Hello CW Community!
We’ve been experiencing some major changes and growth this year and we feel like we are just getting started. As you know, the beginning of this year marked a monumental decision to become a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund. This game-changing decision has allowed us to expand and widen the scope of our services, including mental health, financial empowerment, energy healing, birth preparation, and postpartum groups, family education, and spiritual healing.
In times like these, when there is so much going on in the world, we are acting locally by supporting those in San Francisco who need healing the most. We focus on supporting the underserved and most impacted communities of San Francisco’s southern neighborhoods.
To illustrate the need for what we do, we’d like to share Mari’s story. Mari was introduced to Community Well at our 1st Annual Kids’ Clothing Swap in 2015. She heard of us through word of mouth and wanted to attend an event to get a feel for what Community Well was. She admits that she was apprehensive about attending on her own because she was newly pregnant and the gravity of becoming a solo parent in San Francisco was weighing on her. She constantly wondered: Can I do this by myself? How will I be able to get the stuff I need for the baby? These doubts triggered many moments of anxiety.
She recalls that as soon as she stepped foot into Community Well, she knew that she was in a welcoming and safe place. She felt held, heard, and was loved by so many people who were at the swap. Since she was the only soon-to-be mommy all of the baby items up to one year were given to her. She left that day with bags and bags of things for her baby, but more importantly, she left with the confidence that she could be a solo parent with the support of the community she became a part of that day.
That was the start of a deepening relationship with Community Well. For most parents in Mari’s situation, home births are not an option because of the cost, but she was determined to make a home birth for her first baby happen. Being a resourceful person, she did her research and found the resources and financial support to enable a home birth. While funding for home births is rare, she secured two sources of funding, including a scholarship from the Community Well Fund. She shares that she was fortunate to have Laura Perez, a midwife and member of the Community Well Network, sign on to be her midwife. “Laura was the perfect midwife for me. She was strong when she needed to be strong, but she was also nurturing, I felt like I was in very good hands,” she says.
After her birth, Mari received postpartum care from the Community Well Network. Her postpartum doula, Ebony Espiritu, was a huge support in the weeks after she gave birth to a baby girl. Ebony helped her transition into the first stages of motherhood by answering questions about breastfeeding, diapering, and helping to deconstruct her birth process with her. Reflecting on those first weeks as a mother, Mari says that she could not have gotten through that crucial time without Ebony.
Mari and her baby continued to stay connected with Community Well when a traumatic event had her seeking out mental health support for both her and her baby. Courageously Mari shares that she was held up at gunpoint in front of her house in San Francisco. Her attackers not only wanted her money, but they wanted to kidnap her one-year-old daughter. Thankfully she and her baby were unhurt, but shortly after, Mari started to have tremendous feelings of guilt around not being able to keep her daughter safe. She once again turned to Community Well to connect with services that could support her and her daughter as they overcome what they experienced together.
She and her daughter found Emma Louis-Dreyfus a Community Well Network therapist who specialized in play-based therapy. Mari, her baby, and Emma worked together for over a year. Mari credits the huge strides and healing progress that she and her baby have made to Emma. Emma lovingly worked with her baby while helping mend the fractured pieces within Mari into a whole and unbroken story of resilience and perseverance.
“I think that a Community Well should be in every neighborhood,” Mari tells us. “Community Well is a very unique place that offers many different points of contact for families and individuals. You can be supported through pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and overall individual and family healing.
“Community Well has helped me heal without judgment and encouraged me as a mother, making it possible to move forward in life knowing that I have support and people in my corner. Without resources like Community Well, being a solo parent would not be a possibility!”
Mari’s story is just one of the many stories that we at Community Well are honored to be a part of. It is our pleasure and sincere privilege to continue to serve families and individuals who are looking to overcome a situation in their life and wanting to heal their bodies and minds, all while feeling safe and heard.
We are working tirelessly to continue to touch more people in our community. This coming year we will be increasing our scholarship fund so more families like Mari’s can get services they deserve despite their income limitations. We will also be creating a foundation of our services and classes in Spanish and Cantonese. Finally, we will be expanding our low-cost and free classes for historically underserved communities.
This letter was written to ask you to support our organization this year with a donation to our annual fall fundraising campaign. Each year, our organization assists individuals in our community and without donations from individuals like you, this would not be possible. Donations help sustain our organization and benefit the community which we serve.
We are counting on your support. Remember that your generous gift will be tax-deductible! Donate now by clicking this link DONATE, or you write out a check to Social Good Fund FBO Community Well and send it to 78 Ocean Ave. San Francisco, CA 94112.
Community Well Board President
For federal tax compliance reporting requirements: Community Well is a fiscally sponsored organization. No goods or services were exchanged for this contribution. Federal Tax ID# 46-1323531 – Social Good Fund, Inc.