What is a blog, really? I have volunteered to write this for The Retreat, and I don’t know what I am doing! So, I will just reminisce for a little while.
I have been involved with the Retreat for many decades starting with a luncheon in August 2000 at what was then Amagansett Eastside Tennis Club. After sitting on the Jitney next to one of our wonderful fundraisers, Susi Wunch conceived the idea. Now called Sportime, this organization continues to generously support The Retreat.
Way back when, we raised money to buy a new washing machine, new sheets and beautiful bedding, bathroom furnishings, and various other odds and ends. Susan Lieberman created the invitation- the safe house – a prototype of the same logo we use now. Beloved late Board member Nancy Cohn and her husband Myron then donated a new playground.
I can still feel the excitement of changing beds, moving furniture, and picture the happiness the shelter clients would feel with some brightness in their lives.
As a psychologist, I had worked in clinical settings with many survivors of abuse. However, the day we spruced up the shelter and worked together to bring a little joy into the lives of these families was a day that changed my life. These were mothers who would tuck their children into beds made with fresh, pretty sheets. They would see smiles of glee and joy on their children’s faces when they ran outside to swing and climb on the exciting new playground. Settling into housing far away from home was made easier with appliances and tools to make the daily family chores a bit less onerous. Having safe, comfortable housing was a first step into a new life. So, I guess for me I am writing this blog as a reminiscence, but at The Retreat, every new day is another step, a fresh start…Hopefully, a path towards safe and healthy futures.