Mother has risen from the pain of losing a child to become a community activist for area youth.
The following article by Amanda Blain, published Jan 31, 2017 in the Olney Daily Mail, an Illinois regional newspaper, gives a clear picture of how ministries can make a difference in the lives of today’s youth. Shelley went through the ARISE Online Life Skills Instructor training with flying colors and is now ready to be the first one in the area to introduce ARISE Life Skills to local youth. Read the article below:
Shelley Doneghue’s son, Matthew Zwilling, lost his bout with bipolar depression when he committed suicide in 2014. Throughout his life, Doneghue sought local and regional services in hopes of finding a solution to his mental and emotional turmoil.
Doneghue discovered a gap in support services for troubled youth. After losing Matthew, she decided to tighten the gap.
“I had to have a reason to go on. I want to help the kids like Matt,” Doneghue said. “There are a lot of them who are suffering from depression and I don’t want any more to lose their lives.”
Doneghue founded The Paper House non-profit organization last year. Long-term goals of the
organization include establishing a youth and community center in Olney to provide recreational, educational, self-awareness, and emotional healing activities as well as academic support, and employability training.
Community support is critical to achieve these goals. However, Doneghue is dedicated to helping local youth right now. She recently became a Life Skills Group Facilitator for the ARISE life-management skills program. The The Master’s Hands and Carrie Winter Trust assisted Doneghue in paying the certification costs.
ARISE Foundation was established in 1986 to serve at-risk youth. The program provides at-risk populations with the information, know-how, and guidance they need to survive and succeed.
This month, Doneghue is bringing the program to youths within the juvenile justice system.
Linda Brown, juvenile-probation officer and member of 2nd Judicial Circuit Juvenile Justice Committee, said, “I’m so very thankful to have this additional resource available for the juveniles that are involved in the criminal justice system. This will provide them access to skills that will assist them in all areas of their lives as they move forward to hopefully be productive citizens.”
The life-management skills program launches in Olney at Master’s Hands on January 24. It is offered at no cost to students.
Students will learn about transforming negative thought processes into positive thinking, planning for goal attainment, non-violent communication, job interview skills, talent and skills exploration, and more.
The course will take approximately 14 weeks to complete. Classes are Tuesday and Thursday.
The first session is being offered to youth in a private setting. Adult and public classes are expected to launch in April.
Willard Anderson, founder of The Master’s Hands, said, “I think it’s something that’s really needed here. I’m so thankful for Shelley stepping up and wanting to do this, and I’m thankful that the Carrie Winter grant gave us the funds to allow us to have her go through school for the life-skills classes. (Shelley) is basically going to work with the teenagers, but it’s needed all the way through. We’re looking for other ways to help people by training them.”
Contact The Master’s Hands to inquire about the program.
The Paper House non-profit is registered in the state of Illinois and is in the process of becoming a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit. KidZone Managing Director Cheri Guyer will assist The Paper House with business development and grant writing. This author sits on The Paper House board of directors and will offer facilitation and outreach.
Donations for The Paper House may be made at First National Bank in Olney.