Towards Thriving Cover

December 13, 2018

For many people, the holiday season can bring joy and opportunity for family to gather around, partake in festivities, share traditions and embrace the love from everyone who has gathered. In my culture, the holidays are magical. My family, tightly but comfortably, surrounds themselves around my grandmother’s small kitchen table that beams with many different homemade dishes like tamales, posole and sopes. And once the dining table chairs are filled shoulder-to-shoulder with people, a small banquet table is pulled from the basement and placed in the living room to seat the remaining hungry guests. The house roars with loud laughter, booming voices and the constant knocking of the front door as more guests arrive. It truly is a lovely scene to behold.

This time of year, my mind floods with memories of the 5-hour drive with my mother, sister and brother to get to my grandmother’s house in Washington. The drives consisted of talking, singing and the occasional restroom break. When we finally arrived, we were greeted with fresh hand-made tortillas and cheese. These memories I cherish and revisit often.

For me, the holidays remind me of what once was and what could have been. Having lost my own mother just three years ago, times of family gatherings and holidays prove to be challenging. Sometimes, festive days can be too upsetting or even triggering for me.

In these times, I have discovered, through a journey of learning, how to cope and live with the absence of my mother’s physical presence that healing looks, feels and is interpreted differently for myself and for others in my family. Oftentimes, I don’t realize that I am practicing healing, and they may not be aware of it either.

Here are some simple, but powerful, ways in which I have honored my mother’s life and spirit that may also help those experiencing loss or grievance during the holidays:

  • Listen to their favorite music
  • Watch their favorite shows/movies
  • Tell stories of them that bring laughter and smiles
  • Carry a picture of them with you
  • Talk to them
  • Talk to them
  • Volunteer time to something they deeply cared about
  • Put together an altar with their pictures, food or items they liked, etc.

There are many ways healing from a lost loved one can take place, and some of the few I mentioned have worked for me. To do things that once brought joy to a loved one who is no longer physically present is one of the greatest ways to honor them.

I have also changed the way I speak of my mother’s own passing. I no longer say she has passed away, rather that she has passed on. When people tell me that they believe my mother would want me to move on, I prefer to think that she’d want me to move forward. These simple changes have made a drastic change in the way I approach my grievance, and the way I connect it to my path of healing.

This holiday season, I have decorated my mother’s altar with snow-people, garland and a festive tree. I think of her often and remember to speak of her even more. I have a lifelong journey ahead of me to continue tending my wounds from the loss I endured, but I have found resiliency in forms that I did not know could be so empowering.

Laura Diaz

Laura Diaz

Reach out to me for:

  • Questions or concerns regarding the Latinx Thriving Families campaign and material orders pertaining to the campaign.

Program Spotlight: Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center

Shop with a Cop_2018The 26th Annual Shop With A Cop was a huge success this morning! We started at 7:00 a.m. with around 30 kids at breakfast provided by the Idaho Falls Eagles Lodge, then lights and sirens to the Ammon Target for SHOPPING!!!

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center (DVSAC) has been a partner with our local Sheriff’s Office for 20 of its 26 years. This event specializes in rebuilding relationships between a child who has had a negative experience with law enforcement or has been the direct victim of a violent crime.

The team behind Shop With A Cop is an amazing group of individuals, agencies and civic organizations. Each child is given a gift card to our local Target store for $150.00, and they are allowed to shop for those in their immediate family. In early years, when funds were lean, officers were known to pay for items for the families out of their pockets. The officer shopping with the child generally makes sure the child also get some type of gift for themselves.

Two days prior to the actual Shop With a Cop event there is an annual luncheon held at our local Texas Roadhouse. The service crew are volunteers from the Civitan Club and DVSAC. This year there over 200 lunches served.

This event is a great example of “It takes a village to raise a child” and how the village comes together.

This year Shop With A Cop was supported by Smith Chevrolet, which lent us the big red Duramax Santa sleigh. We’d also like to send thanks to Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Idaho Falls Scholarship Program girls, and all of our Target and DVSAC helpers. A huge thanks to the Idaho Falls Civitan Club wrapping crew and Danielle Smith Photography for the wrapping and pictures with Santa, the Idaho Falls Fraternal Order of Eagles and thanks to the officers from Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho Falls Police, Iona Police, Idaho State Police, and Idaho Probation and Parole for making this a special day for these children and their families.

We’ve had a ton of support from our community with volunteers and donations that helps make this possible.

– Teena R. McBride, Executive Director
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center

Advocates Against Family Violence gets $1.7M to build 30 apartments

An early sketch of AAFV’s future four-story apartment building with 30 units in Caldwell.

CALDWELL — Advocates Against Family Violence, a nonprofit in Caldwell serving domestic violence survivors, received a $1.7 million grant from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association to build 30 apartments next to its main office.

Most of the units will be offered at below-market rates for residents with lower-than-average incomes, with five units designated as transitional housing and three units available at market rate, said AAFV Executive Director Kim Deugan. The apartments will be the second phase of the Hope Plaza apartment project after a 48-unit complex opened in 2010.

Deugan said she expects construction to begin in the spring or summer and last about a year. The overall cost is estimated at $3 million, she said. The IHFA grant will cover roughly half of that, and AAFV will apply for a loan to cover the rest. Unlike the first phase, which is made up of several buildings, the 30-unit complex will be a single four-story building on about 3 acres.

Erin Bamer is the city of Nampa reporter. Contact her at 208-465-8193, or Follow on Twitter @ErinBamer. Article courtesy of the Idaho Press

Read more of the Idaho Press article here.

Training & Events

Five Core Elements of Youth Organizing
Wednesday, February 20th, 2019, 8:30AM – 5:00PM | Thursday, February 21st, 2018, 8:30AM – 3:00PM
The Linen Building, 1402 W Grove Street, Boise, ID 83702

Join us for this free two-day workshop sponsored and facilitated by Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence for OVW Rural grantees. Trainers include Idaho Coalition youth leaders Dalton Tiegs and Tanisha Newton, Kelly Miller and Jennifer Martinez along with Stephanie Ortiz from End Abuse Wisconsin.

This interactive two-day workshop is designed to build your skills and knowledge on each of the five elements through small group work and experiential learning activities to actively involve you and draw on your experiences and knowledge.

OVW Rural grantees and their partners are encouraged to attend! Limited to 50 participants.

Learn more and register here.

Adult/Adolescent SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Training Course

January 21-25 | Pocatello | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Portneuf Medical Center
January 28 – February 1 | Meridian | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | St. Luke’s Meridian
February 4 – 8 | Lewiston | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | St. Joseph’s Hospital

This course provides RNs and APRNs with the knowledge to practice as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE). The SANE uses the nursing process and applies established evidence-based standards of forensic nursing practice to ensure that all patients reporting sexual violence and victimization receive competent a nursing, medical-forensic evaluation, taking into consideration developmental, cultural, racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual, and socioeconomic diversity.

For more information and course enrollment contact: Christina Straub, 208-884-7280

Click here to learn more.

Fiscal Year 2019 Solicitation Announcement: Sexual Assault Services Culturally Specific Program Funding

OVW’s Fiscal Year 2019 Sexual Assault Services Culturally Specific Program solicitation is now open.
Apply by: February 13th

Funds are now available to create, maintain and expand sustainable sexual assault services provided by culturally specific organizations. The funds may be used for a range of activities including: outreach actives for undeserved communities; 24-hour hotline services providing crisis intervention services and referral; and information and referral to assist the sexual assault victim and family.

In 2019, priority will be given to increase the response to victims of sex trafficking or other severe forms of trafficking in persons who have experienced sexual assault.

Learn more here.

Idaho Coalition Store Materials

Engaging Voices Website StoreReminder that shipping for all material orders made by Programs on the Idaho Coalition website store is FREE of cost, please use the below coupon for all orders.

Visit the online store to view current Idaho Coalition materials available for order. For store questions, please contact Lacey Sinn.

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