Testimonials from Reading Groups

Testimonials from Reading Groups

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"Anne Mitchell shared the Waddie Welcome story with our friends, compatriots, and co-workers around Broadway. It not only generated a wonderful discussion and story telling session, but it engaged absolutely everyone (which is fairly unusual in our diverse crowd). Some folks who had never taken up the mantle before eagerly gave themselves to the idea of telling the story around here. I have been carting the book along with me from place to place and sharing it with others. In our parish - the idea of a place where everyone is truly valued is seriously worked at...and played at. This story adds to the dance of community around here and we are grateful."
– Michael Mather, Indianapolis, IN

"We just had a 'reading' of Waddie Welcome in the Adirondacks after a full day of workshop work. We couldn't start till 8:00pm. We were all exhausted. Over 25 people showed up! Three volunteered to read. The air became deathly silent - and our attention and capacity to think clearly exploded. It was an amazing dis...cussion starter. This is truly a 'revolutionary' act as Waddie continues his campaign to kidnaps hearts and minds - and motivate them to action!"
– Jack Pearpoint, Toronto, Canada

"Although we all felt globally connected, the wine and munchies made the evening as festive as Waddie would have enjoyed."
– Mary Lou Bragg Brewton, Claxton, GA

"Our reading at our home included two other couples on a school night, a crab casserole, wine, six wild kids running around the house and a lost tooth (from one of the younger set). The conversation was good, thoughtful and honest. Here's a sampling of the comments:

'I'm sad that his family didn't help him.'
'I wanted to hear the voice of others involved--Jeff Alden, Lester Johnson, the families Waddie Welcome lived with and the relatives who came back into the picture.'
'I think it's a story about community.'
'It seems like there were an awful lot of people working together for just one person.'
'There are lots of Savannah names and references, will this book have meaning outside of Savannah?'

'It's a powerful story of personal intervention.'"
– Tania Sammons, Savannah, GA 

"On September 14th about 60 people gathered in the meeting room of the Bronx DDSO for an ongoing conversation on connecting to our communities, supporting people to have lives (as opposed to services), and creating a spirit of innovation.
We opened the day with a reading of 'Waddie Welcome and the Beloved Community.' There was complete silence in the room as a variety of people shared different chapters, and parts of chapters. Self-advocates, family members, DDSO employees and Providers all offered a voice to this powerful story.
Following the read, people shared in conversation, some of the common themes being:
--The power of community
--It takes time, but things are always moving forward
--Always look to invite more people in
--Listen deeply…..it can be done
--How nourishing this story is; and,
--A commitment to host more reads around the Bronx"
– Patti Scott, NY, NY 

Last week, I was one of 50 people who participated in readings of “Waddie Welcome and the Beloved Community” in Cincinnati. We gathered in living rooms and cafés around the city and read his story aloud. We shared our own stories and discussed how Mr. Welcome’s story impacted us and shows us a new way forward as a community.
What an incredible ambassador Mr. Welcome is for Savannah. He is a testament to the hospitality that flows in abundance in your city. You are all very fortunate to have counted Waddie Welcome and his friends as neighbors.
Please pass our gratitude to the people of Savannah for being a wonderful model of a welcoming community for all of us here in greater Cincinnati.
– Tim Vogt, Bellevue, Ky

"I just wanted to say how excited I am about all the Waddie Welcome 'happenings'. I have just recorded the story on to CD for our EDG Advisory Group members, some of whom don't read for one reason or another. I kept having to stop recording to take a deep breath so that I wouldn't cry on CD. It's so beautifully written, and a wonderful, inspiring story. Once the Advisory Group have heard it we will plan an event for MLK Day. Prior to our event though, I hope we will be reading it with the community circle I facilitate, our person centred planning network and with friends and other colleagues. "
– Linda Keys

"I had the opportunity to be a part of reading Waddie Welcomes story and I was TAKEN AWAY!!! I can not wait to start sharing this with others! I have already contacted my father in South Africa so that I can take WW internationally. I was truly inspired and can't wait to get out and share with others! (I'm having my fir...st WW reading at my house on November 6! Guest have been invited and menu is planned!!) I was inspired and motivated. More from me to come!!!"
– Erica Goldman, Hagerstown, MD