In working our program of recovery, we adhere to a necessary step, and one of my most guiding virtues; transparency. I’ve had the dream of a men’s recovery program based on brotherhood, transparency, long-term trust, and accountability realized. That experience has come to a crossroads organizationally, and with one dream realized, another comes; to truly transform the ethos of sober living and offer more. With goodwill all around, I am embarking anew with the expressed support of more people than I can name, for which I’m beyond blessed and grateful. I am overjoyed to know that so many are already energetically supportive- now is the time where any and all actions will result in transforming lives.
“We” need your help. I am not doing this for myself- I am doing this for one of the most volatile and at-risk for premature death populations in the industrialized world. That’s why I’m putting all of this forward: our challenge, the solution, the benefits, and how you can immediately help.
What this involves- in a narrow but workable timeline- is startup capital. I’ve been told my projection is very workable. A new home needs to be decided upon and furnished by April 1st. The only way this can happen is through privately raised funds, loans, and gifts (which may be made in tribute to a person in recovery or highlighted in any way so chosen). I am also making personal property investments, but this takes more time than we have. Startup capital also will include the necessity of purchasing a (used) vehicle for transportation to program functions
, and all of the responsible new administrative costs any social enterprise such as this begins with. I have gathered diverse expertise with an amassing, passionate team, but in order to maintain stable recovery transitions while offering a more immediate, hopeful model of recovery, our ongoing efforts to further the success of our anticipated Membership of six men (and more as we grow) depends on knowing our wings are strong enough to fly. I anticipate nothing but success; this need is too important, not only in providing continued relationships, but in expanding the reach of vital family relationships and offering new post-graduation coaching and monitoring services. Below is a schedule of how these funds will be used, from a spectrum of “squeaking by” to “sailing high.” We’ll get there, from $1 in quarters to generosities I cannot yet fathom, but already have gracious thanks for. Be sure to see how you’ll directly benefit from your investment, and how your benefit will support our Alumni, in a first of its kind Employee and Graduate Owned Company!
Our Profit Is Our Progress
Firebird Transformations intends to innovate the incentive to recover by truly giving graduate alumni a stake in our future. Investors, alumni, and staff will be shareholders! We are currently at work on exactly how this will be rolled out to you and everyone who has given- in distinguished ways- to a shared future of wellness. We have a team of professionals from the world of finance and business law advising us on these many necessities of how we establish this model in the most mutually beneficial and ethical fashion.
We are not simply seeking the startup capital to relocate and maintain the status quo. We can’t afford not to. Per a recent NY Times article, “The death rate from drug overdoses is climbing at a much faster pace than other causes of death, jumping to an average of 15 per 100,000 in 2014 from nine per 100,000 in 2003.” That’s higher than the spread of any other cause of death in recent history. True transformation involves a deep, multidisciplinary commitment, and this is how we’ll offer more: in-house job training for the 21st century, including computer programming certification and direct academic links to local colleges vocational programs; therapist lead group sessions; a Step-Down House with vastly reduced fees and a safe space for monitored independence; an apprentice Blacksmithing program; nature expeditions, and; quarterly or biannual group trips to enhance the fun aspect of recovering together.
We’ve Got This
Getting fired from a chicken shack in 1998, one of the greatest “strange gifts” ever given to me. No one likes getting the boot, but in hindsight, the opportunity was an open door to following my passions; starting Human Service work. A colleague estimated today that in those 18 years I’ve probably worked with over a thousand individuals, the bulk of which were struggling with Addiction and Mental Illness. Mindblowing! I remember the stories, the baby steps and the quantum leaps, but I can’t grasp quantity and time. Of course, you can’t win them all, that’s where grace comes in- learning how to be a servant. Last year, my spiritual community of 17 years recognized in me something that only grew through my process of healing, 20 years of recovery, and surpassing my former self in strength. I was charged with the responsibility of Ministry which encourages transformation in all aspects of my life. As a Counselor with comprehensive clinical work in addiction and recovery, I’ve worked hard to have gained ethical and progressive clout in Southeastern professional networks. The path that has lead to here and now is long and twisted, but I’ve got a great view from this mountain of profound potential. I have to follow the same program my Members do, and part of that is a hard-to-learn skill: owning your power, so I’m stepping up to own it. This is how.
Just As It Was, And Is, Meant To Be
A story I often tell those who are discouraged
, or mending, is of a Japanese young man who wanted more than anything to be a monk in a certain monastery. He approached the Abbot, telling him why he deserved it, and studied hard, and the Abbot waved him off- only until we went and scooped up from the river a glob of clay and fashioned it into the perfect bowl for seeking alms would he be allowed in. He ran to the river
, scooped out the muck, and for weeks worked from something rough and unworthy. He smoothed it lovingly, refined it, painted it with perfect symmetry- it was a meditation to him. The day came that he was ready to present it to the Abbot, and he approached the monastery with humility and yet was still a bit proud. The Abbot opened the door, recognized the man, inspected the bowl admiringly, and promptly smashed it into a thousand pieces! The young man was devastated. “Only when you have put each piece back together, recognizing their uniformity and their brokenness, and understand the lesson in this, will you be a monk here!” The young man took his shattered bowl- his self- and piece by piece reckoned with the Abbot’s teaching, and decades later would become the Abbot himself.
Think of that story. Many times in life, that’s us, at the monastery stairs, with our brokenness all around us. Many times in our lives, we have walked away from opportunity, and the “yes hidden inside the no.” FIREBIRD TRANSFORMATIONS is coming together because of a brokenness in a system, yet that system is a part of us. Recovery to us is not some clinical cycle- it’s a necessary social movement to reclaim the value of life. That’s why I- we- need your support, today. Knowing as soon as possible if this is viable is critical to several waiting men and families. Donate through GoFundMe.com or contact us directly to make a pledge.
To Transformation, and Beyond!
Jay Joslin QP CSAC-I
Executive Director, Firebird Transformations