On February 28th, our programs ground to an abrupt halt, as the COVID-19 crisis became all-consuming for our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ programs. The first thing we had to figure out was how could we do our part to try to stop the spread of the virus while continuing to provide programs.
As we worked to do this, we were mindful that 34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members. With students being stuck in the house, we quickly realized that our program is essential. For some students, accessing it onsite …is absolutely critical.
MJ (pictured above) reported that Writing for the Soul Workshop™ helps him to cope with anxiety, and boredom associated with social isolation. Our Pandemic Crisis Action Plan makes it safe for him and mentors to attend each week.
With distance learning and alternate methods of instruction (AMI) now in place, we have resumed offering all of the WOW Factors packed within our program -like Social Emotional Learning and mentorship to students onsite here in Arkansas. Regarding health and safety, we quickly created a Pandemic Crisis Action Plan and implemented strict screening protocols using CDC Guidelines and by restricting visitors in our onsite locations.
Our Pandemic Crisis Action Plan include screening for COVID-19 exposure, travel, attendance at large social gatherings, illnesses, and temperatures above 99 degrees. Since then, 93% of the students accessing our program onsite report that being able to spend time with a mentor is essential and that it helps them cope with anxiety due to social isolation and boredom.
Our work is essential, and we sure could use your support. $5 covers the cost to feed one student and $17 covers the total cost for a student to access the program onsite each week. Be a part of the Writing for the Soul Workshop™ process today. Donate.
Published by Eric Jones, Author & Recovery Coach
Eric was born and raised in Aubrey, Arkansas, and is a Gulf War veteran. After returning from Iraq, Eric settled down in Kansas City and started a family of his own.
Growing up, Eric was introduced to marijuana at an early age. He says, "My friends smoked it because it was fun to them, I smoked it to escape. For the first time, I had something to help me get through the things that happened to me." At 16-years-old, Eric tried crack cocaine and his life would never be the same.
Addiction seemed to follow Eric everywhere he went after returning from Iraq. He spent the next 26 years, doing life on an installment plan in jails and institutions. On October 5, 2005, Eric found it no longer necessary to smoke crack cocaine. In 2010, he founded TGIM Digital Publishing and launched its premier program: Writing for the Soul Workshop™.
Youth and young adults accessed the program in Africa, Asia, Australia and throughout the US until Eric retired the program on December 31, 2020. While offering the program, Eric was able to give away just over $2.8 million in books, food, workshops, cash, and school supplies.
Eric completed Recovery Coach Training and Peer Recovery Support Specialist Core Training in the Texas model in 2016. On March 8, 2019, Eric was one of the first 50 peers to complete the PRSS Core Training in the Arkansas model.
Eric's work experience as a Recovery Coach in North Little Rock includes CEU's along with over 6,000 hours of Master's level clinical supervision as a Qualified Behavioral Health Provider, and registered CIT with the Arkansas Substance Abuse Certification Board.
Currently, Eric offers private Recovery Coaching throughout Central and Northwest Arkansas from his headquarters in beautiful downtown Little Rock, and satellite office in Rogers.
View all posts by Eric Jones, Author & Recovery Coach