Annual Report 2014

Significant happenings:

  • OEWO once again moved beyond Greenville County. I did workshops or simulations in Anderson, Pickens, and Beaufort counties as well as in Columbia, Roswell, GA. and Buffalo, NY.
  • OEWO continued to grow its relationship with the Greenville Health System by providing simulations, tours, or workshops for first year med students at the medical university, incoming residents, nursing residents, MED Ex, chaplain residents, and continuing education for administrators. AnMed Health System and Bon Secours/St. Francis also accessed some of the services of OEWO.
  • Universities accessed different components of OEWO: Furman, Bob Jones, and Anderson University’s School of Nursing.
  • Educators asked for poverty simulations and/or workshops. I worked with the Pickens County School District and schools in Anderson, Greenville, and Pickens counties, as well as the statewide New York Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the Imagine School in Columbia.
  • Civic groups engaged OEWO. Some of them were United Ways in Greenville and Anderson; Leadership Greer, Leadership Greenville, and Leadership SC; Greenville Women Giving; Americorps; Goodwill; and OLLI.
  • Congregations continue to want to learn using OEWO materials. I did simulations, workshops, and spoke with various groups throughout the year. I also preached in a number of congregations.
  • The poverty tour continues to be a significant connection to the issues of poverty for a variety of groups.
  • I added a parallel component to my work. I began researching issues of aging, primarily for myself. What I discovered was so powerful for me that I created Uncharted Journey, a process to look at transitions of aging through the lenses of loss, letting go, and growth. The materials lend themselves to discussion as well as to creative activities. I’ve worked with several women’s groups leading discussions. One group of women going through divorce contracted with me to talk with them about the transitions they were going through. I also met with another group on a monthly basis.
  • I participated in the Tent City Coalition to solve that issue.
  • And, finally, at a reception held in my honor and hosted by United Ministries, I was surprised and thrilled to discover that I’d been awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent by the State of South Carolina. And…I was chosen by a juried process to sell my books at the SC Artisans Center in Walterboro.

Reports on Books:

  • Understanding Poverty in the Classroom was purchased for all the participants in the New York ASCD conference held in Buffalo, NY.
  • Loving Our Neighbor resulted in an invitation to Roswell, GA. The book was also a major component of a workshop offered by Christ Church, “Answering the Knock on the Door,” for congregations in the Greenville area.
  • A Coat Named Mr. Spot has been well received by groups who have used it.
  • Conversations on the Porch has been used by a number of women’s groups for their Bible studies. It continues to generate interest. I especially enjoy doing readings from this book.
  • More Conversations on the Porch, a follow-up book to Conversations on the Porch, was released this year. This book has twelve chapters plus a bonus chapter. Each chapter is longer than those in the first book. The questions are geared specifically to each chapter. The publisher is iUniverse.
  • Angelika’s Journal was released this year. The book is an adult study with twelve chapters. Each chapter shares excerpts from the journal kept by Angelika, a young girl whose family dealt with homelessness. Further information along with discussion questions follows each chapter. For example, information about hunger, where one can find more resources, and questions about hunger in one’s own community follow the journal excerpt where Angelika writes about her own hunger. The publisher is Avenida Books. I have enjoyed sharing readings from this book.
  • Refrigerator Prayers for Ordinary People was released this year. It contains 365 prayers. Its publisher is Noon at Night Publications.


  • During 2014, I made the commitment to begin a blog (found on the website) and to use social media. OEWO is on Facebook and Twitter and also has a new website,  OEWO has new handouts.
  • I appeared on Niteline.
  • I wrote 3 guest editorials in the Greenville News and one for the Greenville Journal.

The Actual Numbers 2014


Event Number of Events Number of Participants
Understanding Poverty in the Classroom 4 136
Servant or Sucker 5 180
Poverty Tours 38 400
Poverty Simulations 21 821
Loving Our Neighbor 7 196
Other/customized 24 450
Volunteers 565 hours


Report for 2007-2014

Event Number of Events Number of Participants
Understanding Poverty in the Classroom 52 1884
Servant or Sucker 47 1696
Poverty Tours 274 3540
Poverty Simulations 124 4988
Loving Our Neighbor 41 1359
Other/customized 262 7497


NOTE: Our Eyes Were Opened began in 2007 while still under the umbrella of United Ministries. It became an independent corporation in May 2012. I still do some contract work for United Ministries, such as supervising summer interns.



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