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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Storieswork

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Family Services, Human Services, Spouse Abuse Prevention

Mission: StoriesWork, founded in May 2000, promotes the unique use of folk story analysis in group and individual counseling, through skills-building workshops, consultations, educational materials, and online training for staff and volunteers who work with survivors of domestic violence. StoriesWork's educational web-site (storieswork.org), launched in October, 2000, is expanding to offer resource material and on-line self-study courses for domestic violence counselors. Our techniques empower abused women to gain greater understanding, reduce fears, build self-esteem, evaluate resources, and consider realistic solutions to difficult problems.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

StoriesWork shared interesting and discussion-oriented tales with a group of young ex-offenders and senior adults. The stories were short and very thought-provoking, and the staff did a great job of encouraging conversation after sharing the piece. The seniors walked away very happy to have participated and continued some of the discussions after the formal class.

Lance K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I used to assist in the presentation of the StoriesWork method to various groups. It is an amazing thing to watch. The process takes a room of reserved, reluctant people, and induces them to be engaged in dynamic dialog within a very short time. This is the same process that is helpful in providing the lever to activate the minds and the responses of the individuals in need that the process was designed to help.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

StoriesWork is a most unusual organization which has kept my interest for many years. What has impressed me most is the method of learning through storytelling, appropriate to so many subjects. I look forward to receiving the StoriesWork quarterly newsletter, The Seeing “I”. which brings new and exciting information - and especially fascinating stories. StoriesWork is unique in its contribution.

9

Donor

Rating: 4

As a manager and attorney, the materials on examples provided by StoriesWork helped me to be more effective in listening to what clients and subordinates were telling me, helping me to clarify issues and concerns, and identify problems and solutions. For me it opened a previously untapped resource.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

StoriesWork initiates dialogue about issues that are difficult for most people to talk about. By hearing and reacting to a folktale, people are able to express their thoughts about behaviors, attitudes, and situations in a safe way. I have seen absolute strangers walk into a room and, without really realizing it, go from discussing characters in a tale to discussing the community's role in preventing violence or how they understood the options of a woman in an abusive relationship or how two people can communicate better in parent-child or partner relationships. It is sometimes difficult for others to understand how this works until they participate in a workshop and see the magic of a storyteller and skilled facilitator. StoriesWork helps foster non-judgmental spaces that empower people to share their ideas. They key is often that the facilitator knows the right questions to ask and lets participants guide the discussion. Once you're in it, you don't want to leave, and once it's over you want to come back. This is a unique organization that can really make a difference in raising a community's awareness, unity, and empowerment to tackle issues in a safe but honest way--all steps that ultimately lead to change.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 4

StoriesWork provides various groups of people an opportunity to reflect on issues that concern them in a permissive atmosphere. After observing a group of correction workers I was struck by the insights gained as a result of their discussions of the stories. It is a useful tool. StoriesWork has perfected the methodology for use with specific groups: ( Abused women, adolescents, seniors, etc) Esta Thomas

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

StoriesWork is a remarkable service whose premise appears simple but whose effect yields lasting depth of understanding. Using a specialized collection of short, focused folk tales from cultures around the world, trained volunteers are able to elicit comments and shared conversation from populations who are not normally given to intimate discussion. I know the effectiveness of StoriesWork from being a member of a StoriesWork session and again in a volunteer training workshop and also being one of the consultants for a psychiatrist who was a co-leader for a workshop. I am a curriculum and training designer and without reservation I can say I have not encountered a program which could in a single afternoon provoke a shift in understanding and a lasting barometer for one's own behavior. Perhaps not inconsequentially, these workshops also provide a source of laughter and joy for its participants.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

StoriesWork is a non-profit helping empower women in abusive relationships. It provides training and support to caregivers and trains counselors in the use of folktales as a healing technique. I've seen how it works and its value as a technique with the groups it serves.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved because I have seen the effect Storieswork has had on people in trauma. There is no other program like Storieswork. It is important to open new channels for this work.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

StoriesWork is a unique program. Volunteer story tellers use folk tales to prompt discussion by participants about certain issues. The discussion is limited to the context of the tale. Participants gain insight into contemporary issues and their perspectives on those issues by discussing the stories. It works.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lenora Ucko has worked tirelessly over the past ten years to bring this concept of using folk stories to different groups to help them work through their issues. She has shown that no matter where they are from or how long ago it was, people are basically the same and have dealt with the issues of the human personality. This concept has been efffective in reaching across a broad band of the population. Being a not for profit, Lenora is constantly seeking funding to keep StoriesWork in operation as I see on a daily basis from doing the accounting. She relies heavily on volunteers and to my knowledge has never receive any compensation for her work. She is constantly adjusting her approach to reach differenct needs in the community. The latest approach is Child Obesity. Previous to that was abused women.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Having known and admired Dr.Ucko for many years I have been most interested in her inventive approach to using folktales to shed light on the personal experiences of individuals. This involves letting people work out their own interpretations of these stories and to see how they might apply to their own situation. This is done in a group context with lively discussions by participants, without preestablsihed conclusions or preaching. The method leads to self-discovery and insight without confessions or accusations. The results of this method have been found helpful both by a range of agencies and a variety of participants. This valuable work is in urgent need of support and most worthy of it. Erika Bourguignon, Ph,D.,Anthropologist,Professor emerita, The Ohio Sytate University

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thsi course was planned to help the students undertand their own life culture and to develop self-awareness, vital to professional social work skill and to human growth. Leanora Ucko was the mentor for the full-time faculty members who were teaching the course. Through this experience I came to appreciate her remarkable knowledge and caring.i got in touch with her when I heard about StoriesWork.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

StoriesWork is a groundbreaking organization pioneered by its founder and Executive Director Lenora Ucko. Using her impressive academic credentials, dedication to social justice and deep understanding of people she created a brilliant and highly effective concept for helping people who might otherwise not have been able to access needed social services. Beth Rabinove Her organization has an impressive track record and should receive national exposure as well as ongoing financial support for its mission.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was welcomed with open arms to volunteer with StoriesWork. I was on the business development committee and helped edit the official StoriesWork Interactive Storytelling Manual for training purposes. I have done research on grant opportunities and even represented the organization at the North Carolina Humanities Council Grant Award Winners meeting. I have worked with another volunteer in publicizing StoriesWork story telling sessions and hosting a table at the Alamance County Community College cultural fair. I have grown as a person during my experiences with this organization.