And the Winner Is…

Anyone who has been closely following the ongoings at AbAnon/SAVAnon lately would know that one of our Board Members, Whit Bendewald challenged our Executive Director, Perry Underwood to a fundraising competition.  2020 has been a record-breaking year for donations from individuals but the increased donations hadn’t been quite enough to cover the loss of funding caused by the coronavirus and the related restrictions that prevented us from holding our annual fundraiser.

The challenge by Whit was to see who could raise the most money during the month of September to cover an anticipated $40K budget shortfall…winner shaves the head of the loser.

Between the two contestants almost $23K was raised over and above our normal monthly donations; a very successful fundraiser considering how little time and cost were required.  Another benefit of this contest was that several new monthly donors were added, strengthening our financial position going forward.

​​​​​​​

Congratulations to Perry, the victor.  You can watch a bit of trash-talking as Perry shaves Whit’s head in this short video https://vimeo.com/470020707

Thanks to all of you who donated as part of this contest and a special thanks to our contestants who risked their hair so that women and men throughout the world could begin the path to healing from the emotional trauma caused by abortion and sexual abuse.

There is some chatter about a “Revenge Challenge” but that might be just the “Young Buck” not knowing that, “You don’t mess with the Old Fart.”

 

WHAT LEGACY DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE FOR OTHERS?

By joining our Once A Month Club you have the opportunity to leave a legacy of healing and
give the opportunity for others to change the legacy of their lives and families.

My Foolish Moment

After arriving home following a recent AbAnon/SAVAnon Board meeting I thought I should share something with my wife.

“But he dared me to do it!” I exclaimed, as Sue shook her head and told me what a foolish thing I’d just done.  Let me explain.

At the AbAnon/SAVAnon monthly Board meeting last week we discussed the impact Covid-19 was having on the organization; most of the conversation was very positive and our reasons to celebrate included:

  • Explosive growth throughout the USA,  Just in the last month we have had new chapter inquiries from Kentucky, Connecticut, Texas, New Mexico, New York, Montana, Idaho, and Florida.  We’ve also had inquiries in the last month from Australia and Canada.
  • We were forced to fast forward our plans to have more online groups, this has resulted in achieving group dynamics that are much better than we thought possible.
  • We were forced to fast forward our online Facilitator Training and that too is working extremely well.
  • We have completely overhauled our Referral Intake process which better screens our referrals so that our limited number of online groups, with limited number of participants, are filled with only those who are truly “Group Ready.”
  • Completion of our SAVAnon curriculum for men just a few days ago.
  • Donations from individuals, businesses and churches has never been better.

So, you’re probably still wondering, “What is the foolish thing he did?”  Great question…here it is.

Overall, things are going very well for AbAnon/SAVAnon…except one thing.  Covid-19 has forced us to cancel three fundraising events this year and these events typically account for 40% of our annual budget.  Without these funds our reserves have been reduced to the point where we only have the funds needed to operate for another two months.  We need to raise another $40K to get us through this year

After the Board meeting last week one of the Board Members, Whit Bendewald, came to me with a challenge, “Why don’t you and I have a contest to see who can raise the most money over the next three weeks…LOSER SHAVES HIS HEAD.”  Of course I’m a red-neck at heart so I quickly responded. “You’re on.”  I later heard that Whit’s wife’s response was similar to my wife’s response😊

Please allow me to make one thing perfectly clear…I DO NOT WANT TO SHAVE MY HEAD!  I’m not a very good-looking man but the one thing I’m thrilled to have at my age is a full head of hair.  It may be mostly grey but at least I have it.

So, to my friends who are receiving this email and would like me to keep my hair, I ask (beg) you to immediately send a donation to AbAnon/SAVAnon.  Any size donation will help.  You can mail it to the address below or simply click on this link to donate online: https://abanon.org/donate

To my more sinister friends who actually would prefer me to experience baldness, maybe you’re jealous of my full head of hair, you too can  make a donation but make a note in the comments section that your donation is towards Whit’s efforts, just type or write in “Whit”.  My hope is that Whit has as many friends who’d like to see him bald as I do who’d like to see me bald.

You would not be getting this email if I didn’t think you cared about AbAnon/SAVAnon and the last thing I want is for any of our loyal partners to feel pressured, manipulated or guilted to donate to our organization any amount of money that is different than what they cheerfully desire to give.  Some of you have been abundantly blessed and desire to help out in a major way.  Some of you can joyfully send $100 or $200 without feeling any real pain.  But we also understand that there are people out there who truly support our efforts but, because of the crisis our nation is experiencing, cannot give even $20.  Please, do not give ANY amount that you do not feel good about or cannot afford; God will provide through others who CAN afford to cheerfully give.

Last year my wife experienced baldness due to chemo treatments; wigs are available, this we know.  So if I end up shaving my head I know it’s not the end of the world and that I can draw on her courageous experience.  I pray that you are well and safe.  May god bless each of you.

Enjoy this short video about what is going on with AbAnon/SAVAnon: https://vimeo.com/452905386

Perry Underwood, Executive Director
509-993-4683

Abortion Anonymous Inc. (AbAnon)
Sexual Abuse Victims Anonymous (SAVAnon)

PO Box 11664Spokane Valley, WA 99211
perry@abanon.org
www.abanon.org

Our Voice – July 2020

FireworksJuly is typically the month we celebrate freedom. We have a front row seat to see God bring freedom and healing to our participants. We wanted to take some time and celebrate together what God is doing in so many lives through SAVAnon and ABAnon.  —Rachel Bren

“After participating I feel a sense of freedom.”

Our Voices ACROSS THE UNITED STATES and AROUND THE WORLD— 

ABAnon participant from New York— Before joining this group I was continuing to work through the program and find grace through faith.  My goal was to pay close attention to how the group was facilitated; however, I spent more time healing and growing personally.  I understand it’s an ever-changing process. After participating in this group, I feel like challenging ideas will always come up, but through the grace of God, I’ll meet each challenge appropriately.  I feel like I can know and love more people than I’ve ever imagined.

This group has helped me realized the many different point of views stories, hurts, pains, but most of all that love knows no bounds.  The zoom calls were organized, and everyone gave priority and attention.

SAVAnon participant in Cincinnati— Before joining this group I was unsure how to process trauma. I was living very unaware of my trauma and how it was impacting my life. I was stuck!  After participating I finally see my trauma for what it is. I finally feel like God is bringing a light to my trauma and abuse. I’ve healed in so many ways and have started the process in others.

This group has helped affirm me in my struggles and heal me from feeling judged. I understand my abuse in a whole new way that looks like hope instead of darkness. I am finally excited to seek counseling instead of feeling fear.

ABAnon participant in Texas— Before joining this group I was spiraling out of control and not able to deal with my emotions. After participating in this group I feel a lot stronger! Like, so much weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I’m almost me again and I can breathe.

SAVAnon participant in Montana— Before joining this group I was scared, alone and feeling like no one understood.  After participating I feel welcomed, loved and accepted and on the path of healing. This group has helped me feel accepted and like I’m part of a family; that my emotions and feelings are normal.

SAVAnon participant in Washington— Before joining this group I felt trapped and alone. I had a lot of unforgiveness and bitterness and didn’t know where to start with processing and healing. After participating I feel a lot less alone and more free than trapped. I feel like there is hope for healing now. I feel stronger than I did before and less burdened with unforgiveness and bitterness.

This group has helped put physical truth to the knowledge that I’m not alone. It helped me begin pursuing healing and closure.

SAVAnon participant in Washington— Before joining this group I felt angry, scared and set off all the time by PTSD. After participating I feel relieved – giving my anger over to God and forgiving myself. I have stopped believing the devil’s lies.

This group has helped me to be open about my life and my experiences. I have learned to start trusting people.

SAVAnon participant in Nevada— Before joining this group I was convinced I didn’t have story to tell; that it was all my fault. After participating I know it wasn’t my fault and I didn’t ask for it.

This group helped me realize I will be okay and I can get better.

SAVAnon participant in Australia— Before joining this group I had not heard very many abuse stories or been involved in any sexual abuse groups. It was a wonderful experience with loving facilitators. After participating I feel very motivated to facilitate healing and helping within my own church.

This group helped me realize that I want to become more involved in that area of people’s needs.

ABAnon participant in Ukraine— Before this group I was feeling very sad and alone, like I didn’t really have anyone who could really understand or empathize with what I’ve gone through.  I was suffering in silence for the most part, only finding partial; solace in books, online forums and group.  It wasn’t enough for me.  I needed to be in an environment where I could actually see other post-abortive women and hear their stories and share mine.

After participating I feel I feel less isolated and I also feel more love and support than I did before.  I have more hope that I can actually get through this healing journey and that there is a group of wonderful women who care about me and will be there for me when I need them.  I feel stronger right now than I did before joining the group.

This group helped me to process my healing in a loving and supportive environment.  It has helped me to see that there is hope, and that I don’t have to suffer alone.  It has helped me realize that other post-abortive women share a lot of the same struggles I have but that healing is possible.

SAVAnon participant in Chili— Before joining this group I was not dealing with my abuse and was just pushing it and repressing it. After participating I feel a sense of freedom.

This group helped me. Sharing my story has really helped me to experience freedom by going to the time frame of the abuse, dealing with the details so that I can leave it and move on.

“This group helped me see that there is hope and that healing is possible!”

“This group has helped me put physical truth to the knowledge that I’m not alone.”

 

 

Our Voice – June 2020

PERFECT VISION: Seeing Where God is Moving

I have the practice of listing all the good things that are happening as a way to shift my focus to see more clearly where God is moving. I want to share some of the awesome things we see God doing in AbAnon/SAVAnon.

We have seen him bring clarity and healing to record numbers of people through our groups. We are busier than ever. The shelter-in-place order, which on the surface looked like it might set back our healing groups, actually worked to accelerate our online groups. We have launched two separate healing groups in New York alone.

The growing numbers gave opportunity to refine our intake process to ensure those who start healing groups are ready and willing to follow through to the end.

We have seen a record number of participants step out to volunteer as facilitators. Because of this rapid growth we have updated to an online facilitator training. Laurel Bahr, SAVAnon Director, has spent countless hours working with trainers to get our Teachable classroom up and running. This allows us to train more facilitators, which will in turn allows us to launch more healing groups.

As we have grown, so has the need for additional help, we have added new team members. Jennifer Reed has come on board as our AbAnon Director. We are very excited about her passion to see others find healing. Mary Jones has joined us to oversee social media and marketing to communicate the healing that is possible through our classes.

This year has given us many opportunities to think outside the box and trust God in a deeper way. We had to cancel a fundraiser scheduled for the end of March. Our fundraisers provide about 40% of our annual budget. We are hoping to reschedule that for August. I say “hoping” because as we have seen, plans can change very rapidly. In the meantime, we are working on campaigns to bridge that gap.

We are asking you to prayerfully consider partnering with us. If you are a monthly partner, would you prayerfully consider increasing your monthly donation? If you are an occasional partner, would you prayerfully consider donating monthly? If you have experienced one of our healing groups, would you consider donating to help someone else have the opportunity to experience healing as well?

One of the most important things I have seen so far in 2020 is that we are not in this alone. A large part of our year may have been spent in isolation, but we are in this together. I am so proud to work, pray and kneel alongside each you. 

Rachel Bren,
Development Director,  SAVAnon

TO BE LIKE OUR FATHER

Father-Son600x400

We live in a world where liking a social media post enables us to create a world where we can be whomever we want to be, escaping a reality that may look very different. Our current culture tells us that we make ourselves who we are and that our history defines us through generational experiences; I once viewed my life that way.

When I was a young adult— living life according to my own plan and with little regard to anyone other than myself and my girlfriend; we found out that someone, God, had other plans. I quickly had to transition from doing whatever I wanted, into, “ I’m going to be a father.” I looked at my own father and wondered if I could do it. I was reminded that God had created life in His image (Genesis 1:26) and that now, my life was not longer my own. Shortly after this realization and transformation, the decision was made to end the pregnancy that had already changed my entire world.

I was never the same. My “Father’s Heart” had been activated and I became so much more aware of what it meant to truly be a dad.

I met my wife when I was 26 years old, we married and began to discuss having children. I had such a deep desire to be a father and now those hopes were within my reach, but I needed healing from the pain and emotional impact caused by abortion.

My wife and I are very blessed to have a 14-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. Being a dad is all I hoped and dreamed it would be. I was there for every doctor visit, every ultrasound, and the birth of both of our children. However, in all the excitement of their births, I was reminded of the moment I saw my preborn child in the procedure room when I was just a young man who desperately wanted to be a father. I knew my heart was fractured and I yearned for healing and to help others who were in the same position I had found myself in all those years ago.

I was at a Life Services (now MyChoice) volunteer training even. We shared our reasons for being there and I explained that I wanted to help other men make the choice to be a dad. I was encouraged to contact AbAnon, a local non-profit that offers support and restoration for post abortive women and men, and I did just that.  I attended the 8-week course included in the AbAnon program. I attended facilitator training and am now a board member.

With the support of my wife, AbAnon, and my Heavenly Father, I have experienced another level of freedom and restoration. I am not ashamed of my story! My story has Power! Your story has Power!

Being a Dad is one of the greatest challenges in life. Children are our greatest gifts from God and we are called to love, care for and cherish them. God created us in “His likeness” so that we would know how to love them well. In whatever capacity you find yourself: bio-dad, step-dad, granddad, uncle, brother, or mentor, the role of a Father’s Heart is vital in every child’s life.

In a world where we have the opportunity to build alternate realities through social media, let us be reminded that no post or photo will every replace the quality time and memories that we make in real life with the children we have been entrusted to lead, teach, and protect.

—Geoff Morgan, AbAnon Facilitator and member of  Board of Directors

More Great News

A few months ago I met with the AbAnon/SAVAnon Leadership Team to discuss strategic planning.  Like any NPO, we have several staffing needs but very limited resources.  “Which position should we fill next?” I asked.  We all agreed that it should be the Development Director position.

In January we launched a capital campaign to raise money to pay a Development Director salary. Within a few weeks we had enough funding that we felt confident to begin searching for the right candidate to fit our needs. I am pleased to announce, as of May 18, 2020, Rachel Bren is the Development Director for AbAnon/SAVAnon.

RachelBrenRachel comes to us from Life Services where she has been their Volunteer Coordinator. For many years, AbAnon/SAVAnon has had an incredible partnership with Life Services in Spokane, WA. They are an amazing organization. As a pregnancy resource center, Life Services refers dozens of post-abortive and sexually abused women to us each year.

Serving as the Life Services Volunteer Coordinator, Rachel often referred potential volunteers who were post-abortive or sexually abused, making certain that candidates had properly dealt with their experience before trying to serve others.  But as Rachel tells it,

“I felt like a hypocrite.  Here I was referring women to SAVAnon when I had my own sexual abuse story and I had never gone through the group that I was making them go through. Of course, I thought I was FINE, which now I believe is a huge lie that the enemy wants us all to believe, but going through a SAVAnon group I realized how much negative influence my abuse was having on my life.  Because of SAVAnon and God’s work in me I am forever changed.”

Even though Rachel was extremely happy in her job at Life Services, after completing her SAVAnon group she felt that AbAnon/SAVAnon was an organization she HAD to be a part of. When she heard about the Development Director position, she applied.

I am thrilled to have Rachel on our team. She has all the essential gifting necessary to perform the duties of the Director of Development position. At AbAnon/SAVAnon, we’re into storytelling … we tell the stories and allow the Holy Spirit to do the fundraising. Rachel has the passion and enthusiasm to tell our stories well. You’ll be hearing more from her in the future. This is great news.  Welcome aboard Rachel.

Together in His service,
Perry Underwood, Executive Director

AbAnon / SAVAnon Events

Two Incredible Nights to Choose From!

Listen to success stories and the expansion of both AbAnon and SAVAnon. Learn about our vision for 2020 and how you can impact the lives of those around you with freedom and healing

Enjoy an evening with Wine & Cheese, Beer & Bread!
(Doors open at 6:00)

Click below to get tickets:

AbAnon: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/abanon-spring-fundraiser-tickets-90349496777
SAVAnon: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/savanon-spring-fundraiser-tickets-90350046421

 

2020 … Now What?

I heard someone refer to 2020 as “The Year of Perfect Vision.” I thought that was pretty clever and that I should find a way to incorporate the “perfect vision’ theme into the AbAnon/SAVAnon Strategic Plan that I’m in the process of writing. But the more I thought about this the more hopeless the idea became; my vision is far from perfect.

The truth is that much of what has been done through AbAnon/SAVAnon I did not “see” coming. Yes, as an organization we have been faithful to prayerfully develop and implement the plans that we believe to be prudent and wise and often things work out just as planned. But we have also seen plans turn out to be nothing like what was anticipated. This is true both ways. Ideas that we thought were great have flopped and ideas that were skeptically implemented have turned into huge successes.

So here we are at the beginning of another new year and another new decade. It is time to be introspective and ask a couple of questions. What are three things we have done well in 2019?

  • Launch of On-line Groups. Skype Groups have been a phenomenal success in terms of serving post-abortive women around the USA. But we’re learning that we need to develop better systems to support and train these Skype Group Facilitators who are scattered throughout our nation. AbAnon Skype Groups for men and SAVAnon Skype Groups are to be introduced in 2020.
  • The launch of SAVAnon has proven to be a huge success as well. SAVAnon for men will be available soon.
  • Facilitator Training. Thanks to the efforts of our leadership team our training is very professional and thorough. Our plan is to have all of our training on video in 2020.

What are three things that we could do better?

  • Manage Volunteers. Many of the people who have offered to be volunteers for AbAnon/SAVAnon have not become engaged with the organization. At the same time we seem to be overworking, to the point of burnout, many of the volunteers that have proven themselves capable. A remedy to this needs to be a priority in 2020.
  • Presenting Hope. It is great to talk about the hundreds of men and women that AbAnon & SAVAnon Groups have set on a path to healing, but for every individual that participates in one of our groups three others, who have asked for help, never responded to our follow-up or just didn’t show up when their group began.  We must find better ways to communicate the hope that is available.
  • Telling our Stories. Through the people behind AbAnon & SAVAnon God is writing some great stories. We need to find more effective and strategic ways to tell those stories in 2020 and beyond.

At AbAnon/SAVAnon we believe that reaching the post-abortive and the sexually abused is the greatest life-transforming opportunity of our generation.

Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support of AbAnon/SAVAnon.
Perry Underwood
Executive Director
perry@abanon.org

Checks can be mailed to:
Abortion Anonymous, Inc. (AbAnon)
PO Box 11664
Spokane Valley, WA 99211
Donations can be made online at:
http://www.abanon.org/donate
https://savanon.org/donate/

An Encouraging Report

Last year a team was sent to Zambia, Africa to launch AbAnon/SAVAnon in partnership with Association For Life Africa (AFLA).  AFLA is an association of about 270 Pregnancy Centers throughout 18 African nations.  I was so encouraged by this report that I thought I would share it with you.

ReportTitlePgClick here to view or download

Many of the people served by AFLA live in unimaginable poverty and AFLA does an incredible work on meager resources.  AbAnon supports AFLA as much as we are able but we would like to support them even more with training, marketing material, curriculum and financially.

If this report touches your heart I would ask that you consider an additional year-end gift to AbAnon so that more people in Africa and throughout the world can experience this incredible healing.  I thank you for your faithful support of AbAnon/SAVAnon.

Perry Underwood, Executive Director
perry@abanon.org

Have you heard the news?

gvcAbortion Anonymous, more commonly know as AbAnon has two recent initiatives that are having significant positive impact on the organization;

  • In June of this year, AbAnon launched Sexual Abuse Victims Anonymous or more commonly known as SAVAnon.  The SAVAnon curriculum, Victims No More, is an 8-week sexual abuse healing curriculum for women who have been sexually abused or assaulted.  Early reports indicate that we drastically underestimated the need for this healing program as our Fall Groups are already very full and more groups are needed.  A curriculum for men is currently in the works.
  • With time and resources limiting the number of new cities and countries where we could launch new AbAnon/SAVAnon Chapters…and with emails constantly coming in from all over the USA (and world) asking for information about participating in an AbAnon or SAVAnon Group, we reluctantly started Skype Groups.  One recent Skype Group had participants in four different time zones.  Judging by the surveys provided by our participants, these Skype Groups have been an amazing success.  We have plans to launch several more Skype Groups this Fall.

At AbAnon/SAVAnon we believe that reaching the post-abortive and the sexually abused is the greatest life-transforming opportunity of our generation.

Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support of AbAnon/SAVAnon.
Perry Underwood
Executive Director, perry@abanon.org

 

join-team-800x334Job Openings: At AbAnon/SAVAnon we are looking for:

  • Spokane Local Director
  • Development Director
  • Skype Facilitator Coach

For more information send an email and resume to joinus@abanon.org

Check can be mailed to: Abortion Anonymous, Inc. (AbAnon)
PO Box 11664, Spokane Valley, WA 99211
Donations can be made online at:
http://www.abanon.org/donate
https://savanon.org/donate/


It’s a FRIENDraiser

friendraiser-inviteAbAnon/SAVAnon is happy to invite you to our very first Friendraiser.  Notice we said “FRIEND”raiser rather than “FUND”raiser!  The purpose of this event is not to raise money but to bring AbAnon/SAVAnon awareness to people who are unfamiliar with the awesome work done by this organization.

There is no cost…but Yes, there is a catch.  Your ticket to this event is to bring someone with you that has never before been to an AbAnon/SAVAnon event.  Our goal is to have 50 people, already engaged in AbAnon/SAVAnon bring another 50 people who are NOT YET involved with the organization.

If you come with your spouse, bring another couple.  If you come solo, bring a friend…each one bring one is the mantra.

Come out and enjoy some great food, hear the latest AbAnon/SAVAnon news, all without any pressure to volunteer or donate money.

Event details are found in the invitation below. Space is limited and will fill up quickly.  Click here to RSVP:  FRIENDraiser Tickets