Most Friend's Group of the Week: PeeWee's Place
Share with us a little about you-- how long have you been a CafeMom member, and what does your screen name mean?
My name is Gail Vereen. I am a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. This December 5th will be our 40th anniversary. I am an avid animal lover! I have two wonderful little Chihuahua's. Pepper is my boy and Peanut is my girl. They are going to be parents around Thanksgiving! : )
I have been a Cafemom member I think for almost two years! My screen name is just my name in little letters - gailvereen. I found Cafemom when I was on MySpace. I saw advertisements about it and wanted to check it out!
Now, tell us a little about your group- how long have you owned it, and what made you start it?
I started a group called PeeWee's Place. We are a fairly new group. I started the group in April of this year. The reason I started it is I lost one of my best friends on June 22, 2009. His name was PeeWee and I had him for fourteen years. He died in my arms. We did everything together. Everyone knew who PeeWee was. I wrote a Journal called To My Angel Baby - PeeWee on the first anniversary of the day he died. It made it to #1! When I lost him, my heart was shattered not just broken, into a million pieces! I can't describe how bad I missed him! Besides my family, I couldn't find any support and I needed it so bad! So, I decided to start a support group for pet owners (not just dogs) that have lost their beloved friend and family member. That is what I considered PeeWee to be - a member of my family! He was my baby! That is what made me start the group.
Is your groups primary focus friendships?
Friendships is one of the primary purposes of the group! We are a very close knit group and drama free! Another primary purpose is reaching out to hurting people. I know how it feels to hurt. Once when I was at the Vets office, I saw a couple that had to have their dog put to sleep. They were devastated. I had no idea who they were but my heart went out to them and I had to go hug them and tell them how sorry I was.
What do you do in your group to encourage friendships to be made?
One of the things I do to encourage friendships to be made is to try and be a friend to all my members and in turn, they become friends with the ones that join. I have a forum especially to introduce new members. We welcome everyone that joins the group. I do my best to care about everyone and do not judge or condemn them - just love them! I also try to be as active as I can in the group.
What do you think your members take away from their group experience while they are a part of your group?
I hope my members take away from their group experience while they are in my group feelings that they are cared about, that they are not just another member. I consider my group to be more of a family than a group. I introduce the new members as a brand new family member, not a new group member!
Are there any other tips you would like to give a group that might just be starting out?
If I could give a new group just starting out any tips, it would be to care about your members, care about what they might be going through, how they might be feeling and that they are very important to you! Stay very involved in the group. Don't be an absentee group owner. Give them opportunities to express themselves. Just love and don't judge or condemn because you never know what your members might be going through. As the old saying goes - you can win more flies with honey than you can with vinegar! If someone feels cared about, they are more apt to come back. If they think no one cares, they will not come back!
This weeks Challenge:
Group Owner Challenge- Sister to Sister