A friend introduced me to this incredible organization nearly a year ago and I am forever indebted to her and the organization! Patricia and other staff members helped me understand the depression and PTSD of the military sexual trauma I'd experienced and started the healing process I desperately needed.To continue my healing and help others do the same, I have volunteered for many of the program's supported by Patricia and the Starfish Foundation and find them to have impeccable integrity, compassion and a true gift for helping people deal with the toughest of situations with excellence and elegance!Because of my involvement with this organization, I am finding new joy every day and the courage to live life fully!
I have had the honor of being a volunteer for Healing Warrior Hearts and a witness to the program, designed specifically for veterans and the issues that they face. I have seen many veterans wholeheartedly speak of the quality of this program & I have seen it for myself. I am touched beyond words to have played my small part in what takes place to serve those who have Served.
Had it not been for the Starfish Foundation, I would not been able to experience the Taking It Lightly weekend. This resource was vital for me to experience personal and professional growth in my life. It provided me with essential maintenance for my life & I am so eternally grateful.
The Starfish Foundation, and the programs it sponsors, are Lifesavers. I was suffering from trauma that I didn't realize I had, but that was impacting my life very negatively. The taking it lightly weekend opened my eyes and heart to what life could be like. That was 15 years ago. I have since been happily married for 14 years, finished graduate school and have a professional job, and I couldn't of done it without the work and the volunteers in this program. I highly recommend it.
As founder and Chairman of the Board of Veterans for Diversity, Inc. I was involved with developing a retreat for veterans. After participating as a staff member and observer in a Healing Warrior Hearts retreat, I decided that rather recreating another retreat to offer financial support to Healing Warrior Hearts. I learned that the retreats were run by volunteers and no one received compensation from participating as staff or instructors. A registered therapist is in attendance to handle any issues that evolve from participants attending and having additional problems beyond the scope of the retreat. Also, I found the retreat very interactive between participants and staff keeping the classroom atmosphere to a minimum and allowing the veteran to open up and work on issues from their military service.
In developing a partnership, I approached the Starfish Foundation to see if this was a feasible solution to both organizations. Because they handle multiple programs they showed me how they separated funds that are designated for each program and how funds were distributed. Knowing funds would go to where they were designated we formed a working partnership to financially support the Healing Warrior Hearts Program.
Since the partnership, I have staffed and been a supervisor within the program. Members of our organization have both been participants and staff members during Healing Warrior Heart retreats. The retreats have been so effective that I have received emails and phone calls from VA staff members to learn more about how the retreats are positively impacting veterans, as veterans have been talking to them about the positive reinforcement the retreats have given them and how they feel better about their transition from military to civilian life.
To a veteran or military person having issues with survivor’s guilt, PTSD, MST or even solving couples issues from military service, I highly recommend Healing Warrior Hearts as a solution. For more information you can go to our retreat site at http://www.noveteranleftbehindusa.org .
This charity raises funds primarily touting their work with veterans, yet uses the bulk of their funding for scholarships at for-profit retreats that pay their founder and owner. She then uses the participants as volunteers for future retreats. While I do think both of these retreats have been and are helpful to many, I do find this business practice disturbing. They do not currently have a professional therapist on staff who is guiding these experience. While Patricia has many years doing these seminars, she is not licensed nor has any formal education for this work. Another participant ended up stalking me, and she did not assist me in getting him to stop, and in fact invited him to participate in another retreat where there were at-risk participants who were not warned. NOT okay.
The information in this review regarding the use of funding is inaccurate. Funds for veterans' programs is kept separate from funding for programs for other trauma survivors. The programs attended by trauma survivors do have a licensed professional on staff. The closing comments in this review are grossly inaccurate and we will gladly clarify if so requested. The only person who might "qualify" to make the closing comments denies having written this review.
Best thing I've done for my marriage and self. The ALL VOLUNTEER Staff is coming to us from a place of Love and acceptance! Long time trauma Survivors who have found a way to get up and thrive! I'm so grateful for each of them. I have seen my Daughter go through Healing Warrior Hearts and succeed. As well as my granddaughter's who did Taking It Lightly~Renewal. I am looking forward to Staffing in the future and watching many more lives be set free! I would encourage anyone who has healing to do, do the work that is necessary to find joy again!
I was a reluctant participant in a couple's weekend in Katy,Texas. My wife was already a graduate of a Military sexual assault (MST) Weekend and was volunteering as staff for subsequent weekends. We had both been struggling with PTSD as a result of her rape in the Marine Corps. During the course of the weekend I was able to feel and fully process the events that had affecting my life for 20 + years. A GIANT wt. was lifted and I felt closer to the person I used to be. I have since staffed myself to help others as I was so profoundly helped.
I am a Veteran and a mental health service provider who became acquainted with this organization through professional avenues. I went into it with the intention of staffing a weekend. Within the first few hours with the participants, I realized I was similar to them and had a need for further healing. I decided to participate that weekend instead of staffing. The weekend retreat was an incredible emotional release of pain that has been building up over the decades. I learned more about myself in one weekend then I have in months of counseling. Besides the emotional healing, I was connected to an incredible support system and a fantastic mentor. In fact, it has been two years since my retreat weekend and I continue to stay involved in Healing Warrior Hearts through volunteering at events and staffing other weekend retreats. I am about to complete my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with several years of experience with trauma treatment. This organization's work is comparable to anything I have seen!!
I was introduced to the Starfish foundation after volunteering for Healing Warrior Hearts in 2015. I was at a turbulent point in my life, and all of the amazing volunteers and programs the foundation offers have been life-changing. There is a sense of not just community, but family. I was able to participate in Renewal- A weekend of healing for sexual trauma victims. The Starfish foundation paid for the course, since I am not in a good financial situation. Thanks to the help of the Starfish foundation and the Center for Creative Learning, I feel more "me" than I even knew was possible. I have been given a new sense of hope and fallen madly in love with life, and learned to love myself. Lives are forever changed thanks to the foundation.
I went into this weekend with the mind set of it being a last ditch effort at finding something, anything that would help us. My husband was so far beyond skeptical i'm surprised he went. He was convinced it would be "lovey dovey hippy ish". But because we really want to make our marriage work, we decided to give it a go. I won't lie, i felt awkward & out of place at first, as did my husband. I wouldn't give anyone more than a hand shake. I did go into it with an open mind though, and was willing to go outside of my comfort zone & try things that have seemed to have helped so many people in the past. I did & said things i wouldn't have ever done or said. As did my husband. We left the weekend with a new love for each other. A more open mind, a fuller heart & hugging everyone!! It was truly amazing!
Also, we had to bring out four children to the hotel with us. I had a friend that came down to provide child care, but that didn't end up working out. The staff members saw the stress we had because of how uncomfortable we felt leaving out children with the childcare we had set up. They went out of their way to watch all FOUR of our children for us for the entire weekend. Our children were in great hands. They thoroughly enjoyed their weekend as much as we did. They formed bonds just like we did. We have since received a gift from two of the people who watched them. Which truly meant so much to me. It was a small meaningful thing that reminded them of our children. They also included our children in our graduation ceremony, which was amazing.
The people we met there were some of the sweetest, kindest, most supportive & most loving people i've ever met. To be surrounded by people that truly care about you, for not other reason than because they want to help you; that's a feeling unlike any other feeling in the world
I truly can not wait to attend another weekend. My husband will be attending one in just a few months & i am jealous. I also can't wait until we can staff a weekend & be the love & support for other couples like us.
Please give these weekends a try. Go in with an open mind. You will truly be amazed by how it will effect you, for the better.