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Starfish Foundation Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Counseling, Mental Health, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: To raise funds for scholarships to assist individuals to attend programs for emotional healing, including providing programs for military veterans to heal the emotional wounds of war.

Target demographics: trauma survivors and military veterans

Geographic areas served: USA

Programs: Healing Warrior Hearts and scholarships to programs that aid emotional healing.

Community Stories

112 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Throughout 19 years of my association with the Center for Creative Learning and programs such as Healing Warrior Hearts, I am consistently amazed at the quality of the emotional intelligence work that they do there.

I have not only taken courses at the Center for Creative Learning, I have referred numerous individuals to their programs. I have seen first hand the efficacy the emotional growth participants in the Healing Warrior Hearts program have accomplished. Healing Warrior Hearts is making the difference in the veteran community. As the sibling and granddaughter of veterans I could not be more grateful for the work they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was living with shame, guilt and self-hatred, and I was stressing out everyone who lived with me. Since taking the "Taking It Lightly" course at the Center for Creative Learning, I have learned to be compassionate toward myself, which enables me to be kinder to everyone. Now I staff the "Taking It Lightly" course at least once a year. When the Starfish Foundation helps one person, like me, to heal, the healing actually makes the world a safer place for everyone that person encounters.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and I have never seen such a beautiful foundation to be a part of! I volunteer for healing warrior hearts. I got involved when my mom (a marines vet) and my dad( a navy vet) both volunteered to find themselves after some terrible events that occurred in their lives. I must say they are completely different people now, and we all volunteer! Not to mention my grand parents also attended the couples weekend and they loved it too! Multiple lives changed, and multiple friends gained!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about The Starfish Foundation through my Wife. She and I were both active duty military and both suffer from PTSD. My wife was a participant in a Healing Warrior hearts weekend and came back a changed woman. I reluctantly agreed to attend a couples weekend and I too have been able to process events that have haunted me for 20 plus years. We now both staff the organization and share the gift we were given to others.

Miranda C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Healing Warrior Hearts was introduced to my mother first. After her first weekend as a participant she became a volunteer soon after. That's when my sister and I were referred. I have been both a volunteer and client served at Healing Warrior Hearts. I first went through a civilian weekend back in December of 2015 for survivors of sexual assault. I had never experienced a group setting like this, with a sole intent of support & education. I was timid for the most part of the civilian weekend until I realized even my fellow participants were being as supportive as the staff. The weekend did so much good for me, I needed to come back to return the favor for upcoming participants.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Over the weekend events I have seen transformations which can only be described as miraculous. Patricia, and the other instructors are able to help participants address an array of battles; including toxic relationships, self defeating patterns, events that could be described as the worst day of their life, and many others. Their approach and tools are often used by other organizations, but the difference is their ability to intuitively understand how to apply the tool to help the participant heal. I would hope that anyone searching for answers would spend a weekend here in the Starfish community.

Johni B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is something incredibly magical about the Starfish Foundation. I attended my first Healing Warrior Hearts retreat (sponsored by the Starfish Foundation) in September of 2014, as a U.S. Air Force Veteran with military sexual trauma and a service-connected disability for trauma and anxiety. Before I attended this retreat, I walked through life with huge walls around myself, afraid that I would be hurt again. Since attending that first retreat, I've attended several retreats through the Center for Creative Learning, both as a participant and as a volunteer staff member. The Starfish Foundation provided a full scholarship for that first retreat and authorized my request for partial scholarships for two civilian retreats. I drive 700 miles round-trip on my own dime in order to stay connected to the programs which are supported by the Starfish Foundation because I believe in the work that we do on these retreats. We provide a safe space for emotional healing. We help people learn how to love and to be loved. We save lives, one beautiful starfish at a time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to the center in 2005 broken emotionally, I have taken several courses with the Center of Creative Learning and have grown after over 40+ years of trauma. They gave and continue to give me a place where I feel safe and accepted without judgement or criticism. I am now free to be me and be the master of my emotions and not live in the fear of trauma! The Center for Creative Learning saved my life, and saved my family!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I did Taking it Lightly through Starfish. It was a fantastic growth experience! I was able to work through an incident that happened as a child and it released some energy that was influencing all the years after. I am VERY grateful for finding The Center for Creative Learning. The experience has opened me up to allowing my feelings to be expressed in a safe way. And I am able to help others through their blocked feelings. I am always willing to help out at the Center so others can get the experience that they have given me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Starfish Foundation provides healing for individuals and military personnel. I have taken a course offered and it provided a tremendous benefit to me emotionally and was one of the greatest activities I have been involved. No cliche here, it change my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been an honor to volunteer for the Healing Warrior Hearts program. The program, developed and run by Patricia Clason, is so well organized and effective in transforming the wounded spirit. To see the transformation the veterans go through from the start of the retreat to the end is phenomenally rewarding. Walking in, their spirits are low and their hearts are guarded. By the end of the weekend, they have bright eyes and smiles and their joy is palpable. It's been such a rewarding experience for me to give back in this way to those who have sacrificed so much to serve this great country of ours.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mother and father are both Veterans and I was able to spend time volunteering as Staff to provide healing to people who have had the same experiences as my parents. It has helped me to gain insight into the environment that I was raised in and the similarities between other Veterans with PTSD and my Mom. This has helped me to understand myself and other people. Consider attending a Retreat. I have a very loving second family there

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I met Patricia Clason in October 2015 after being referred by my therapist to Taking It Lightly, with the hope that I would begin my journey of finding peace after being a victim of repeated childhood abuses. I was extremely nervous to attend the retreat; however, it wasn’t long before it became clear how much Patricia and her staff sincerely cared about the participants and the process. They provided a safe, confidential environment for me and the others to share our stories. I quickly felt immersed in a powerful energy of love, understanding, and patience. I left that weekend with courage and hope that the grief and shame that plagued my life could fade, and that healing was possible. Patricia is an amazing person who truly makes a difference in our community every day. The Starfish Foundation has helped hundreds of individuals, including veterans, through the Healing Warrior Hearts program, find hope, joy, and peace. Healing is a process, and now I truly believe I am worthy of the effort. As a result of my experience, I am honored to staff weekend retreats in order that I might help others find healing and hope too! Kudos and love to Patricia and the many volunteers who work tirelessly to make these retreats, and healing, possible!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

After doing my initial Retreat in Sept 2014 I have staffed all Healing Warrior Heart Retreats since then. I am the Vice President of the Starfish Board and I am forever grateful to the people who were there for me when I needed to find my joy! I will do whatever I can to help others. please consider this Community if and when you are ready to do the work that is necessary to find your joy.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience at Healing Warrior Hearts , (MST) was the most effective therapy I have done in 23 years. The Instructors and staff made me feel like I mattered, which is sometimes a struggle when in the throes of Depression. A Heartfelt Thank you to all for the hugs, love, support and for being so instrumental in my healing. Strongly recommended for anyone who needs to empty the " crap" collected over time and in all the years struggling with PTSD.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am forever grateful for the Starfish Foundation Inc. and the work it allows clients to do. For myself it allowed the healing process to begin and continue. I grew up in a highly abusive and violent environment having experienced real trauma. I have been part of the Center For Creative Learning family since my Renewal weekend in 2005. Sometimes I am the student and sometimes I am a volunteer each time pealing back a layer of the trauma. I found a safe place to process, a safe place to discover innocence and a safe place to be me. At the Center I learned a deeper personal value and worth. I am worthy of connection and have a sense of love and belonging. Because of the Starfish Foundation Inc. each time I drive the 300 miles one way, I am able to navigate my life with more love and less shame than the time before.

They say a picture is wroth a thousand words, the first one represents how I felt showing up at the Center in 2005. The second represents the freedom I now feel having done and continue to do the work that the Starfish Foundation Inc. allows it's clients to do.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

3 Ellen's P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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 .

3

Former staff

Rating: 1

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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patricia 08/31/2016

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.