Our Volunteers Out in the Community

We love our volunteers and want to send a special thank you to these lovely women that were out in the community last month talking to expecting and new moms. 

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Healthy Women's Day

Our volunteer and Summerville support group leader, Tori Leggett, was out at the Summerville Family YMCA's Healthy Women's Day. Tori reached out to PSC last year interested in becoming a peer support facilitator. As a mother of two, she experienced a postpartum mood disorder with both of her children and after her recovery knew she wanted to help other women going through what she went through. Tori has been instrumental in helping PSC expand into the Summerville area. She leads the support group at the Summerville YMCA on the 1st Tuesday of the month. 

When asked why she supports local moms, Tori said, "This group is so special to me. I love facilitating and volunteering with this group because if someone didn't take an hour out of their busy lives, then I wouldn't be here today. I want someone to feel that same feeling of hope." 

Thank you, Tori! You are special to us too!

 

Labor of Love Pregnancy Expo

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Our fabulous volunteers, Mary and Candie, came out on a Saturday morning to help at the Labor of Love Pregnancy Expo at The Shifa Free Clinic! More than 200 people were in attendance and these wonderful ladies talked with many new and expecting moms about our organization and the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety. Both ladies are new volunteers at our organization and jumped right in by helping out at this important event. Mary even lined up a sitter so she could come out and help. Thank you ladies for your support and for helping moms and families in Charleston. We could not do this work without you!

 

We also want to thank our walk leaders, Moms' Run committee members and phone and email support volunteers for all your support last month. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please reach out to our Development Coordinator, Amber Allen at amber@ppdsupport.org.

 

Spotlight on local mom, Maggie Marlow

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with local mom and PPD survivor, Maggie Marlow. Maggie has a great passion for raising awareness for PPD and for helping reduce the stigma surrounding this illness. This strong woman is a great example of climbing out of the darkness, building a tribe to lean on and moving on from the struggle of PPD. Read on to hear more from Maggie on our first meeting.

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"I finally got to meet the incredible Elaine DeaKyne yesterday. Elaine and I have been trying to meet for some time now and our lives crossed paths in a unique way. I simply made a post about my journey and how I suffered from Postpartum depression after the birth of McGinn and Herrick. I talked about how I did the bare minimum for him some days and how I felt anxious, and not worthy of being a mom. I had emotional ups and downs that my amazing husband Tyson Marlow helped me get through. He was the one who looked me in the eye and told me to tell him when I was having a tough day. That is was OK to feel that way and that he was there for me. I trusted him and did open up to him. I was very fortunate to have him but many women do not have that support or are too afraid to admit that they need it. 

After the birth of Herrick I remember telling myself that it was normal to feel the way I felt, that I went through this after McGinn and that this too shall pass. I remember bottling up my emotions and not allowing myself to go out as much. Not allowing myself to fully be me. I remember the day that I sat crying in my closet because I was sick and tired or feeling sick and tired.

That was the day that I decided to make a change. That rock bottom feeling pushed me to make a change and I have never looked back. I committed to waking up early to get my workout in and read my personal development every day. I committed to eating healthier, to get back in the kitchen and started sharing my recipes again. Sharing just that tiny bit of what made me happy, made others happy. I started seeing the positivity circle in motion and the support coming from every direction. I started dialing into my accountability group and found myself not only holding myself accountable but supporting others and making sure they stayed positive and true to themselves. I worked out and expected to gain a little energy but what I found was a mental and emotional transformation that saved me and my family! I found a group of women who uplifted me and brought me out of a fog that just weeks ago seemed too thick to ever lift.

3 months into my journey I reflected back to how far I had come and realized that I needed to share my story of struggle with postpartum. I realized that there are so many women out there who feel or have felt just like me. I realized that it wasn’t talked about enough and that women felt ashamed to feel the way they did. I realized that I needed to share my journey in order to help others.

I decided that I was going to donate 20% of my commissions for 3 months to Postpartum Support Charleston. Little did I know the impact that it would have. With the donation I made they were able to completely sponsor 2 women within their organization. Although I don't know these women or their stories I am SO BLESSED to know that stepping outside my comfort zone and making a pledge to donate has helped to change others lives...I am EXCITED and SO HONORED to join forces with Postpartum Support Charleston and continue to share my story in order to help others know it is OK to share theirs. Charleston friends need to know that there a place they can go for support and I am do blessed to spread the word... As moms we are all in this together!"

 

Maggie is a Beach Body coach. She lives in Mount Pleasant, SC with her husband and two boys. Follow along on her amazing journey on Facebook at Maggie Marlow - Foodie Fit Mom and on Instagram @foodie_fit_mom and check out her website at http://www.foodiefitmom.com/.

 

 

Elaine DeaKyne Hired as Executive Director

Long-time Postpartum Support Charleston volunteer Elaine DeaKyne has been named the executive director of Postpartum Support Charleston. This is the first time the Charleston area nonprofit has had a paid executive director.

DeaKyne will oversee the day-to-day operations of the nonprofit, coordinate support groups and support group leaders and work on fundraising and development. She also will continue the organization’s community outreach work, speaking to organizations, medical practices and hospitals.

A survivor of postpartum depression herself, DeaKyne first joined Postpartum Support Charleston as a contract employee hired to help organize the annual Moms’ Run + Family Fun Day. She eventually transitioned to a board member and served as board president for two years.

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“It’s been exciting to watch this organization grow over the last four years, and it is a tremendous honor to step into the executive director role,” DeaKyne said. “As this organization grows, we have such a great opportunity to educate the community, help women and families in need and break the stigma that still surrounds this illness.”

Founded in March 2000, Postpartum Support Charleston has largely relied on volunteers to manage the organization, which hosts peer-led support groups and provides grants to women who need financial assistance for treatment of maternal mental health issues. The organization’s volunteers also have worked tirelessly to educate new moms and families about maternal mental health and provide resources for medical professionals.

New board president Kim Percival said, “Hiring an executive director after 17 years of being a primarily volunteer-run organization, is a giant step in the direction of providing the mothers in our community the support and voice they deserve. It upgrades this organization to the next level and moves us closer to the goal of our mission.”

Before joining Postpartum Support Charleston, DeaKyne began her career at a software company, eTapestry in Indianapolis, and worked directly with nonprofits providing support and designing new features for their CRM software. In 2007, she continued her career with local nonprofit software company Blackbaud after it acquired eTapestry. She worked in the Charleston office as an interaction designer focusing on the advocacy, payment services and email services products. She left after the birth of her first child in 2012. She lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband and two daughters.

Job Opening: Part-Time Executive Director

Postpartum Support Charleston is hiring a part-time executive director to lead the Charleston area nonprofit in helping mothers with maternal mental illness access resources and support while also educating the public and medical community about maternal mental health.

This position is currently part-time (20 hours per week on a flexible schedule) with the possibility it will grow into a full-time position with a consolidated physical office location.

Job duties include:

  • Fundraising and development, including securing sponsors for the annual Moms’ Run, corporate sponsorships and additional public giving campaigns.

  • Developing grant-based funding as a new source of revenue for the organization, including identification, application coordination and securing grant funds.

  • Outreach to community organizations, medical practices and hospitals, including public speaking.

  • Working with the board of directors to implement programs and initiatives.

  • Day-to-day management of the nonprofit organization.

  • Coordinating support groups and support groups leaders.

  • Marketing/PR of the organization.

  • Administering the organization’s grant program.

  • Full P&L responsibility for the organization.

  • Oversee and direct activities of staff.

Candidate should have a passion for maternal mental health and furthering the mission of Postpartum Support Charleston. Excellent organizational and communications skills are a must. Candidate should be skilled at time management and able to work independently. Candidate also should be comfortable learning technology, managing the organization's database and financials.

Current financial position of the organization allows for a yearly salary of up to $18,720, plus a nominal $60 monthly stipend for phone and computer expenses.

Please send cover letter and resume to Holly Fisher at holly@ppdsupport.org by noon on Monday, July 24, 2017. 

Postpartum Support Charleston, a largely volunteer-run organization dedicated to eradicating the stigma surrounding maternal mental illness (such as depression, anxiety, OCD and psychosis during and after pregnancy) to ensure all women who suffer receive support. The organization offers free peer-to-peer support groups, educational programs for the public and the medical community as well as providing grants to women who are not able to afford treatment for PPD or related illnesses.

Board Members Attend Warrior Mom Conference

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By Holly Fisher A week after I attended the second annual Warrior Mom Conference, the message a church was about how good leaders handle “threshold moments.” Most threshold moments are some blend of exciting and scary – college graduation, a new job, getting married. But some of our threshold moments are painful.

The question, then, is how do we handle those painful times? Are we buried by the pain or do we bury the pain? Or do we use that painful period to create a platform and an opportunity to help others crossing a similar painful threshold.

Warrior Mom Conference

Having a baby certainly qualifies as a threshold moment – both exciting and a little frightening. For a large number of moms, we go through another threshold – a painful one that comes in the form of a postpartum mood disorder.

For the longest time, I both buried the pain of postpartum depression and was buried by the pain. Ultimately, I asked for help, recovered and found that I could turn the pain into a platform, helping the thousands upon thousands of mothers who have a postpartum mood disorder.

So how incredibly moving to see close to 200 other women who have also chosen to rise above the pain of PPD and decide to use their darkest time to help others through theirs.

The Warrior Mom Conference is hosted by Postpartum Progress, a national nonprofit “working to vastly improve awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like postpartum depression, and to provide peer leadership and support for the women who have them.”

Warrior Mom Conference

I attended along with three other board members of Postpartum Support Charleston. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with similar organizations around the country, fellow PPD advocates and moms who had survived the toughest situation motherhood can throw at them.

I was particularly thrilled to hear about research being done that could dramatically impact PPD treatment. Finally, this illness is being given the attention it deserves. And it was heartening to hear about the efforts all over the globe to end the stigma of PPD.

Our board members returned with plenty of great ideas on how we can continue to help moms and families here in the Charleston area. We know what it’s like to go through the pain of PPD. We care, we see you and we support you.

Holly is a PPD survivor and former president of the Postpartum Support Charleston board. 

Look for social media posts about the conference via #WarriorMomCon