Project Sanctuary & Exodus Partner Spotlight Part 2
“Project Sanctuary is where families reconnect.”
Where there is great need comes great responsibility. At Exodus, we are thankful for our freedom and our success and feel that it is important to give back. We actively support our United States military with our time and effort and resources because we wish to show our gratitude for their sacrifice.
Project Sanctuary is an organization that was established in 2007 to address a very big need within the military community. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 21 military veterans commit suicide each week. Armed with these statistics and so many others, Project Sanctuary works with whole families to begin the healing process and to promote new, positive memories to improve quality of life.
The following is from an interview we recently did with Heather Ehle about Project Sanctuary and partnership with Exodus Moving and Storage.
How Does Project Sanctuary Reconnect Families?
Project Sanctuary is the first organization to offer services for the whole family that gives them the time they need to really heal. Many other workshops exist for a couple days at a time. But we have found that after several months or even years of missing a loved one, it requires more than just a few hours to reconnect. Families need time to address the many issues and hurts that have come as a result of their separation. So we take 5-10 families to a YMCA facility in the Rockies for 6 day retreats. We create recreational activities designed to help each family member to overcome emotional obstacles. We call this “diversion therapy”, creating new life affirming memories to replace natural feelings of fear and abandonment. In addition to hiking, fishing and skiing together, we also offer healthy marriage classes and financial education seminars. We balance the practical and the fun which his gives the whole family time to heal together. War is a very serious thing but you would be amazed at how much bonding can be done around a camp fire over smores.
How does Exodus help Project Sanctuary?
Because we are committed to each family that we serve for two years of follow up, we do more than just provide retreats. We become a consistent support for their most important needs. Unable to do this alone, we require many layers of support in the community so that we can help these military families in their most desperate moments. We need other businesses to do what they do best so that we can do what we do best. I first met Joel through a community Veterans Alliance. Soon after, a Gold Star family contacted us. With the convergence of their sons recent death in the line of duty and the mothers current health problems, this family was losing their house. Having nowhere else to turn, they called us when they had only two days to move. I called Joel and explained the situation. And with very few questions asked, Exodus came to the rescue, donating time, manpower and most of all sanity to a very difficult situation for these people. We greatly appreciate Exodus’ community spirit. Together we are able to pick up the heavy load when our military families cant.
What can people do to support Project Sanctuary?
Just to be absolutely clear, Project Sanctuary is not “pro war”, we are pro family. The political aspects of the issue are not our angle. As a nation, I think we have learned from Vietnam. We need regular people to get involved by sharing their time, money and love. I just spent this morning writing grants and I’m proud that People Magazine is about to do a full feature about Project Sanctuary. Most of all we are trying to get the word out there. The more opportunities we have to share what these families are going through, really going through, the more support we are bound to receive from those who want to say that you.
Project Sanctuary is a non-government funded, grass roots organization in need of your support. For more information about how to get involved please visit their website at