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Transforming Lives in Dothan 

Christina, Baxley, Pem Helms, and Misty Black

Christina Baxley worked as the manager of a small convenience store. When store closed, the owner offered her a job at another location. The change would mean she would work fewer hours weekly. She shared her worry with a friend at her church who encouraged her to enroll in college. At thirty-eight years old, Christina felt like that time had passed in her life, but several months later she decided to enroll at Wallace Community College in Dothan and work toward a degree in social work.  

Christina soon met Kelly Osmond at Wallace who told her about Communities of Transformation. Kelly introduced Christina to COT Trainer Rosaland Harrison and volunteer John Fergus. Christina didn't decline the invitation to join, but she wasn't interested. She agreed to attend the Taste and See. 

Misty Black worked as a home healthcare provider for fourteen years while raising her two sons. She knew her mental, physical, and financial health was important for her family. She enrolled in and completed the GED program at Wallace Community College in Dothan to better provide for her sons. Near the completion of her GED Misty was approached by Kelly Osmond from Wallace CC about continuing her education at Wallace and about Communities of Transformation. Misty decided to enroll at Wallace to pursue a career in social work. She met with Rosaland Harrison, but initially declined the invitation to attend COT meetings. She felt she was too busy and worried about spending more time away from her boys even if it was something to help her better herself. 

During orientation at Wallace, Christina met Misty Black who was also enrolling in college for the first time, also pursuing a degree in social work, and had also been invited to join COT. They decided to attend the Taste and See together but neither thought she would join. At the Taste and See, Jose' Maya shared his story, and both Christina and Misty decided to participate. 

Misty said that her 12-week classroom experience with Rosaland was awesome and exactly what she needed. It helped her examine herself closely to find a "purpose in her pain." She developed important skills to help her in relationships with her family. After completing her 12-week class Misty was matched with Susan Brolund as her volunteer mentor who helped her keep her focus on educational goals. Later she was matched with Pem Helms who helped her develop a new set of relationship goals as she was quickly accomplishing her education goals. Pem introduced her to another support group for family members with addiction issues which she now attends regularly. Along her journey she changed her major from social work to elementary education as COT helped her realize a career in education was a better fit for her. Misty is enrolled for the fall semester at Troy in Dothan.

Christina shares that the 12-week class was amazing and like therapy for her. She says her early years as a child of an alcoholic and early adult years following a similar path had already led her to God, but she had always found it difficult to focus on her well-being. The curriculum's focus on her own well-being was healing for her. She formed new relationships with fellow participants, discovering that no matter what background the people in her class came from, they had so much in common. Class time was a very positive, nonjudgmental experience, and Christina was sad to see it end. After the class, she was matched with John Fergus who she says was a great encourager, always listening and advising. 

On August 2, 2017, Christina was awarded her degree in medical assisting. Upon completion of her preceptorship hours at Southern Bone and Joint in Dothan, Christina accepted a full- time position at the practice. 

Christina says that Communities of Transformation helped her be more aware of things she needs to do for herself to keep herself well physically, mentally, and spiritually. For her COT has become a family who supports and encourages her. She thinks that Communities of Transformation is what church should be about: helping one another, lifting each other up, and celebrating together.

 

 

Mobile COT hosts Books, Balls, and Blocks Event

COT Mobile recently partnered with Help Me Grow Alabama to host Books, Balls, and Blocks: a screening event for children 2 months to 5 1/2  years old.  Children from volunteer families, participant families, and community families came to the event. One family new to COT was excited to bring their 5-month-old to the screening. Part of COT's goal in participating was to show that COT is a holistic ministry, caring for all ages and all aspects of life.  Help Me Grow is based on the idea that developmental delays and disabilities are often undetected and untreated for far too long. Their goal is to identify delays as early as possible, engage parents in appropriate child development activities, and connect children and families to the resources they need. 

 

Taste and See Event

Evergreen COT held their first ever Taste and See event on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Site Coordinator Anita Watson began creating community in Evergreen when she began the Community Garden last summer. The garden's success has allowed for the kind of relationship-building necessary for a thriving community site.

  

 

November Events

All meetings are 5:30 - 8:00 p. m. unless otherwise noted.  Please check the website Events page for locations.

Brewton
Tuesday, November 7   Meeting
Tuesday, November 14 Meeting
Tuesday, November 21 No Meeting
Tuesday, November 28 Meeting
 
Dothan
Tuesday, November 7   Meeting
Tuesday, November 14 Meeting
Tuesday, November 21 No Meeting
Tuesday, November 28 Meeting

Eufaula
Monday, November 6  Meeting
Monday, November 13 Meeting
Monday, November 20 No Meeting
Monday, November 27 Meeting
 
Evergreen
Thursday, November 2 Meeting at Community Garden 5:30
Saturday, November 4  Work Day at Community Garden 9:00
Thursday, November 9 Meeting at FUMC 5:30
Saturday, November 11 Work Day at Community Garden 
Monday, November 13 Financial Workshop at Crestview Housing Authority 5:30
Saturday, November 18 Work Day at Community Garden
Thursday, November 23 No Meeting 
Monday Nov. 27 Leadership/ Planning Team at Jalisco’s 11:30 

Mobile
Thursday, November 2   Real Estate  Workshop
Thursday, November 9   Real Estate  Workshop
Thursday, November 16  Real Estate  Workshop
Thursday, November 23 No Meeting
Thursday, November 30 Meeting

Montgomery
Tuesday, November 7   Meeting
Tuesday, November 14 Meeting
Tuesday, November 21 No Meeting
Tuesday, November 28 Meeting
 
Phenix City (all times Eastern)
Tuesday, November 7   Meeting
Tuesday, November 14 Meeting
Tuesday, November 21  No Meeting
Tuesday, November 28 Meeting
 
Selma
Monday, November 6  Meeting
Monday, November 13 Meeting
Monday, November 20  No Meeting
Monday, November 27 Meeting

 

Want more?

Contact us

Courtney Albrecht
Communications Coordinator
Email Courtney

Laurel and Fred Blackwell
COT Coordinators
Phone: 334.524.3652
Email Us

Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.