A Toastmasters story to warm your heart

A story shared by W Joseph Stegner

A snippet of Joseph’s poem. Link to the entire poem at the bottom of the post.

“Anne Moss Nimocks Rogers, I had occasion to share copies of your blog post, which includes “Be Like a Phoenix,” tonight, at San Leandro Toastmasters. A fellow artist within the club reached out on Facebook, expressing her need and request for help, with all the classic cues to the proximity of the edge she was on the verge of surrendering to.

Thanks to a friend and fellow Toastmaster, Stephen Dolgin, he saw the post and sounded the alarm, calling me to let me know our friend was reaching out for help, expressing thoughts of dying by suicide.

Within 14 minutes of her creating the post, I was able to reply

Unfortunately, by the time I hit send, she had deleted the post. I pasted my reply and support under another of her posts. While engaging other Toastmasters in the club, to rally their assistance, she called.

We talked for an hour. She was safe to cry and curse, and I validated her feelings. She promised to attend the meeting that night, and I lit up with joy and applauded when she arrived just as the meeting commenced. 

I performed the poem, You, Who Are the Voices, with prepared introduction read by the evening’s designated runner of the meeting. I made twenty one copies of your blog post, to accompany my “speech” and set one at each chair. Only four remained at the meeting’s conclusion.

Thank you for making the message all the more presentable and palatable. She was very grateful that we cared enough to put the effort we did into supporting her, and I believe her hope is restored. <3″

The entire poem Joseph read is here.


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Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and my book, Diary of a Broken Mind, will be published in the fall. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website

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