Barbara Comito, Marketing Director

Recent Posts

Renewing Her Mind

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Mar 13, 2019 9:29:42 AM

Before coming to the UGM Center for Women and Children in Coeur d’Alene, Nikki Downs was in jail. Her infant son had been taken by Child Protective Services, and her teenage daughter was living with her sister.

Today, Nikki is nearing completion of the LIFE Recovery Program, has both her children living with her and is doing her business practicum at the Kroc Center. She has been sober from alcohol for six years and clean from meth for 18 months.

Nikki speaks clearly about the reason for the change in her: “My personal relationship with the Lord and the fellowship with other people, but mainly, getting into the Word, reading what it says and applying it to my life. I find joy in that, and that’s very new.”

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Hospitality to Strangers

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Feb 27, 2019 9:54:00 AM

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. - Hebrews 13:2

Patti and Kris are the women behind Encouragement Ministries – an endeavor that is equal parts detective work, prayer and paying it forward.

The ministry was birthed out of equal parts tragedy and love.

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Overcoming Obstacles to Fight Homelessness

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Feb 13, 2019 1:54:15 PM

What in the world do the Union Gospel Mission and an extreme Spartan race have in common? 

Jonathan Bonetti.

Jonathan is a husband and father. He is the Ministry Operations Director for Redemption Spokane, a church on the corner of Division and 2nd Avenue – smack dab in the middle of Spokane’s homeless crisis. He loves UGM, and he’s training for an Ultra Spartan race in Kimberley, British Columbia on July 13. Jonathan wants to use his training and competition to raise awareness and funds for UGM.

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Recovery Changes People.

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jan 24, 2019 2:33:07 PM

...and not always just the people you think. 

“In the interviewing process for potential staff, I always communicate that if they choose to accept employment at the Union Gospel Mission, the person who will grow and change the most will most likely be them” – JoAnn Zajicek, Director, UGM Center for Women & Children.

Linda Cook, Community Engagement Coordinator for the UGM Center in Coeur d’Alene, has an ambitious goal: “enrich the life of everyone in the community who partners with us.” Linda is convinced that UGM doesn’t just change the residents. It changes everyone who takes the time to engage.

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Death and Christmas

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Dec 28, 2018 2:56:53 PM

My dad died on December 12 of this year. His death was by no means a tragedy. He was 89 years old, had lived a full, meaningful life and died surrounded by people who loved him. It was, as deaths go, a good one. He knew Jesus as his personal Savior and must now be either sitting at his feet surrounded by the best version of easy listening or playing endless innings of heavenly baseball. 

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Gratitude by the Moment

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Oct 25, 2018 4:59:36 PM

Generally, I think of myself as a grateful person. If you asked me, are you grateful? I would most likely respond, “How could I not be? I have a devoted, attentive husband of 35 years and four adult children who live close by and still seem to enjoy spending time with us. I live in a comfortable house surrounded by books and more books. Out my door is the beautiful Inland Northwest. I can walk to the river or hike through Ponderosa pines. I have good friends, a meaningful job. Who wouldn’t be grateful?”

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Elizabeth: Under a Shadow

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Sep 12, 2018 6:41:10 PM

I came to Anna Ogden Hall in May 2017, just so broken. I didn’t think I could get more broken. I was like no smile at all. I would cry all the time and triggers every five minutes. It was getting pretty ridiculous. I didn’t think this program was right for me at first. I would tell staff, “I don’t know. I think you got the wrong girl. I don’t have a substance addiction.”

My addiction was people pleasing. I became the queen of people pleasing, but even as I was pleasing and pleasing, it never felt good enough, and I was on this constant mission of trying to fix my family.

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Beauty from Ashes. Literally.

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Aug 8, 2018 10:27:52 AM

Two years ago, UGM Women’s Recovery at Anna Ogden Hall became a non-smoking program and facility. Lots of discussion, work and ongoing challenges have been involved in that decision, but this post isn’t about that. This post is about the cigarette-butt-filled, slug-ridden "smoking area" that was abandoned when the change was made.

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Defining Toughness

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jul 25, 2018 4:10:18 PM

Ben Riggs knows tough.

A former Marine from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment, Ben was a soldier’s soldier, part of a “grunt unit,” infantry, “tip of the spear – the front units, the ones that go in very first, like dropping out of helicopters – special operations capable.”

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Recovery from Abandonment

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jun 27, 2018 4:23:34 PM

Stephanie sums up her childhood in just a few phrases: “A lot of broken promises, fighting, a lot of neglect, never being told I love you. No affection or encouragement from either parent. No stability. No structure. No safety. I was on my own.”

Stephanie’s parents were both addicts. Her mom hoped Stephanie’s birth father would marry her when she got pregnant, but he didn’t. “When my dad didn’t want to be with her anymore, she hated me for it. She was trying to save the relationship and it backfired, so she held that against me.

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