Charity Spotlight: Alpha Home

For 50 years, Alpha Home has been committed to treating the whole person—not just the addiction— by caring, qualified professionals. By incorporating their core values of spirituality, integrity, discipline, dedication and productivity into their treatment approach, they focus on the whole person and give those they serve the best tools for responsible, long-term sobriety.

Alpha Home has the only San Antonio gender-specific Residential Rehab Program dedicated exclusively to treating women.

The Residential treatment program provides women intensive and expansive therapeutic drug rehab and alcoholism addiction treatment program in a home-like residential setting that prepares them to remain clean and sober while embracing the benefit of a lifelong 12-Step commitment. Centrally located, Alpha Home is the perfect place to find serenity and begin working toward a new life.

Alpha Home offers dual diagnosis support for women who suffer from substance abuse and mental health issues. By providing gender-specific treatment in a nurturing environment, their program encourages women to focus on female specific issues. Over the course of the program, women are immersed in the 12 step program and are helped with important life skills, a combination that allows them to find sobriety and the courage to maintain it after they leave treatment.

Alpha Home offers two homes for women to live in during treatment. The Mulberry home has 31 beds, located in the middle of the Monte Vista Historic District, and the Camden home with 16 beds located near downtown. The bedrooms are cozy yet roomy, with twin-sized beds and a shared bath. The homes also include a large kitchen, dining room, media center, living room with cable television and on-site direct care staff.

Alpha Home’s Outpatient Treatment Program is a program for both women and men who are seeking treatment but have the skills and support to recover without residential care. The 16 week program offers gender-specific programs for both females and males 18 years and older, evidence based curriculums, and trauma-informed care.

 


Wish List

New or gently used women’s coats and sweaters

Women’s undergarments (new only):

  • Bras
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Pajamas

 

Toiletries (new only):

  • Toothbrushes
  • 15 oz. bottles of shampoo and conditioner
  • Wash cloths
  • Full size tubes of toothpaste
  • Regular size bars of soap
  • Makeup
  • Hotel/travel size toiletries

 

Tools and equipment (new only):

  • Hedge trimmer
  • Power washer
  • Nail gun
  • Air compressor
  • Circular saw
  • Reciprocating saw

 

Other needs (new only):

  • Bath towels
  • Twin sheet sets
  • Standard size pillows
  • Stationery
  • Plain envelopes
  • Blank note cards
  • Journals
  • New or used Alcoholics Anonymous books
  • New or used Narcotics Anonymous books
  • Vacuums (4)
  • Towels
  • Patio Furniture
  • Bath rugs
  • Indoor plants
  • Area rugs for living rooms
  • Small refrigerator
  • Hard plastic/ceramic (plates, bowls, cups)

 

Alpha Home cannot accept:

  • Party dresses
  • Flip flops
  • Short shorts
  • Baby items of any kind
  • Used electronics
Charity Spotlight: Alpha Home2016-12-28T16:32:29-06:00

Charity Spotlight: The Rape Crisis Center

The Rape Crisis Center is a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to support all survivors of sexual assault and ensure victims have a responsive medical community, sensitive law enforcement officials, and an active prosecution system. For 40 years, the Rape Crisis Center has been a resource for our community. We are supporting their work at both of our August events.

Why is this work so important? Some statistics:

• 6.3 million Texans have experienced some form of sexual assault in their lifetime
• 2 in 5 women in Texas have been sexually assaulted
• 1 in 5 men in Texas has been sexually assaulted
• 91% of sexual assault victims did not report to law enforcement
• 90% of all child victims are assaulted by someone they know
• Studies confirm the undetected rapist is a serial hunter and serial offender
• Over 94% of rapists roam free with only 3% ever spending a day in jail

(Statistics from Texas Association Against Sexual Assault)

Per TxDPS 2014 Crime Data, someone was raped every 46 minutes in Texas that year. As that doesn’t account for unreported rape, the number of sexual assaults that likely occur in Texas each year is staggering.

The Rape Crisis Center is the only sexual assault program in Bexar County. It offers client-centered services that seek to empower and promote the safety of survivors, without judgment.

They offer several kinds of services to clients:

Counseling: Free and confidential counseling is offered to survivors, family members, and their loved ones affected by sexual violence. Qualified, bilingual counselors provide therapy for individuals, couples, families, and children.

Crisis Intervention: 24-hour crisis intervention services via telephone and online hotlines give immediate, anonymous support to anyone needing a safe place to talk or to get advice and referrals.

Education: Promoting healthy relationships is the focus of this public health program. Presented all around San Antonio, from middle schools to professional organizations, the program seeks to open up conversations about relevant topics such as anti-bullying, bystander responsibility and violence in the media.

Client Advocacy: This program is focused on helping survivors and their families with everyday needs, from shelter and housing to employment and legal assistance.

How can we help?

The Rape Crisis Center is in need of many items to do their important work. These items help in their daily work and also with their youth and therapy groups. We will be collecting the following at both August Nerd Nights.

• Black binder clips (medium & large)
• Black lanyards
• Bottled water
• Clip boards
• Colored copy paper
• Construction paper
• Disinfecting wipes (e.g. Clorox, Lysol wipes)
DYMO Letratag refills
Flip chart markers
• Hand sanitizer
• Highlighters (all colors)
• Kleenex
• Large plastic storage bins
• Mechanical pencils
• Pens
• Pocket folders
• Post-Its
• Spiral notebooks
• USB flash drives
• Washable markers
• White cardstock
• Canvases (any size)
• Clay Markers (e.g. Sharpies)
• Water color paint
• Gift cards – H-E-B, Walmart, Target, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Visa
• Candy (snack-size to give out at outreach events)

Charity Spotlight: The Rape Crisis Center2016-11-25T10:59:32-06:00

June Nerd Night, Part One

I’m going to have to think of new ways to distinguish between Nerd Nights! Can’t just call them by their months anymore, with two events. What’s she taking about, you’re asking? Well, now you now have two opportunities to join us for gaming and supporting local charities. We’ll still have the second Friday events at Geeks Cafe. That’s not going anywhere. But now, with the grand opening of Knight Watch Games, we have a second space to play and a new day and time. Fourth Sundays, 2-10pm. Come on out and support a new local business, run by gamers, for gamers. I promise it’s going to be one of the most unique spaces you’ve ever played in. Brenda and Paraic have done an amazing job getting it ready to unveil. The grand opening celebration is this weekend, so stop by and say hello! Mark your calendar to join us next Sunday for Nerd Night Part Two.

Part One was a good time for a great cause! Sue Dodson from the Texas Burn Survivor Society came out and gave a short talk. She told us about some of the things they do to support burn survivors and their families.

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It was great to see so many of you out to game with us and pile up donations for the kids at Camp David! Let’s keep it going throughout the rest of the month of June.

Donations for Camp David

About half the donations collected for Camp David.

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Announcements

The donation page is down but I’m hoping to have it fixed this weekend. As we fully transition to  501(c)(3) status a lot of accounting things have needed to be updated. I’m glad to say we’ll soon have a full profile on Guidestar so that everyone can see where our money goes. Any donations to Nerd Night this month will go directly to paying for our Meetup subscription and would be very much appreciated.

T-shirts! At Sunday Nerd Night I will have signup sheets for those of you interested in a classy Nerd Night shirt. They’ll be $12 and proceeds will go to support our operating expenses, such as the Meetup, web hosting and printing costs.

Join us at Knight Watch Games on the 26th for another great event. Bring backpack-stuffing stuff for the Texas Burn Survivor Society and your own snacks and drinks. River Tree Bistro, a fabulous little restaurant in the same shopping center as Knight Watch, will be opening from 5-8pm to serve dinner.

June Nerd Night, Part One2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

May Event for Literacy

An update on our recent event from your special guest host, Keller! (Steph had tickets to The Cure, so you can excuse her for taking a night off).

We had another great night last Friday at Geeks Cafe, raising awareness and donations for Book Buddies, an initiative of San Antonio Youth Literacy. They provide books to kids who may not otherwise have a book for the summer.  We had about 40 people come for the games, and they brought over 400 books!

We also learned about the importance of children’s literacy from the Book Buddies volunteer Kathy McPherson. She shared some stats about how important literacy is, especially for elementary school kids that are the focus of their program. Reading is so important for kids to succeed in school, and many households have few, if any, books. Getting books into the hands of children is a good way to help them out.

Kathy also really had fun with the games, and we enjoyed welcoming new gamers to the event (Special thanks to Veronica for sharing Smash Up!)

We’re looking forward to our June events to benefit the Texas Burn Survivors Society’s Camp David for pediatric burn survivors.

Wait, did I say “events”?  Yes, we’re having a second event in June: in addition to our regular 2nd Friday event at Geeks Cafe on June 10th at 7 PM, we’re also having an event on June 26th from 2-10 PM at Knight Watch Games!  The afternoon time gives more time for games and is easier to bring the kids.

See you there!

 

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May Event for Literacy2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

International Tabletop Day and Updates

Apologies for my absence from this blog lately, I started a new job and things have been super-crazy!

To start, here are some pics from International Tabletop Day. It was great to meet so many new people and see so many old friends. We collected some books ahead of tomorrow’s Nerd Night, and Kelly, Nathan and I handed out about 100 postcards to attendees. We had about 150 people at ITTD, so congrats to GaMExpo on a very successful day! The space at Wonderland of the Americas is huge, and that’s definitely something to keep in mind for future events.

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Giant GaMExpo game library!

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Silent auction. All proceeds to benefit San Antonio Youth Literacy!

 

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Knight Watch Games was one of the vendors.

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Childs Play

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Alamo City Fleet Command

As I mentioned, tomorrow is Nerd Night. We’re hoping for a huge turnout to support Book Buddies and San Antonio Youth Literacy. Pick up a kids book (here’s a link if you need ideas) and come play games with us at Geeks Cafe from 7-midnight. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this month (*ahem* The Cure live in Austin! *ahem*), but I am leaving you all in the capable hands of Lisa, Keller and Nathan. I know it’s going to be a great night.

Lastly, our big news this month: San Antonio Nerd Night, Inc. is now a registered 501(c)(3) public charity! This means all donations are tax-deductible, among other benefits. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to our fundraiser to make this happen – you can now deduct that contribution from your 2016 tax return!

International Tabletop Day and Updates2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

Charity Spotlight: San Antonio AIDS Foundation

About The San Antonio AIDS Foundation

The San Antonio AIDS Foundation was founded in 1986 by Papa Bear, aka Robert Edwards, to respond to the medical and social crisis of AIDS in the 1980s at a time when many were afraid and there was little assistance for people who were sick. SAAF’s mission is to provide compassionate medical care and social services to people with HIV/AIDS, and to help prevent the spread of HIV through education, counseling and testing.

SAAF began in the back of a bar with an all-volunteer-staffed hospice and seven clients, and has grown into a multi-service agency reaching thousands of individuals every year with healthcare, support services and prevention education outreach. All the services provided are free, with a requested sliding scale donation for those who can pay.

SAAF is the only organization in Texas that offers residential HIV/AIDS special care/hospice facilities and is the largest licensed HIV/AIDS special care facility in the state. They also operate Carson House, a 20-bed transitional housing facility for HIV-positive homeless individuals, and the only mobile HIV-testing unit in Bexar County.

Some of the services SAAF offers are:

  • Testing and Education
  • Special Care Facility and Hospice Care
  • Case Management
  • Hot Meal Program
  • Short-Term Transitional Housing
  • Dental Assistance

San Antonio Nerd Night will be partnering with SAAF this month to collect items to support the needs of their in-house and transitional housing clients. Please join us as we help SAAF further their mission of compassionate care for all those with HIV/AIDS without discrimination on any basis. Nerd Night is Friday, April 8th, and needed items are:

Men’s Boxer Underwear (M/L)
Men’s Slippers
Men’s T-Shirts (M/L)
Men’s Socks
Men’s Flip Flops (11-13)
Women’s Flip Flops (S/M/L)
Men’s and Women’s Deodorant
Furniture (primarily Dressers/Nightstands)
Used DVDs
Dish Soap
Cleaning Sponges
Bed Sheets, Twin (Fitted and Flat)
Bath Towels

 

 

Charity Spotlight: San Antonio AIDS Foundation2016-11-25T10:59:34-06:00

Charity Spotlight: Animal Defense League of Texas

About Animal Defense League of Texas

The Animal Defense League was established in 1934 “for the prevention of cruelty to animals; to provide kind and humane treatment of animals; and to aid and assist the enforcement of laws enacted for the prevention of animal cruelty.”

While they began their mission with a few makeshift chicken-wire cages to shelter stray cats and dogs in the San Antonio area, ADL has grown to a 12-acre campus with a pet park, an adoption center, a small retail store, and a 5,000 square-foot clinic that provides on-site spay and neuter surgery, surgery for injured and ill animals, as well as veterinary care for all resident animals.

ADL is a true no-kill shelter, which means animals are never euthanized if they can be treated and returned to health. No animal is ever euthanized to make room for others. The mission of the Animal Defense League is to enhance the quality of life for abandoned, abused, or neglected animals by providing needed medical care, food, shelter, and safety along with compassion and attention. They provide a number of services, including:

  • Sheltering animals, regardless of their conditions when they arrive
  • Complete medical treatment for all resident animals
  • Full-time veterinary staff
  • Humane education programs
  • Adoption services to help resident animals find forever homes

ADL is supported through adoption fees, grants, bequests, donations and a number of special events to raise funds. We will be collecting donations to support the work of the Animal Defense League at our March 11th Nerd Night. Needed items are:

General Needs

Brooms & String Mops
Copy Paper
Hand Sanitizer
Heavy Duty Water Hoses
Laundry Detergent
Bleach
Trash Bags (33 gallon)
Newspapers
Strip-Shredded Paper
Lawnmowers, Weedeaters, and Edgers
Electric Space Heaters
Refrigerators
Nailguns and Drills
100 ft. Electric Snake
Steam Mop

Animal-Specific Needs

KONG and “Hard Plastic” Toys
Blankets (any size)
Towels
Heating Pads
Nebulizers
Canned Kitten Food
Puppy and Kitten Toys
Dog and Cat Toys
Pedigree Canned Dog Food
Esbilac Puppy Formula
KMR Kitten Milk Replacement
Gerber 2nd FOOD Chicken
Beech Nut Stage 1 Chicken
Plastic Kiddie Pools
Baby Wipes

Charity Spotlight: Animal Defense League of Texas2016-11-25T10:59:35-06:00

February Nerd Night Wrap Up

So, I know I say this almost every post, but…

You. Guys. Are. Awesome.

I won’t lie, I was worried about the venue change and all of you making the move to another part of town. But wow, did you all prove that I worry a lot over nothing! We had FIFTY happy game-playing nerds at Geeks Cafe on Friday, and you all collected an amazing amount of STUFF for SAMMinistries. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

February Nerd Night

February Nerd Night

 

February Nerd Night - Nathan's Room

Nathan’s Room

 

February Nerd Night - Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

 

February Nerd Night - Paulina, Kelly & Shane

Paulina, Kelly & Shane

 

February Nerd Night - Keller, Aiden and friend

Keller

 

February Nerd Night - Vince

Vince

 

February Nerd Night - Winner!

Winner!

 

Melanie from SAMMinistries speaking to the group

Melanie from SAMMinistries speaking to the group

Anyway. Apologies for some of these blurry pictures, I’m apparently challenged when I don’t have a flash.

Our next Nerd Night is scheduled for March 11 and will again be at Geeks Cafe. We’re collecting items for the Animal Defense League of Texas. I will post a spotlight article very soon with details about what items they are in need of to take care of all the pups and kitties that are lucky enough to end up in this no-kill shelter.

Shameless plug time!

Art by Freddy Gonzalez

Art by Freddy Gonzalez

This fabulous piece of art has been donated to help raise money for SAMMinistries. Colleen and Vince of GaMExpo and Geek Out SA are handling a silent auction. Starting bid is $100. Get on over to their Facebook page and make a bid, y’all!

Speaking of Geek Out SA…

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Nathan and I stopped by to plug Nerd Night and talk about all things geeky. Give it a watch!

 

February Nerd Night Wrap Up2016-11-25T10:59:36-06:00

Charity Spotlight: Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.

Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. (FVPS) has been helping victims of domestic violence in San Antonio since 1977.

They host a number of events throughout the year, raising funds to support their many services. Among these is the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter of Bexar County.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Odds are, there is someone in your life who struggles or has struggled with domestic violence. 74% of all Texans have experienced some form of domestic violence or have a friend or family member who has experienced it. 31% of all Texans report that they have been severely abused at some point in their lifetime. Some more statistics:

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • Almost one in three female homicide victims reported in police records were killed by an intimate partner.
  • One in six women and one in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.
  • Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of abusive relationships.

What Can We Do to Help?

We are collecting items this month to support the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter of Bexar County. This very important service offered by FVPS gives women and their children a safe haven as they leave an abusive situation. Our donations will go toward providing their clients emergency food, clothing, personal care items and baby and child care items. Here is a link to their wish list. I’ve also put a short version in the event listing.

If you or someone you know is afraid about something in their relationship, the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter helps with the following resources:

  • 24-Hour Crisis Intervention Hotline: 210-733-8810
  • Individual and Group Counseling for Women and Children
  • On-site Attorneys
  • On-site Adult Education
  • Case Management
  • Transitional Housing
  • On-site Primary Medical and Dental Care

Again, if you are in immediate danger, call 911 or reach out to the Crisis Hotline at 210-733-8810.

Charity Spotlight: Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.2016-11-25T10:59:38-06:00
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