You Matter this Holiday Season!!!!
By Clara Reynolds, President & CEO
Last month, I wrote about gratitude, and while gratefulness is certainly appropriate during the holidays, I wanted to focus this month on another important theme - matterness.  Have you heard of this before?  I was new to the concept also, but it really struck a chord with me.  Matterness is the deep desire we all have to count, to be heard, and to be considered important as individuals (  I can't think of a better gift to give you, our incredible Crisis Center of Tampa Bay supporters, than to let you know how much your support matters, particularly during the holiday season.

You matter:
  • To over 450 families, like Maria and her two children, who will receive gifts and food thanks to your generosity.
  • To over 200 elderly and disabled people in Hillsborough County who will receive gifts delivered by Crisis Center of Tampa Bay staff and volunteers.  Ann is one of these people who lives by herself in Plant City.  Bedridden and alone, she told me last year this is the only gift she receives during the holidays.
  • To over 1,800 people who call us each week looking for help, hope and healing during their most vulnerable time.  One of these callers, Marco, was a Vietnam veteran who called us when he was feeling suicidal after losing his job and receiving an eviction notice.  Through our Care Coordination and Veteran Peer Support programs, Marco received daily calls and temporary, emergency assistance until he was able to connect with the VA for ongoing counseling and support.   
  • To over 500 sexual assault victims who come to the Crisis Center.  A mother recently brought her disabled son to us after he was raped by a trusted family friend.  The entire family moved from being victims to survivors of sexual assault because help was available when they needed it most.  
  • And finally, to the 876 clients of the Corbett Trauma Center.  Your support means that their trauma stemming from experiences of sexual assault, domestic violence, and physical and emotional abuse will be treated using evidenced-based, state of the art therapy.  It means that Michelle, who witnessed her mother's death and was suffering from intense post-traumatic stress disorder, will heal and move forward with her life.
This holiday season, I want to publicly thank each and every one of you.  It is because of volunteers like Barbara who is not only a volunteer Board member, but is also a volunteer sexual assault advocate.  Many times she has come to the Crisis Center in the middle of the night to be with a sexual assault victim only to leave at the end of the examination process to go straight into work.  It is also because of our donors, whose combined gifts enable us to fill the funding gaps we have across all of our programs.  We could not do the work we do without you!!!

Wishing you a holiday season full of matterness and meaning!