- Jon Nappa, Executive Director Storm Warriors International
Climb aboard, Storm Warriors, and take a quick look at what’s on deck in this month’s issue of the Storm Report for May 2018. In this issue, you’ll get to meet Dr. Ira Mandel, Founder and Executive Director of the Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition (MCRC). His organization is deeply engaged with building a consortium of services and safety nets for those who are struggling with drug addiction, and opioid addiction in particular.
As you likely know, this is one of those problematic epidemics in our nation today but the good news is that there are proven intervention and recovery models that are making a dent in this crisis. But greater awareness and greater adoption of these proven models is essential if we’re to make more than a dent and make more of a difference.
Nevertheless, building coalitions that connect communities and facilitate not-for-profits to work together in harmony can be a daunting task. You can click through to MCRC's site to find out more about how you can be a part of the solution they're building.
We’re also continuing our work with the Center for Grieving Children (CFGC) and have some powerful insights about how to best support children and their families who have or are experiencing loss and grief. CFGC Operations Director, Susan Giambalvo, shares from her extensive experience in the field. You can click through to CFGC's site to learn about their important work.
As we try to do in every issue, we also profile some of our awesome staff, volunteers, and creative contributors, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing a little more about them. And don’t miss our tech section where we look ahead to some of the cutting edge production capacities coming to Storm Warriors and our growing family of associated organizations – all of whom are working hard to rescue, recover, restore and relieve those in need.
Finally, in upcoming issues expect to encounter increased opportunities to get involved with many types of good works that matter most to you, and obtaining an increasing supply of helpful, inspiring and equipping resources to help you launch your lifeboat of gifts, talents, skills and generosity into the storms of life.
MidCoast Recovery Coalition Dr. Ira Mandel
Dr. Ira Mendel sits down for an interview with Storm Warriors.
MidCoast Recovery Coalition is helping the most needy individuals within communities where they are sometimes blamed for their medical disorder, sometimes stigmatized, and sometimes punished by forces who may have even contributed to this societal problem. Thankfully, MCRC is helping to win over the hearts and minds of many to
create a healthier, more supportive community that lives up to its best values and ideals.
MCRC's mission is to address the consequences of the opioid drug addiction epidemic affecting Mid-Coast Maine. MCRC is building from the same models that have been successful elsewhere in the country and are also sharing their models with other places in the country, who are seeking improvements. MCRC helps the many families struggling with one or both parents addicted to drugs, works with the community to prevent teen use of drugs and helps individuals receive help for their addiction.
MCRC also assists inmates in the County Jail system where they receive no treatment while incarcerated and no help finding housing, employment or post incarceration treatments for their addiction. Among MCRC's initiatives, is increasing its capacity to help much larger populations than has been possible to date. MCRC is about to acquire 2 eight bedroom homes to provide safe housing to men and women in early recovery whose only alternative would be to return the environment where their problems started. MCRC strives to break the cycle of addiction and to help people into recovery by addressing the underlying causes of this brain disease and overcoming other barriers to recovery.
Watch Dr. Ira Mandel's short clip below, keep an eye out for MCRC updates on future Storm Reports, and click the logo below to learn more about this progressive organization.
Behind The Scenes
Daniel Stephens interviews Miles Ouelette, a Mentor and Consultant at MCRC, about his story.
There are brave people involved with the efforts of the MidCoast Recovery Coalition, and some were courageous enough to share their personal stories on film. These are everyday people that are effected by the devastation of Substance Use Disorder, whether they themselves are actively in recovery, or they’ve had a loved one who is struggling with it.
They devote their time despite all that life throws at them, to help others in need. The stories they’ve shared are inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking. Storm Warriors is in the editing process and will bring these stories to light in the very near future, so be sure to keep up to date with our ongoing partnership with effort to rescue and recover addicts and their families.
You can help Storm Warriors tell these important stories in a number of ways. You can nominate an organization, you can volunteer or you can donate to help Storm Warriors provide media for deserving organizations. To donate to a specific cause, scroll down further within this newsletter to our May Match section.
By Susan Giambalvo, Director of Operations at The Center for Grieving Children
When a tragedy such as an act of violence, terrorism or natural disaster occurs we experience many emotions—sadness, anger, despair and confusion—our basic ideas about safety are called into question. We want to reach out to the people that we care about and we wonder how to help the children in our lives deal with their fears and questions.
The good news is that there are simple things adults can do to support children after a tragedy.
1. Be available and talk honestly with your child about what happened.
Let your children know that you are available to talk with them and listen to their feelings and concerns. Your child may already be aware of what has happened and think it is not okay to talk about it with you unless you bring it up. If your child is in school, has access to the internet or news at home, chances are they will hear about the event.
Explain what has happened in the most manageable truth. Let your child’s questions lead the way – answer them as best you can. “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer. Use words appropriate to your child’s age, developmental level and language skills. It is normal for young children to be repetitive with their questions. Be patient and answer questions as they come up.
Be honest about your own feelings about the tragedy while being careful not to overwhelm your child. Sharing your feelings gives your children the courage to share theirs. Keep in mind that your worries and concerns may not be the same as your children’s. Ask your child what worries and concerns they have about the tragedy rather than assuming they share yours. Remember that children will pick up on your anxiety, so try to remain as calm as possible. Be respectful of children who do not feel comfortable talking about their feelings. Art, play, music and movement can provide a means of expression. Other children may not want to talk about the tragedy at all.
2. Reassure your child and reinforce their sense of safety.
Children may feel as if they are not safe and worry whether a similar thing could happen in their town or to their family and friends. Discuss how events like this are rare and talk about the measures that are in place to keep people safe. Give the message that the adults in their lives are doing their best to keep them safe at all times. Help them identify adults they know and trust who can help them when they need it. Encourage your children to tell a trusted adult if they ever have a safety concern or see something that makes them uncomfortable.
Maintain your usual routine and continue to engage in activities that you and your children enjoy. Routine provides a feeling of predictability and control that can be disrupted after a tragedy. Enjoyable activities remind us that it is okay to be happy and can distract us from unsettling thoughts or feelings.
3. Monitor your child’s exposure to television images and news coverage.
Repeated exposure to images and stories about the tragedy can make feelings of unease worse. Research has shown that some young children believe the events are re-occurring each time they see an image or hear about an event. Young children may be confused and think the event is happening again and again. Older children, especially teens may already have seen this coverage. Be sure to talk with them about what they understand. Clarify any myths, misinterpretations, rumors, etc. Even for adults, watching repeated coverage or hearing personal stories on the news can be hard. Take a break from the news and think about an activity the family can do instead. Create some quiet time to be with your children doing something that you both enjoy.
4. Connect with your community for support and action.
Helping others and maintaining a sense of community can help reestablish our own sense of safety and restore a sense of efficacy when we feel powerless. Reach out to others in your community to provide support to each other and find ways to make a difference. Access any spiritual resources your family may participate in. Keep in touch with your child’s school – find out how the school is responding to the tragedy and let them know what your child needs.
5. Access more help if needed.
Recognize children’s response to a tragedy often shows up in their behavior. Most children will not be significantly impacted by hearing news of a remote tragedy and you will see little or no change in their behavior or play. Children who have had previous trauma, have experienced something similar to the event or who have other significant stressors are more likely to experience greater distress.
Behaviors after a tragedy such as: preoccupation with the event; persistent feelings of sadness; aggressive, destructive or risk taking behavior; prolonged sleep or eating disturbances; intrusive thoughts; difficulty going to school or leaving a parent indicate a need for more help. If you or your child needs more support, you can call your local crisis line. In Maine, this number is 1-888-568-1112 or you can dial 211 for information and referrals.
Click the logo to find out more about Center For Grieving Children
You might ask, "What is a Storm Warrior?" SWI defines him or her as someone who actively engages in alleviating the suffering of others. You may imagine that brave missionaries trekking across the globe performing selfless acts for those in need, putting their well-being on the line for others, are classic Storm Warriors. You would be right, of course, but there are actually many different kinds of storm warriors.
If you look around your community, you'll start to notice everyday Storm Warriors. The woman who takes time out of her day to serve at the soup kitchen. The man who volunteers weekly to help the local food pantry deliver goods to those who have fallen on tough times. These are examples of Storm Warriors, and if you look within yourself, chances are, you are a storm warrior deep inside.
As an organization with a mission, Storm Warriors has traveled many places in the world and also to many places here at home in the United States. As a result, we can safely say that there is much tragedy going on across the planet. We have seen the worst of humanity. However, we have also witnessed something far more amazing, and that is - the very best of humanity. It’s true! Wherever there has been human suffering or crisis of any kind, it has provoked a most wondrous and beautiful response from people who care enough and who dare enough to make a difference.
Many people often underestimate what impact the smallest efforts can make. The truth is that the smallest efforts are not only impacting but also hugely essential in the service to those in desperate need. A kind word, a hug, a hand up is sometimes all it takes to offset despair, stand in the gap, and rescue another.
It may be hard to believe but it is worth taking the time to ponder carefully that there are things that only you can do. There are things that will never happen unless you step up and do them. The need is always bigger than the numbers of those who respond but for everyone who responds, what a difference it makes to the ones they touch. With your help, that touch can be increased.
The lifeboat you can launch is the sum of your gifts, talents, skills, resources and compassion in service to another. So, come on Storm Warrior, climb aboard today and get involved!
THE $10,000.00 MAY MATCH
Storm Warriors International has an incredible opportunity to DOUBLE the GIFT of anyone who gives any amount up to $10,000 during the month of May. This means a $5 gift becomes $10; a $50 gift becomes $100; and on and on up to $10,000.
If you've been wanting your gift to go as far as it can, then having it doubled is one sure way to do that.
Grieving Children and their Families. Help us help families of those who have unexpectedly lost a child or a parent. We are working with the Center For Grieving Children, which provides support during these critical weeks and months.
Teens who have been sex-trafficked. These are teens right here in the USA who were kidnapped and forced into the degrading lifestyle of forced sex workers. Once rescued, they need love, support and lots of help. You can help us, help them.
People who have Substance Use Disorder. These are neighbors who are getting help in a non-judgemental environment for their active recovery. The MCRC is currently purchasing safe houses for those who need them.
Do you know about virtual studio technology and its applications? Storm Warriors is in process of obtaining the award winning InfinitySet from Brainstorm. This exciting technology operates on a whole new level. InfinitySet combines green screen technology with 3D sets and camera tracking. Basically, it allows for cutting edge production value that transforms our studio space into a world-class news desk set or any other 3D environment we might imagine. How does Storm Warriors use such technology? Good question! We use it to create exciting and engaging studio environments in which we can interview and profile our many important clients who are actively engaged with rescuing, restoring and relieving real people in crisis. By telling these stories in a professional and engaging manner, we hope to inspire and motivate a growing audience of viewers into real humanitarian-doers!
With seemingly infinite virtual cameras and the industry-first TrackFree™ technology, which allows combining tracked, trackless and fixed cameras into the same production,
this soon-to-be-acquired technology is the most advanced solution for Storm Warriors to use in broadcast design and virtual set production. It will include graphics features so we can edit, manage and create 2D/3D motion graphics and import them from a variety of third-party packages. This is a new and revolutionary approach to virtual set production, and includes several industry-first features:
- 3D Presenter. Converts the talent
into a 3D object, casting real shadows
and allowing for volumetric
lighting, selective defocus and true
3D object interaction.
- TeleTransporter. Combines virtual
sets with real characters and live or
pre-recorded video feeds with precise
- HandsTracking. Triggers animations
just with the simple movement
of the bare hands, with no
additional hardware required.
- FreeWalking. Allows presenters to
move forward, backwards and sideways, around 3d set objects
even though the real camera
is in a fixed position.
We expect to have this fully installed and operational by Fall 2018 and look forward to sharing behind-the-scenes stories about how and what we’re doing with it. Soon enough, Storm Warriors will be broadcasting its weekly Storm Report Broadcast to keep you informed, inspired and engaged in the world of doing social good!