Nexus Newsletter | September 2021

September is a time of new beginnings—a new school year and a new fall season. This month’s newsletter features our new partnership with Trusted World, a shout out to National Recovery Month and North Texas Giving Day, as well as a staff spotlight on Sondra Hamilton, our Child Development Center Director, who shares how recovery impacted her life and led to a new career.

Security

Enhancing security at Nexus is about more than providing physical safety from any harm, but also providing necessary resources and basic needs items so that the women and children we serve feel secure as they embark on building their new lives. Since more than 90% of the women and children Nexus serves are low-income, we are always in need of basic needs items, like clothing, shoes, and hygiene and wellness items for women and children, including newborns. To better serve our clients, Nexus has recently partnered with Trusted World, a Garland-based nonprofit that provides clothing, food, and personal care items, for area nonprofits and first responders who are serving our community.

Trusted World is committed to providing the best resources, at no cost, so that Nexus can focus on its core mission – serving as a community of hope and sobriety for all women and their families who strive to live healthy, resilient lives. Trusted World supports nonprofits, like Nexus, by collecting in-kind donations such as clothing and toiletries from the local community. Each item is inspected, sorted by size, gender, and style, and placed into an online ordering system to be packaged and delivered to their community partners as the need arises.

“We are so excited for this partnership with Trusted World, which will provide a more efficient system to address our clients’ needs,” says Beth Hunter, Community Engagement and Volunteer Manager at Nexus. “As an organization that serves women, including those who are pregnant and parenting with children, we have a great demand for clothing, shoes, and hygiene items year-round, but limited capacity to manage and store a large volume of in-kind donations. This partnership provides a more sustainable way of enhancing our services for clients.”

Nexus will still accept in-kind donations from the community, which will then be picked up, cleaned, and sorted by Trusted World. In turn, Nexus can order the specific clothing, hygiene, and baby wellness items from Trusted World that clients’ require to be secure. To make an appointment to drop-off an in-kind donation, please contact Beth Hunter at (214) 321-0156 ext. 2101 or bhunter@nexusrecovery.org.

For more information about Trusted World, click here:

Community

National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a month-long observance held every September that educates Americans about recovery from mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders, the effectiveness of treatment and recovery support services, and that recovery is possible. Recovery Month helps reinforce the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.

This year’s theme, “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community,” reminds people in recovery and those who support them that recovery belongs to all of us. There are as many pathways to, and, of recovery as there are people. We are all called to end gatekeeping and welcome everyone to recovery by lowering barriers to recovery support, creating inclusive spaces and programs, and broadening our understanding of what recovery means for people with different experiences.

Since our founding in 1971, Nexus has been here to help women find their recovery path. While every woman’s path to sobriety may be different, recovery is possible. As we celebrate 50 years of recovery and in honor of National Recovery Month, we reaffirm our commitment to excellence and service and pledge to honor each and every individual with:

Respect: Humility, Honesty, Openness, and Diversity
Compassion: Generosity, Kindness, Dignity, and Empathy
Integrity: Accountability, Transparency, Safety, and Ethics

These are our core values that drive our mission and shape Nexus as an organization. We serve as a community of hope and sobriety for all women and their families who strive to live healthy, resilient lives.

Help us celebrate 50 years of changing lives during Recovery Month by supporting Nexus on North Texas Giving Day, September 23:

Dignity

Nexus helps women find their recovery path thanks to our dedicated staff who provide round-the-clock treatment and care, many of whom, are also in long-term recovery. This month, we are featuring one such staff member, Sondra Hamilton, Nexus’ Child Development Center Director. Sondra started working at Nexus in April 2019 and recently celebrated 19 years of recovery this past June.

At her lowest moments, Sondra never imagined that life could get better. She arrived in Dallas from her hometown of Kilgore, Texas in 2002, At that time, she had been using for about 10 years and was escaping an abusive relationship. Although she had been able to function throughout that time, the death of her mother sent her over the edge, and she began using to help her cope and numb her thoughts and feelings. Not knowing anyone in the city, she eventually wound up on the streets, sleeping on porches and in abandoned houses. Reflecting on that time, Sondra says, “I was at a point that I would get mad when I woke up in the morning because I had prayed the night before not to wake up. That’s just how terrible things were.”

A chance encounter with an old friend now in recovery helped set her on her own path to sobriety. She moved into a home designated for transitional housing, which she helped refurbish, and participated in the outpatient program at Homeward Bound. Determined to stay clean, she decided to attend Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. At her first meeting, she was astounded that the place was standing room only. She couldn’t believe that everyone in the room was clean. She also met people who had 10, 15, and 20 years of sobriety. “I could never imagine that happening to me,” says Sondra, reflecting on this experience, “And now here I am, almost 20 years later.”

Sondra began working the program and making changes to get her life on track. She started a new career path in childcare, working at various organizations before eventually landing a job as a teacher at the Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church Child Development Center. At the age of 48, she also returned to school to study psychology and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2012. After graduating, she was promoted to Assistant Director at Lake Highlands. In April 2019, she left Lake Highlands to take on her new role as the Child Development Center Director at Nexus.

Over the years, Sondra had learned about Nexus through her NA sponsor, a Nexus alum, as well as other ladies who had come through the program. But it wasn’t until her experience working at Nexus, that she truly understood its impact on the community and on women’s lives. She looks forward to waking up in the morning and arrives in time to greet the moms and take the children to their classrooms. “These children are amazing,” Sondra beams. “Getting the chance to watch them grow, even if it’s a short time that they are here, you see such a magnificent change in them.” Sondra’s passion for her job is shared by her teachers who she says help create a loving atmosphere where children can grow and succeed.

Today, Sondra is thankful that her prayer during those dark days was unanswered because sobriety has given her the life that she has now. In her free time, she enjoys reading crime and psychological thrillers as well as outdoor activities like swimming, horseback riding, and walking in nature. She would like to travel overseas when she retires and see the rest of the world. She also hopes to save enough money to go on mission trips with her church to help in other countries. Looking back at her recovery journey, Sondra says, “I want everybody to know that there’s such a great life after recovery. You can stay on the path. If you do the work, life just begins to happen. Just keep walking the path, just keep doing the next right thing and one day you’ll look up and you’ll have 19, 20 years. It’s just taking that first step.”

Support

September holds even more reasons to celebrate with Nexus participating in Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day! Join thousands of North Texans for a an 18-hour online giving event designed to empower every person to give back to their community by supporting local nonprofits and causes they care about in one easy-to-use platform. In celebration of our 50th anniversary and in honor of National Recovery month, help make our mission possible by donating to Nexus so that we can provide greater security, community, and dignity for the women and children we serve.

EARLY GIVING IS NOW OPEN: September 1-22

NORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY: September 23 (6:00 AM – 12:00 AM)

#NTXGivingDay is your chance to be a part of the largest community-wide giving initiative in the nation to show how we, as a North Texas community, take care of each other. With our fundraising goal of $50,000 this year, Nexus is elated to have received a matching $50,000 gift from Roco Agape Charitable Foundation! In addition to direct support, for more ways to get involved, create a FUNdraising page to spread awareness of Nexus’ mission:

  1. Click here to create a fundraiser
  2. Set a comfortable goal but shoot for the stars!
  3. Personalize your page with why Nexus is important to you
  4. Share with friends, family, and peers

Upcoming Events

You’re Invited!
Nexus 50th Anniversary Disco & Dessert
Friday, November 12, 2021
The Joule

Join Nexus for our 50th Anniversary Disco & Dessert, an evening of celebration that honors this milestone and looks toward our future pathways to possibilities. Got disco fever? Secure a sponsorship to Dance the night away at our 1970’s-themed anniversary celebration featuring funky town tunes, delectable desserts, and cocktail and mocktail libations. Boogie attire encouraged!

All Disco & Dessert sponsors are invited to attend an Honorary Reception for our 50 for 50 Campaign from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For sponsorship benefits, COVID-19 protocols, and more event information, click below.