“The Traveling Postcards workshop was an amazing, empowering and transformative experience. It was an incredibly safe space, where I felt supported and empowered to use my trauma to give support to other survivors. Through this workshop I was able to more clearly identify my own feelings around my assault. I also left feeling incredibly empowered, having given a future survivor a gift of love and encouragement.” Student participant

 

“Often times when we focus on programming, it is very heavily focused on tabling events and presentations. This was a unique experience for students and one which I think will stay will them for a long time. The students who participated seemed to put a great deal of thought and reflection in the discussion about their postcards and at the end – it was clear they felt a strong connection to the survivors who will one day receive these gifts. ” University of South Carolina

 

“Thank you,  thank you, thank you. This was an amazing experience. To be in a space where your creative energy was not only allowed to flow but channeled in the direction to encourage, inspire and ease another person’s suffering was truly a spiritually enlightening experience. To be able to take time out from the hustle and bustle of our day and to sit in peace and let our hearts and mind focus on doing something for someone other than ourselves, was a gift.  Your kindness and compassion towards us allowed us to pass our compassion to others through the postcards that we made today.” Norwalk Community College

 

“I walked into the Traveling Postcards workshop after a busy day on campus. The workshop fell on the week that our campus was flooded with news regarding the Kavanaugh hearings. The college felt heavy with the personal stories of trauma that were sparked by this national call to attention on sexual assault. Many of us found ourselves in a state of anxiety, awaiting how our nation would respond to the bravery of a survivor.

As we began the workshop, a new calm settled in the room. After some conversation, we became quiet and absorbed in our making. I felt empowered by creating something tangible that would express my solidarity with survivors. The week had been time of helplessness, feeling unable to effect the results of the Kavanaugh trial. Through the act of creating a card, I remembered that a simple expression of compassion and hope can be meaningful. I felt honored to hear the wisdom of my classmates around me. The workshop provided a set-apart time to explore the stories that we don’t always take time to tell. As I walked back to my dorm that night, the word that came to mind was “contentment.” In such an unsettling time for women, I experienced contentment in the ability to effect positive change through traveling postcards.” Sophia St. Olaf College

 

“The Women’s Wisdom Initiative and Traveling Postcards has worked with the women in our Transitional Housing Facility for several years. Their work with our clients has been empowering and has helped them in their recovery process. It is wonderful to see the beauty our women create in art, the hope they show for others and the fact that they are rebuilding their lives after the experience of domestic violence.”

Gloria J. Sandoval
Chief Executive Officer
STAND! For Families Free of Violence

 

“Caroline did a fantastic job – from creating a beautiful space to create, to encouraging self-expression, to facilitating a dialogue, she made a truly special atmosphere for the students to express themselves and feel at ease.”

 

How effective was the facilitation in creating a safe and supportive environment for your students? “VERY effective – I did not feel like anyone felt unsafe or unsupported.”

 

“The most effective part for me was seeing the final outcomes of everyone at the table, and hearing the significance of the piece they created. It was nice to hear so many displays of compassion.”

 

“I keep finding nuggets of hope in what seem like my least hopeful times–for me, the Traveling Postcards workshop was one of those shining moments. I appreciated, with my entire heart, the ability to take a few minutes to sit and work in peaceful concentration on a postcard for someone I can relate to without even knowing. It reminded me how unique and common the human experience is. It reminded me that, no matter how much it may feel that I am, I am not alone in this world. This workshop reminded me what it means to step back and take a breath, it showed me how much my lungs miss the oxygen when I guard myself, as I have a tendency to do. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this amazingly transformative experience and share in the warmth, light, and joy of those around me.” Student participant, University of Virginia

 

“I appreciated that Caroline was open and honest. I was planning to become a facilitator but really struggled with how I would replicate what she does. Ultimately she also sensed that and we were able to have a good conversation about how vital it is to be engaged in the process and really have the knowledge and skills to be a facilitator. For us it is more important for it to be done right which means bringing Caroline back to lead the workshops at SLU. It isn’t just words on a script but more about really feeling the space and connecting with people and she has a special way of doing that!” University of Saint Louis

 

“I have had the privilege of seeing the strength and resiliency of so many survivors – I am encouraged that leaders, helpers and healers were able to touch on their strength and resilience and witness the transformative power of art to discover insights about themselves. I strongly believe that when we are connected with ourselves, we are much more able to genuinely connect with others. I am still pretty blown away in general with the Traveling Postcards workshops, everyone grows and everyone matters.” Amy Little,MSW,LCSW Sexual Assault Response Coordinator/Behavioral Health Support Coordinator, 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom, ARB

 

“The most valuable aspect of the Traveling Postcards Workshop as a professional, is the experience of reconnecting to our vulnerable humanity that we are sometimes disconnected to when working with trauma. We have a clinical or professional lens that is important for clients and for ourselves, but we often have few opportunities to experience on an emotional and non-verbal level what it means to care for another that is suffering. Being able to offer support as ‘one person to another’ by writing a card that has nothing to do with our professional roles, is a gift to our hearts. This workshop reminds healers that they are humans, wonderfully so, and that is why we are effective!” Amanda Silva, Director of Programs/Counseling Services Manager, Verity

 

“I wanted to reach out and share how much I enjoyed facilitating this workshop, but also the experiences I had when I was able so share a postcard with survivors.  I’ve shared a couple now, and each time the survivor soul lights up. They speak to them in a way that words can’t.  I hadn’t realized how tactile the card are- one had jewels and the survivor kept running her hands along the jewels.  It truly lets them know they are not alone.” Traci Cole,Sexual assault program family advocacy specialist,YWCA Clark County

 

“I just want you to know what a valuable and unique service Traveling Postcards is to survivors and the people who support them. In Marin County we have rape crisis and domestic violence centers to offer counseling and advocacy and therapists to help survivors through the process of recovery but the missing piece is in fostering resilience through art. It is an uplifting and supportive environment for participants to find their voice through artistic expression in a group of other survivors and celebrate how far they have come. Doing this workshop in service of others is also an important piece of transforming their own trauma into healing for others. Thank you so much for providing that important piece. ” DeAnna Schlau, Community Violence Solutions

 

“I am grateful that there are women, such as yourself that continue to make a difference in lives of other women; when often times they feel that no one cares. Thank you for your passion to empower other women so they know they are not alone in their unique journey and not just in your own community but across America. Thank you!”
Pam Gillenwater, Resolve Family Abuse Program Director YWCA Charleston

 

Caroline:  THANK YOU SO MUCH for bringing us into this beautiful effort.  Each year that I see you at our Mother’s Day event I am reminded of how BIG your heart, mind and spirit are, and how far and wide your efforts go.  We are so grateful that you allowed us to send two advocates to your training. You will forever be remembered here for your generosity as well as everything else you’ve contributed to making our world a safer place for women.  Thanks again,

Kate Kain, Center for Domestic Peace

 

” I value the comfort of having something seemingly innocuous in your hands after a trauma. It’s very centering even if it seems silly to the analytical side of the brain” Student Participant

 

“I felt so calm and still with my thoughts and normally in my busy brain I struggle with that and can never feel a sense of mental peace but I did in this time- The time flew by and I needed this. ” Student Participant

 

Do you feel like your voice matters? ” Yes. It is hard to see past our own accepted limitations and hearing a truth from someone else can help break through the mesmerizing influence of accepted limitations which are not true.” Workshop participant

Student article from the University of South Carolina

 

 

Partial list of organizations we have worked with:

Amherst College

BAWAR, Oakland, CA

Bradley Angle, Portland

Center for Domestic Peace

Community Violence Solutions,CA

Daraja Academy

Grissom Air Reserve Base

Helpmate

In Movement: Art For Social Change

IRCO

La Casa de las Madres

Marin Catholic High School

Montana Women’s Coalition

Meridian Health Foundation

Mutual Ground

Narika

Norwalk Community College

Our Voice, Asheville, NC

SafePlace, Austin TX

S.A.F.E. House

Saint Louis University

ST. Olaf College

Saint Mary’s College

Self Help Center, Casper WY

Soroptimist International

STAND! For Families free of Violence

Trust In Education

University of Virginia

University of Richmond

University of South Carolina

VDAY

Verity

Women for Afghan Women

YWCA Berkeley

YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program

YWCA Salt Lake City

YWCA Clark County

Verity, Santa Rosa CA

Western Carolina University

White Buffalo Calf Woman Society