Thank you for your interest in providing a healing retreat for the women of your community who are widows. The Widows Tale Retreats are facilitated by Donna Marie Todd, who is a widow and a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®. They are typically sponsored by 2 -3 area churches as a collaborative, ecumenical event. The churches share the honorarium and expenses associated with the retreat and then receive a certain number of tickets for the widows in their church. Up to 30 women can attend each retreat, which gives each sponsoring church 10-15 tickets for their members. Women attending also pay a modest registration fee of $25-$50. It is very important for each woman to make a personal investment in the retreat. “Full scholarships” are discouraged.
The statistics on the number of women who need these retreats are staggering. Over 700,000 women are widowed in the US every year and the average age of an American widow is 57. (US Bureau of Census). Offering these healing retreats in your community is a way to support these women as they struggle to recover from the overwhelming experiences of widowhood and caregiving.
The retreat is fully inclusive with take-home materials and experienced retreat leadership. It is a fun and upbeat event filled with laughter and support. The retreats are designed for widowed women only who are at least 6 months out from the death of their partner.
This one-day retreat typically begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:30 p.m.
“The founder is an excellent presenter. The program is so well-designed.”
Donna, retreat participant
“It’s excellent and empowering!” Cappy, retreat participant
“What I liked was not only the sharing with other widows, which is SO wonderful, but also receiving the expertise of a grief professional and widow leader! Susan, Retreat Participant
Leadership Honorarium, Travel and Housing Details for Retreat Leader
The retreat honorarium is $1600. If your location is further than 100 miles from the Asheville, NC area you will need to provide overnight lodging for the retreat leader for the night before the retreat and possibly the night of the retreat as well. The retreat leader can be hosted in someone’s home (NOTE: This cannot be a retreat participant) or you can provide a hotel room. If your event is further than 250 miles from the Asheville, NC area, travel expenses (mileage or air fare) will also be required. When air travel is necessary (250 miles or further) you will also need to provide transportation to and from the airport in addition to overnight lodging.
Other Details of Sponsorship
The collaborating sponsors share in the honorarium and expenses for the retreat, provide the space and janitorial services for the event, the catered lunch, snacks and beverages. The retreat can be given for up to 30 women, with a minimum of 7 women. Remember that the women need to be at least 6 months out from the death of their spouse before attending. More newly widowed women are often in shock and still deeply grieving and are not ready to move forward.
Promoting Your Retreat
It is extremely important to actively promote the event directly to widowed women to ensure success. It is important to contact the women you know who need this retreat personally by phone or mail. The widows who attend are anywhere from 6 months to 24 years out from the death of their spouse so don’t think only of the newest widows in your midst! Most widows are fighting inertia, isolation and depression. Calling and writing them is a way that you can reach out and demonstrate your concern and offer them this healing experience.
To Learn More and Schedule A Retreat
To learn more about this program, why it was founded and what the retreats offer, visit www.AWidowsTale.com. Please listen to the audio interview on the AWidowsTale.com retreat page (with two retreat sponsors) about how they organized their retreat and what they felt the benefits to the women were.
When you are ready to provide the retreat, we will use a conference call to discuss the details (unless you prefer email). To arrange a call please email Donna Marie at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for caring so deeply about the women in your community!
I look forward to working with you.