I have wanted to get this post out for a couple of weeks, just finding the time!
Super, exciting things going on here! We’re having a blast! The Chattanooga Family Justice Center officially opened its doors July 1st. It was a great event with a huge crowd present. It was so refreshing to see such a great showing of support from the community, law enforcement and local and statewide leadership. FJC is such a great organization offering a plethora of resources under one roof to assist those trying to get out of battery and into a life of freedom. And, it’s all FREE!!
I am working closely with the Executive Director of the FJC, the new pastor of the new Cokesbury UMC, Chattanooga campus, and Executive Director and Public Relations Director of the Saving Angels Project to open an emergency shelter for people trying to leave abuse at home and start a new life. It’s work, but it’s so rewarding and purposeful. God has his hand in it all and opening so many doors for us!
Restoring Hope Network is an organization that was a vision of my brother, Andy, and our friend Pastor JR Thicklin, of West Palm Beach, FL. Together, the three of us have formed RHN. We have been working feverishly on it since mid-March. Restoring Hope Network is a network of faith based organizations committed to restoring hope and peace in families of domestic violence. Last night, we had our first invitational conference call! We spoke with folks from FL, NC, and TN! So exciting! Cannot wait to see what comes of it and excited to be able to offer an outlet for others to come together and collaborate on ideas and receive encouragement and support for their efforts.
Youth for Christ Chattanooga Chapter recently asked me to serve on their board which I whole heartedly accepted. I have discussed domestic violence with the Executive Director and his comment was “it’s rampant”. I wasn’t expecting that. It took me back a bit, but do recognize there is no color, no ethnic background, no financial makeup, no place of residency, and definitely no age limit that defines domestic violence. So, looking forward to see how all this will work out with the missions above and how we can in turn help these youth who are living in abuse at home.
Last and definitely not least; Andy is helping me to get my 501(c)(3) status! It will be an umbrella organization with more than one ministry falling under it. I am most excited about “The Douglas Fund”! The purpose of this fund will be to offer assistance to pet owners who otherwise could not financially face an illness like what I faced with Douglas. When he was first diagnosed with Lymphoma I was given a figure on what the chemo treatments would cost. I could handle it. It was everything else that came with it that added up so quickly. I know pet owners are faced with these situations and do not have the means to support it and often put their beloved furry family member down because of it. That should NEVER be an option. This organization will be available for financial support including, hospitalization, prescriptions, treatment, food products, toys, bedding, and hopefully grief counseling referral.
Never, would I have imagined the road my life is on. God is taking me to amazing places and purposes and I am meeting such beautiful dedicated people. The greatest part is that maybe, just maybe, it will make a difference in someone’s life. I may never know. I don’t need to know. I just need to keep answering the call. God is moving mountains!