poetry and I always wanted to write a book about my life.  I get to express my feelings on paper and someone has the curiosity to read how I feel deep within me.  I loved everything about it.” – Aujanae

“I liked the workshop because I got to express what I feel on paper and our work is published and other people’s stories may be similar to my story” – MaKayla

“One of the great things about this Writing for the Soul program is that it gives you control over your emotions. You don’t express those things in unhealthy ways. You do it in healthy and productive ways by writing it all out.” -Dr. Stevie Dawn, Emotional Intelligence Expert

Can I make a Tax deductible donation instead of using GoFundMe?

Donate Today

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non‐profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” and are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Click the link to make a secure online donation, or mail checks made out to Fractured Atlas to: TGIM Digital Publishing, 1617 Park Place Ave, Suite 110-TGIM, Fort Worth, TX 76110.

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is powered TGIM Digital Publishing. TGIM is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ Rating and recipient of the BBB Gold Star Award. Have questions? We’d be happy to answer them, simply use the Contact Form below.

The Nutty Redhead is More Than Just REALLY Good Nuts

You may know her by the pen name, Victoriana Lady Lisa and her book entitled ‘International Steampunk Fashions‘. Some of you may recognize her from her award winning show All Things Victorian. Students accessing our writing program know her as The Nutty Redhead after she donated a box of her praline gourmet nuts to our program.

“These are the best almonds and cashews I’ve ever had!” -Chelsea, Writing for the Soul Workshop

Lisa is a supporter of our writing program, and one of 17 survivors of child abuse and child trafficking published in our book, Removing Chains of Child Abuse. The book was made possible through a global community partnership with Ark of Hope for Children.

Ark of Hope for Children has been providing e-mentoring support for survivors of abuse globally for years, but they lacked a creative tool to help them grow creatively. Partnering with Writing For the Soul Workshop™ on this book project provided Ark of Hope with a seasoned organization that is working with traumatized youth to turn pain into creative expression.

Removing Chains of Child Abuse is the result of that cooperative effort culminated in this collection of survivor stories, poetry and art. We are so proud of the survivors like Lisa who wer brave enough to share, and we know you will be as well.

Removing Chains of Child Abuse

Removing Chains of Abuse 96dpiThe short stories, art and poetry collected in Removing Chains Child of Abuse are from survivors of human trafficking, child abuse and bullying.

This project was made possible through our Community Partnership with Ark of Hope for Children. Ark of Hope is a human rights umbrella organization using a trauma informed approach to serve survivors through various programs. This includes our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program.

These powerful stories allowed those who submitted them to experience writing and art as therapy. They give hope to the survivors reading them that they are not alone and they too can recover. This book is packed with resources  for those still suffering, as well as signs to look for if someone suspects that a child is being abused. Book includes a journal at the back. Proceeds from book sales benefit Ark of Hope for Children.

About Writing for the Soul Workshop™

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ uses writing as therapy to help those hurting, or who have been hurt -to get what’s on the inside …out. This process allows healing to begin. When we partner with great organizations like Ark of Hope for Children, the program then gives birth to books like Removing Chains of Child Abuse.

Together, we collected heart-rending stories, art and poetry from around the US and Europe that will encourage readers from all walks of life. Removing Chains of Child Abuse is the first book in the Restoring Hope series. The book is simply beautiful and each page is filled with hope, resilience and love for the reader. Just like Lisa’s poem that is featured in the book.

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ for Families

Vietnam veteran John Mulligan was a homeless “shopping cart soldier” in San Francisco’s North Beach, a man wracked with flashbacks and numbed by post-traumatic stress disorder. But his life took a turn during a veteran’s writing workshop conducted by noted author Maxine Hong Kingston.

Mulligan, now a 53-year-old novelist, left the workshop so elated he was “whistling and skipping.” In the following years, he repeatedly discovered that putting past horrors into words helped clear his mind and lift his spirits. “I had to face my demons,” he says. “I was an empty shell walking around the street, and writing made me feel like I had a soul.”

Dozens of studies have found that most people, from grade-schoolers to nursing-home residents, med students to prisoners, feel happier and healthier after writing about deeply traumatic memories, says James Pennebaker, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Texas and leader or co-leader of many of the studies.

Ms. Latasha Williams, TGIM VP of Program Operations has been asked by parents on several occasions, “Do you all offer the writing program for adults too?” This drove her to work with Eric Jones, creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ to adapt the program to include adults with emphasis on parents and guardians.

We are pleased to announce that the entire family can now access our program. Our core program philosophy is based on the fact that powerful emotions have a powerful voice; and that when we get what’s on the inside out, we take control of those feelings, and make smarter behavior choices as a result.

We discovered that when families communicate with each other using writing, children are more honest with parents about what their feeling inside. One parent had no clue that her daughter was thinking of committing suicide because of being bullied at school until she read her daughter’s story that she submitted to our program. Writing is an intimate form of communication that makes talking to parents so much easier and vice-versa.

Our writing program is a powerful tool for the family packed with all of the WOW Factors contained in our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program. It’s free to join. Simply use the Contact Form below to register today.

 

Believe and have faith and achieve!

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