Six years ago Brenda and I bought a pound of bacon, a dozen eggs, some fresh fruit and a gift certificate to a local restaurant to prepare for our first guests at David’s Refuge. We were filled with a mixture of apprehension, excitement, fear, and wonder. Would parents come? Would we accomplish our mission of “Caring for the Caregiver?” Would this one weekend really make a difference in the lives of these weary caregivers? Six years later with 279 families served, 475 weekend getaways provided, and with a goal of serving 250 families in 2017 the answer to these questions and many more are answered with an astounding YES! From our loss of David and the belief that God could bring good from this loss David’s Refuge was given birth.
The question, “Can one weekend really make a difference?” is still often asked. I wished I had space and time to tell you story after story of lives that are being changed, marriages that are being strengthened, and parents who leave believing that what they do matters, that they are loved by God and others, and that they are not alone. Here are three short snippets of the impact David’s Refuge is having:
“Words can’t even describe how thankful we are that you started such an amazing organization such as David’s Refuge. I think as parents of our kids, it is so easy to lose sight of us and pour all our energy and attention into them. But, you have brought that sight back to us. We have remembered this weekend why we fell in love and why we chose each other to share our lives together. You have shown us how important it is to take time out for ourselves, you have re-energized us as a couple. For that, we thank you! You are truly amazing people and are doing a truly amazing thing for couples like us! We needed this!”
“Thank you for another incredible weekend! It gave us a chance to take a breath and just be together…to hold hands, to laugh, to simply look at each other and remember why we fell in love nearly 10 years ago. We leave today not knowing where our journey with Hugo will take us, but knowing that we will always travel that journey together. Over the last four years David’s Refuge has become a beacon of hope, love, understanding and belonging. We are truly blessed.”
“Sigh, another peaceful weekend has passed reminding us of how important it is to care for the caregivers. Thank you for all that you and your team do to invest in the success of our relationships and the lives of our children. We pray for the growth and success of this ministry so that it can bless many more lives! We love getting to meet other families who walk similar but very different paths all out of love for another. Here we go back into the fray ready to move mountains and work miracles because that’s just what you do for fabulous kids like ours especially when we have fabulous people like you rooting for our success.”
As I read these stories and many more I am quickly filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the hundreds of people who have helped us accomplish our mission. From our incredible staff, our prestigious Board of Directors, our generous donors, and our selfless volunteers we are moving mountains and breathing hope into the families we serve. If you are one of these amazing people I want to simply say thank you!
Often people ask me, “What can I do to help David’s Refuge?” If you live in the Syracuse area let me give you one practical idea. On February 15th Brenda and I will be attending the Syracuse Auto Dealers Association (SADA) Charity Preview, one of the premier charity events of the year held at the Oncenter. We would love to invite you to join us. 100% of your ticket cost will be donated to David’s Refuge. You get to hang out with us and our team, get a peek at some of the new and beautiful cars, and enjoy some incredible food and drink. If you are interested you can get more information at SADA: David’s Refuge. Hope to see many of you there!