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AWB Newsletter 2-2008

Acupuncturists Without Borders
February, 2008
In This Issue
Veterans Update
Student Action
Fundraising Update
New Board Members
Upcoming Trainings
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
From a California Wildfire Effort Volunteer

Jennifer Leonard

Jennifer Leonard is an AWB trained acupuncturist who came from Colorado to volunteer during the California wildfires.  She was sponsored by the Acupuncture Association of Colorado's Humanitarian Fund.

    I was fortunate to be able to join AWB in relief efforts for the victims of the San Diego Fires that burned for weeks in October. The area I was positioned in was 60 miles southeast of metro San Diego, and less then 5 miles from the Mexican border.
As I drove toward Barrett, CA on my first morning of volunteering, I began to smell the pervasive scent of burned wood. I was still 15 miles away from my destination, yet I was surrounded by scorched landscape. Low bushes, oak trees, prairie grasses and buildings alike had been reduced to piles of charcoal or blackened skeletons of their former structures. "Dramatic" couldn't explain the wide-open landscape, etched with distinct fire lines and seemingly of another planet in comparison to the untouched strip malls and gas stations not more than 3 miles behind me.
Arriving in Barrett, I met our group at a locally famous restaurant, known among Sunday motorcycle riders as the best place to stop along some of the most scenic roadways in Southern California. Sadly, riders were now coming to stare in awe at the destruction rather than the natural beauty. The restaurant is owned by a local couple who had been spared the destruction of fire but had no utilities to open their business. They donated their space as a central location to all relief agencies that had come to Barrett, including Acupuncturists Without Borders, allowing us to operate out of a tent on the porch. We shared the space with FEMA, the Red Cross, local and state police and others. Residents of the small border town wandered in and out of the parking lot, looking for food, clothes, services and even socialization as a way to find some familiaraity with in the chaos. Some stopped to inquire about the services we offered and seemed too pre-occupied to think about something as strange as acupuncture. I hadn't been there long but I started to question the role of acupuncture in this setting. I learned soon enough. 

"I was apprehensive as to how to explain to them how they would benefit from taking a short break and sitting with needles in their ears.  I did my best but, by now, I had learned to let the medicine do most of the explaining."
The acupuncturists who had been working for the past 2 weeks were exhausted, yet they all remained inspired by the experience and ready to lead those of us new to the scene into action. I was stationed 10 miles further up the road in a small town called Potrero where I was given permission to treat in the back yard of the California Department of Forestry Fire Department. I was a little skeptical as to how many people would find me and be open to the services I had to offer. But, it wasn't long before I could put those concerns to rest.

That first day, I treated many of the Potrero residents and volunteers. I used only the NADA 5 point protocol, adding some points on the hands from time to time. I was nervous at first, wanting this to be helpful but not really sure how these simple  needles were going to impact the people who had been so devastated by the fires. What I saw suspended all doubt. Throughout the day, I saw this simple protocol relax people, relieve pain and lull them into a soft sense of comfort as they shared their stories of loss and heroics with me.

Click here to read on!

Veterans Project Update

The Veterans Project is off and running in 2008.  Here's what we're working on right now!

Clinics in Chicago and Baltimore are up and running.  Clinics in New York, Arlington, MA and Framingham, MA will be launching in February, 2008 and a fantastic and motivated team has formed in Portland, ME.

In the months to come we'll be focusing on organizing clinics where we have had trainings and clinics are not already operating.  If you are in the East Bay, San Francisco, the Denver area, or Phoenix and would like to participate in this effort please let us know!

A comprehensive database of everyone who has contacted AWB about becoming involved with the Veterans Project and a second database of operating and potential clinics have been created to keep track of team progress and assist with volunteer networking. 

The Albuquerque Clinic lost its space several months ago and we are actively looking for a new venue for this clinic.  We hope to have the Albuquerque clinic up and running again by mid-March.

Monthly conference calls continue to be held and attendance remains strong with 10-15 participants per call and new people joining all the time.  We've initiated specific topics related to each call and those who are farther along in the clinic creation process are encouraged to (and often do!) attend to help along those who are just starting out.  The call "minutes" have turned into a lengthy monthly Veterans Project Newsletter complete with a synopsis of the call topic, progress of all those participants on the calls and extensive questions and answers. 

The financial agreement information sheet and contract is completed and has been sent out to several teams at their request.

Creation of an enhanced public Veterans area on the website is happening.  This area of the website will include information and updates about the various clinics and teams forming across the country, information and articles on Veterans issues nationwide and a public FAQ about the veterans project.

A password protected area for the Veterans Project of the AWB site is also slated to happen.  This area will include discussion forums, a library of articles and information on Veterans issues, listings of national organizations, AWB documents for use by clinic teams, calendars, backlogged newsletters, a complete FAQ area, manual addendums and other useful tools.
AWB Club at Bastyr Leads the Way for Students Nationwide

Bastyr Group
Part of the spunky Bastyr Student Group.  

The flagship AWB Student Group at Bastyr University has raised $1350.00 for AWB and continues to fundraise!

As students of AOM, we all know that our time is limited and our schedules are busy.   There is no doubt that the path to becoming an acupuncturist is a challenge. But, as student, we need to remember to look beyond our studies and see what "real acupuncturists" are doing to benefit our communities.  The students at Bastyr University looked to AWB.
Bastyr's AWB Fundraising Group started with inspirational guest speaker Pat Flood, an acupuncturist and member of AWB's Board of Directors, who spent time in New Orleans.  During her lecture, she inspired us with stories of "Rogue Acupuncturists" performing heroic deeds during times of need, and of the incredible difference just one, single acupuncturist can make in response to a community disaster.  She  also spoke of the amount of time, energy and personal resources it continues to take to build this national organization from the ground up. The final message was that the work for AWB has only begun, and the potential for growth really depends on the amount of support that AWB has from the larger community. When the talk came to an end, the group of students, fully inspired and motivated to contribute to the success of AWB, decided to form the Bastyr AWB Fundraising Club, which is now over 30 members strong.
Our first event was a school-wide Silent Auction. The week-long event consisted of pictures and descriptions of donated items set up on tables in the hallway. We auctioned off items such as hour-long massages, reiki treatments, reflexology treatments, holistic house-cleanings, and donated Polish pottery. The great thing about this event was that it practically ran itself. This event made $600 in just ONE week! We then turned around and donated the money through Mayway and they matched our donation. So, quickly our $600 turned into an incredible $1200.
And that was that! Since the Silent Auction, we have hosted a bake sale and have proposed plans to sell "Candy-grams" during the Valentine's Day holiday. We've been in contact with Sarah Tewhey of AWB and have discovered that there are a number of students across the country who want to help support this organization, but that there is currently no national student network in place.  Now, the Bastyr student group and AWB are working together to create plans for a nationwide AWB Student Action Network. 

We'd like to challenge students from every school to form groups and get involved with AWB.  A sense of contributing to an amazing organization and the reward of knowing that even though we're not licensed to needle (yet!), we can help better people's lives by supporting AWB is cause enough to put down the books for a few minutes a week and get involved!
Cass Mabbutt and the Bastyr AWB Student Group

For more information about getting involved with the burgeoning AWB Student Action Network you can send an email to:
AWB Fundraising Update

Our Year End Mailing
A tremendous "Thank You" to all of you who contributed to the Year End Fundraising Campaign.  AWB raised $6197.00 in the month of December through this campaign.  This amount will be matched 100% by a generous anonymous donor.

Our Veterans Fundraiser Mailing
The Veterans Fundraising Mailing AWB sent out in September has raised $6157.00 for AWB and the Veteran's Project!  A big thanks to all who supported this campaign.

Mayway Matching Donation Campaign
AWB and Mayway met and then exceeded their goal by the December 31st, 2007 deadline and Mayway matched $5,000.00 to about $6,000.00 that was raised in donations made to AWB through its website.  Thank you to all of you who participated in this effort!

AWB raised a total of $23,453 throught these three campaigns!

Ways you can help now!

AWB will be holding nationwide Community Acupuncture Fundraisers for World Health Day on April 7th, the Katrina Anniversary in late August and Veterans Day in November.  Start thinking about which event you'd like to participate in.  AWB will have materials ready soon!

Making online purchases at Expedia, Norsdrom, Staples or Barnes and Noble?  Go to and shop over 680 well-know brand name stores through iGive.  A portion of your purchase will be given directly to AWB.

Make a donation to AWB now!  Your funding will go directly to help keep AWB alive throughout 2008 and ensure that its programs grow and thrive!  Donate Now!

AWB Introduces Two New Board Members

Karen K.Karen Kisslinger,studied with JR Worsley in England during the late 1970's and has been practicing Classical Chinese Acupuncture and related healing arts for almost 30 years. Currently her acupuncture practice is in Millerton, NY. She is the meditation and contemplative practice instructor for the retreat center of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership and offers regular classes and workshops in meditation and relaxation. She writes a regular "Way of Life" column for the Healthy Living section of the Poughkeepsie Journal, has written for national magazines, and has a daily radio show on WKZE in the Mid-Hudson Valley called: "Time to Relax".  She
is inspired by the mission of AWB and wants to join in the work of taking the unique power of acupuncture into situations of trauma; both in the U.S., and eventually, worldwide.

Robert WoodbineDr. Robert J. Woodbine, N.D., M.Ac.O.M. is a licensed naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist serving the health needs of the central Harlem, New York community he grew up in. He received his doctorate from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Masters degree from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. He is also a NADA trained and Certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist (ADS).  Dr. Woodbine joined the Board of Directors of Acupuncturists Without Borders because of the organization's proven commitment to directly and effectively address the immediate trauma needs of people suffering in disaster related circumstances. He firmly believes that with its portable healing tools of acupuncture and Chinese Qigong, Acupuncturists Without Borders can continue to play a pivotal role in resolving the affects of short and long-term trauma globally. 

AWB is currently seeking Board of Directors members with financial backgrounds.  If you are interested please email,
In The News

Recent News Stories About AWB:

The Diane Rehm Show: Veterans Mental Health Care
Diana Fried was a caller on the Diane Rehm Show on January 29th and discussed AWB's Veterans Project.

Training With a Pair of Passions
Daytona Beach News Journal
By Mark I. Johnson
Read about the Florida acupuncture student who is training for a sprint triathalon and raising money for AWB.

Important News Stories About Veterans Issues

War Torn: Across America, Deadly Echos of Foreign Battles
The New York Times
By Deborah Sontag and Lizette Alvarez
January 13, 2008

Soldier Suicides Reach Record Level, Study Shows
The Washington Post
By Dana Priest
January 31, 2008
Upcoming AWB Trainings
Miami Tr. 3

The Miami Training

Usher in springtime among the palm trees at AWB's Healing Community Trauma training in Phoenix, AZ at the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture.  AWB is doing three more trainings in 2008 Phoenix, New York and Portland, OR.

2008 Training Schedule:

Phoenix, Arizona: April 19-20 - Registration is Open!
Other trainings in 2008: New York and Southern California

Click here to register for trainings!
In the spirit of service,
Diana Fried, Executive Director
and the Acupuncturists Without Borders Team

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