“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
Sometimes the greatest gifts come from the most unexpected moments. A few weeks ago, a 9-year old little girl thanked me and said, “You know what? I love this place. I really love it.” She shared this with me after having shared the details of one of the most traumatic experiences in her young life, an experience that no child or adult should ever have to witness. Her words of gratitude have stuck with me ever since and are a reminder of exactly why we do what we do at Julie Valentine Center every day. What we do at JVC is not just a job, it is a calling and gift. When we hear the words of gratitude from victims and survivors, we are also filled with gratitude and joy. It seems strange to say that these interactions, under what are often such devastating circumstances, could bring about gratitude and joy. I can think of very few things that are more painful than the experience of child abuse and sexual assault, and the devastating effects that these can have on an individual, a family, and a community. At the same time, I can think of nothing that has taught me more about hope, joy, and love than my work with survivors of child abuse and sexual assault.
2021 has been another challenging year filled with so much change and uncertainty. We have seen and experienced so much pain, suffering, and loss with our clients, our families, our co-workers, our community partners, our community. As we work to make meaning of what we have seen and experienced, it is in moments like those I shared with a 9- year old girl that remind me that we have also witnessed love, growth, and healing.
Our work at Julie Valentine Center is some of the most challenging on a regular day. Add to that a pandemic and some of the largest funding cuts we have ever experienced and one might lose hope for the future. Fortunately, thanks to the incredible staff, board, community partners, volunteers, and supporters, we are not only surviving, but thriving. I am so grateful to be a part of Julie Valentine Center and to witness such incredible work being done every day. I am grateful for the opportunity to share in the healing journey of those who walk through our doors. I am grateful for a community that continues to support our work and continues to ensure that the doors remain open to those in need.
Thank you for your support of Julie Valentine Center.
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Contact Robin Longino at rlongino@Julievalentinecenter
This year’s Julie Valentine Luncheon will take you through the healing journey of five incredible Hometown Heroes. It takes incredible courage to begin the journey of hope and healing and as you will see, it is well worth the fight to the finish. Renee Shaw, Kira Hendricks, Anna Miller, KC Cox, and Cindy Robinson will share the power of hope and determination in the healing process. Whether you attend the luncheon as a supporter, a survivor, a family member or friend of a survivor, or an advocate for survivors, know that you are not alone. Survivors, know that you are believed and supported. Family and friends, know that your support is invaluable and that sometimes your presence is the most important gift you can give. Advocates, know that your work is making a difference and that sometimes our impact is measured in decades not days. We look forward to experiencing this healing journey with you.