Making a difference

San Diego ARC volunteer honored.

by Marlene Gerber –

Major Oliver Stenvick, ARC administrator, presents award to Joanna Wood, while program participants look on.

Joanna Wood, a volunteer at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in San Diego for 12 years, was honored recently at a reception recognizing her years of service. Major Oliver Stenvick, center administrator, remarked on the many lives she touched and thanked her for dedication to the betterment of women in recovery.

During those 12 years she has made a difference in the lives of women at ARC in San Diego. Starting out at the ARC as an intern while pursuing her master’s degree, she stayed involved with both individual and group counseling, presiding over the family lectures and teaching classes for the women in recovery. She became one of the most valued and committed volunteers in the rehabilitation program. It was a good fit for a person who has had a longstanding commitment to making a difference in lives of women who want a chance to live productive, fulfilling lives.

Through counseling and education, Joanna has seen how the women learned to take back control of their own minds so that rational and logical thinking can replace the voice of addiction. In the face of overwhelming loss—children, homes, jobs and more—experienced by the women she has helped over the years, Joanna marvels at the perseverance many have shown in their struggles to rebuild their shattered lives. She is a firm believer in educational opportunities that contribute to the women’s self-sufficiency. She stated, “I have a vision that all women see themselves as useful members of society, operating from a powerful context to create extraordinary lives.”

In his comments, Stenvick noted that Joanna has been nominated for the Soroptomist International, North Coast San Diego Chapter’s “Making a Difference for Women Award” in recognition of her service to The Salvation Army’s rehabilitation program.

“My 12 years as a volunteer at The Salvation Army ARC created a wonderful sense of fulfillment and pride in being part of this extraordinary organization,” she said as she accepted her award.

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