Monday, May 11, 2009

News Worth Waiting For...

At the recommendation of the site committee, the Three Trees Board completed negotiations and signed a lease on April 2, 2009.

We have a new location!
(effective mid-summer; see below)

Where is it? It’s in Countryside Office Park (9415 East Harry, Ste. 501), which is just southwest of Harry and Webb Road.

What was the process to find the space? The Board appointed a site committee shortly after the fire. It’s been led by Board member Jerry Jones with a lot of assistance from Patrick Ahern. Rounding out the committee was Allan Dunne, Ross Way, Ron Bretches, and Jim Hattan. Jerry’s committee conducted a small survey of volunteers, families and staff to learn what people wanted in the space. Then they used the input as guidelines in their search. They considered many properties throughout Wichita, narrowed the list, visited a few, narrowed the list again and ultimately recommended Countryside Office Park location.

What’s it like? The office has 2,990 sq ft (about 500 sq ft more) and is laid out as a rectangle rather than an “L” configuration like we had before. In addition to six rooms for the age-appropriate groups, there is also a large community/work room, a craft storage room with shelves from floor to ceiling, separate storage areas for office and kitchen supplies, a library/office, two restrooms (yes inside our office) and access to a grassy area behind the office. Oh, there is plenty of parking, too.

When do we move in? This will happen in two stages. First, the space needs some modification to better fit our needs. The building owner is coordinating this construction which we anticipate being done mid-May. Then stage 2 starts – making the space look like Three Trees. This will take place mainly over the summer. Our ultimate goal is to be moved in and ready to go in August, just in time for the start of our fall groups.

Who’s making the space look like Three Trees? An interior design committee led by our co-founder Katie Frank will be coordinating the interior. Other’s on her committee include Georgia Ahern, Gay Dalhke and JoVeta Wescott. I’m sure they will need volunteers, so if you’re interested in helping please let me know. In addition, we have a site fundraising committee who goal is to raise the funds needed to set up the new place and implement our program during the next five years. Russ Meyer, III is chairing this committee. He’s being assisted by Joan Moore and David Wheeler right now and possible a few others as we go along.

We are so appreciative to all the people who have helped sustain the organization since the fire. Thank you to those providing input to the site committee about our needs and others who were so diligent in securing this space. Thank you to Dunne Equities, Eastminster Church and Ed Lincoln for providing office and group space to us during the interim. Thank you to all our friends and families for your patience, understanding, support, advice, determination and your overall belief in our mission. You all are the best!

For further updates on the progress of the remodel including photo’s please remember to check our blog periodically ( There you will find the most pertinent Three Trees news and maybe get a few laughs and/or inspiration too.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Share Memories from Building 800

It has been brought to our attention some people may grieve the loss of our old space (Building 800) and the wonderful memories made there. In light of this we would like to invite you to share your memories here on this blog. By sharing with each other healing can occur and a few smiles, chuckles or tears would probably be good for all.

I hope you'll take some time to share your favorite memories and comment on what others share, too. It's easy to do. Just click the "comment" link available with each blog entry (see below.)

We look forward to using this blog forum for such dialogue. It's also possible some of these memories may be used in a special way to commemorate the old while welcoming the new as we transition to our new place. Thanks in advance and happy blogging!

Update from Jeri

All of us at Three Trees are still plugging away with activities related to the fire and our “rebuilding” efforts. While it’s natural to assume (and want) progress to be made quickly, this is not the case. The reality is situations such as ours move slow and take a lot of time. I certainly wish it were different, but it's just not.

The good news is progress is being made and I hope to be in the position to share more news with you soon. In the meantime, I do have a few updates.

The Board decided to not pursue moving back into Building 800. This decision comes at the recommendation of the site committee, who in turn gathered input from volunteers, families and current and former staff. This will allow us to find a bit bigger space and one with a layout better suited to our needs.

In preparation of securing a new site, it was decided to appoint two committees to assist with our “rebuilding” efforts. One is an Interior Design Committee and the other is a Site Fundraising Committee. Katie Frank will chair the interior design committee and will be joined by Georgia Ahearn, Gay Dalhke and JoVeta Wescott. Russ Meyer III will lead the site fundraising efforts.

As soon as space is secured I will share the news. At that time we’ll start work to make it “our own.” We anticipate renovation will take a few months or so and we’ll be in our new space sometime this summer. I’m sure some kind of celebratory open house will take place at that time.

Thanks for your continued support and belief in our work. I’ll be in touch soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Note From Jacqui

Hello to all our wonderful volunteers!

We had our first Mini-training for facilitators this Saturday morning and eight of you were able to attend. Helen did a great job of informing us, listening to us, and allowing for some connecting and communicating between Facilitators. Some concerns were shared and some sadness for the loss of Building 800 was voiced. I look forward to more time together at our next training March 21.

I hope that each one of you knows how much you are appreciated by everyone at Three Trees. I am the lucky one who gets to be with you as you help our families but be assured every staff and Board member is appreciative of everything you do for Three Trees. I will let you know what is planned for our next permanent home as soon as I know. It just takes time to get everything in order. The Board's Site Committee is working hard for us.

Watch this space and thank you, each one of you for everything.

Your Program Coordinator,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Temporary Home!

The new year started with some very good news: we have a temporary home!
7309 East 21st Street, Suite 240

This office will allow us to get our groups and our administrative offices back under one roof. It will also give us time to find the right space and get it fixed up to be the warm and comforting place we all want for Three Trees. We anticipate being at this location for a few months.

Right now we’re in the process of finalizing arrangements with the building management and getting furniture in place. Next Monday we’ll move in craft supplies so we can start doing groups. Monday Night Re-Connect meets this coming week and our first Mending Lives group starts on Tuesday. Administrative functions will move within the next 7-10 days. In the meantime, we’re still located at Dunne Equities…three buildings to the west of our location in Tallgrass Executive Park.

A very special thank you to the building owner and management. Not only are they allowing us to office there free of charge, but they are letting us use some furniture they have in an on-site storage room. Thank you Ed!

If you come to visit us or perhaps are attending a group session, please park on the south side of the building. If you are coming in the evening you will need to enter the west door as it remains unlocked until 8:30 p.m.

A Word from Jacqui, our Program Coordinator

Since the fire at our building we have been working hard to maintain the quality of our Groups and to create the same safe atmosphere that we have had for the last eight years at our Three Trees building. Our gratitude runs deep for everyone who has made that possible.

The holiday celebrations are over for another year and we are looking to the future and to what the Year 2009 will bring. The world can feel like a very unsafe and insecure place sometimes but there are always ways of picking out the strands of hope, promise, healing and joy. They are there. Be around people who can point them out to you. Find them for yourself. Believe that they are there for you.

In our busy world it is often hard to find the time for self reflection. As you approach another New Year I urge each of you to claim a piece of time to ask yourself:

“How do I keep my spirit alive? How do I listen to my heart? How do I appreciate the good, the beautiful and the truthful in life?” ~ Alan Wolfelt.

It is also a common theme with our volunteers that they know how important it is to stay emotionally and physically healthy but….
Finding the time for rest and relaxation can be a challenge but can prevent a myriad of ailments. How many of you know that already? Come on, you know who you are! Do you remember the joy of being childlike?

As we ‘grow up’ we can leave behind healthy childlike ways of having fun and dreaming our way through the day. Find them again. Watch a child laugh and play. Laugh out loud with a child. Children can re-teach you; lead you back to your childhood joy. Can you find the time for this?

Happy New Year to you all. ~ Jacqui