We all need a little breathing space…


By Maura, a survivor

REACH’s new office has so many features that enable staff, volunteers, and participants to gather and work in new ways. One feature is the “Breathing Space” – a cozy, unique room located in a quiet corner of the office. What happens there? A teen support group, a self-care group for survivors, team meetings, volunteer interviews, nursing, resting, meditation… the list goes on. A long wall of the room features art created by members of the Survivor Speakers Bureau. When one of the members saw her piece on the wall in that room, she asked “can I just come here when I need a break?” Yes.

A small sanctuary in a world that often feels chaotic, this room is much different than the rest of the office and provides a place for reflection and comfort. The room is the product of thoughtfulness, intention, generosity, and creativity as described in this post by Maura, who helped make it happen.

Years ago I set the intention from the bottom of my heart, that some day when I was successful and had enough money, I would find a place, like REACH, that didn’t exist for me when I needed it the most.

And once I discovered this safe haven, I would ask to turn a part of it into a sanctuary of CALM.   A quiet spot to catch your breath, to feel safe, comforted, and to be able to contemplate a new and better future.  And know that you’re surrounded by an incredibly competent team of wonderful, loving people!

I prayed for years that someday I could make this VISION happen.  And finally, last year, in the new beautiful space of REACH the dream and mission of a safe haven became a reality.

A lifetime mission from my heart and soul –ACHIEVED!

I therefore present to you “THE BREATHING SPACE” Room.  Created piece by piece with the wonderful collaboration of Jean Doliber from REACH.

The Goal of this space is to be an inviting and warm sanctuary of peace and tranquility.

The Purpose is for survivors, and those REACH supports in so many ways, are able to take a break from the intensity of their life and the world.

It is a place of REFUGE for teenagers and adults to come escape and just BE in the space.

The intent of this space is to provide a feeling of HOPE and possibilities.  That the strength within those REACH serves will rise above all that they face!

And that Energy of HEALING will help all that visit this space visualize and become the BEST they can be. Personally, the irony is not lost on me, as a survivor, that the year I tried to escape and rent a room at the 1812 inn, was the same year that the idea for REACH was formed, and became a needed non-profit for women and families of domestic violence.  It was a sign from the universe that my vision would come full circle all these years later with the incredible organization I would create this room with.