Self-publishing project empowering for women of The Well
“We did it, girls!” someone called out to the accompaniment of cheers and laughter as women of The Well/La Source celebrated the completion of a self-produced gratitude journal of drawings, stories, and poems done by the women themselves.
Mj Dann, a woman of The Well, got the idea for the pocket journal and helped produce it, dedicating it to Well Director Pat Connolly, in appreciation for all she in- spires in the women. Proceeds from the journal booklets, which cost $12 each, go to The Well.
At the celebration Oct. 1. where Women of The Well were joined by staff, volunteers and visitors, Pat said the project has been one of the biggest, most empowering experiences for the women of The Well, a community ministry of the Diocese of Ottawa which is located in the basement of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Ottawa.
A woman of The Well, Barbara Bareham, said publishing the gratitude journal sends a clear message that women who live in poverty have the initiative, perseverance, and determination to survive.
MJ told the gathering. which included Councillor Diane Holmes and Alderman Elizabeth Arnold, that she came to The Well a year ago “when I was really down and out.” She credited other women at the day centre with ideas for a tee-shirt and for sending a copy of the journal to talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey. MJ, who produced the journal with the help of volunteer Andrew Condly, hopes she can develop a small business for such work.
Two hundred books have been produced by The Well both for fund-raising and to show that such ministries can try to help themselves. using their clients’ talents. The women of The Well hope this effort will help convince the government that funding for the day centre is an in- vestment in women’s futures.
The gratitude journal may be purchased for $12 a copy at The Well, Elgin at Somerset, Ottawa (tel: 594-8861), at nearby Perfect Books, 280 Elgin St., and Pretorias, in Perth.