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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

148 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

The healing and insight I experienced in the Healing Warrior Hearts weekend retreat was so transformation that I have participated in every type of event The Center of Creative Learning has offered in the last 2 and a half years since I discovered it! I'm now known for saying, "We have a weekend for that!" because Patricia Clason, her instructors and volunteer staff provide "the space" and empathy for the full, free and safe expression of all emotions associated with whatever trauma a person is dealing with and the unique expertise to guide them through it!Guided by integrity, the focus remains on doing everything with excellence and elegance! Patricia models that through transparency that inspires everyone involved to do the best they can and not beat themselves up when we don't get the results we were hoping for which empowers us to continue our journey to be our best!That same integrity shines in how Patricia is an incredible steward of the resources that are shared with her to advance this emotional healing work! I continually witness her being frugal with donations and expenses while being generous with people!Everyone should experience a program with Patricia Clason at The Center for Creative Learning! Come for the emotional healing, the hugs or the personal and professional development that you cannot escape while in her presence!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a non-profit Executive Director for over 30 years. In addition to serving others as a vocation, I have been personally fulfilled by doing the same thing, During COVID I was unable to give back to the community.
There was an opportunity to volunteer during the holiday season with the Healing Warrior Hearts’ Operation Grateful Giving through my employer, It filled my soul to help others and was particularly meaningful during the holiday, for veterans, and after having not been able to do so for 12 months.
Until I received a call about the Starfish Foundation, I had no idea who they were. I was embarrassed as a non-profit professional I had not heard of them before. I was delighted to learn about Starfish Foundation and hope to work with them in the future.
I want to personally thank them for their support of this charity and so many charitable organizations throughout the country.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended Healing Warrior Hearts in January of 2021. It was recommended to me by a fellow woman veteran. I had experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST) which seemed to be a cause of many issues within my military and civilian professional career as well as my personal life. Due to COVID this retreat was cancelled, post-poned, and rescheduled but I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I had been working on my healing through one on one counselings, attending a crucible support group weekly, as well as looking to God for months while I endured over a year long military sexual assault investigation and a VA disability claim. This retreat truly came at the moment I needed it most. It was remarkable to attend just a weekend retreat and yet feel so much love, support, and enormous amounts of tools and resources. I can't express enough what this organization and group of people did for me. We did a role play and it allowed my deepest feelings and emotions to escape in a safe and caring environment. We put the work in and I was exhausted due to the mental work but boy did my shoulders relax!!! That heavy heavy backpack I had been carrying around for years was finally taken off and emptied. I was able to face the trauma and move forward. Even after the retreat I had my sponsor reach out and check in. We also met as a group a couple months later just to see where everyone was at. Veterans tend to retreat and isolate themselves, this was a great way to ensure noone felt alone and was reminded of the healing that took place and that we were all important and had a bright future ahead. We just had to go after it. Thank you Starfish Foundation Inc for providing an avenue of positivity and healing. You have and will continue to save lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been described as a professional volunteer since my kids started school. So when my best friend whom I consider a sister asked for help with Healing Warrior Hearts and Starfish foundation. I couldn't say no!! Many of my family members are military veterans and knowing what they endured in the military made me more motivated to help them out. I started helping with Silent Auctons at events like the Poker Run. I was honored to donate my time and efforts collecting items and assembling baskets. I was always looking for new ideas to help them earn funds to provide free retreats for veterans. We loved joining in on Chritmas eve to assemble and distribute gifts to the Veterans hospital. To have the opportunity to Thank our military for their service is so rewarding!! My family and I were honored to be invited to a Graduation ceremony to witness this event leaves you breathless. To see our veterans healing touches your soul. I cant Thank Patricia enough for her dedication to our veterans and keeping this organization going. I look forward to many more events and helping however we can!

Jay P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm Jay Justham, and though I'm not in the Military or a Veteran our best friend Michelle is. She is involved in Healing Warrior Hearts under the Starfish Foundation Inc.. When she came to Heather and I for help with the silent auction and other fundraisers we were honored. We didn't think twice to volunteer and donate some of our time to help raise some much needed funds.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I took my weekend classes, I was engaged and encouraged to break the barriers that were hindering my ability to feel and understand my emotions. Being able to share my experience with others and see their experiences helped me to feel more normal. The connection I made with other students has been an eternal connection. I feel blessed every time we see each other.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have taken several classes that they have available and have seen great improvement in my view of the society around me and my role within it. I am now able to receive people in where before I used to be closed off. I am enjoying life much more than when I started on this journey in 2016. Since taking the classes I have also been an assistant on many classes and that has allowed me continued growth and the ability to not regress.

Client Served

Rating: 5

There is a question non-veterans ask that I really hate: "What was it like?" I have no satisfactory answer to that question. My war wasn't like anything in your civilian experience. Heck, my war wasn't like anything in anybody else's war. Even if you're a Vet, you weren't there at the same time or in the same place.

Healing Warrior Hearts is not a place where they ask that question. Oh, they'll ask you questions, and you won't be able to answer all of them at first. Turns out that sometimes the questions we take back with us are more important than the answers we fire off quickly. HWH is a place where not only will they listen to you, they will hear you. Yes, you will be heard, in some cases for the first time in your life.

And that can be pretty cool.

Vietnam Vet
Graduate of the Bamboo Bridge 2002 (predecessor to HWH)

Previous Stories
5

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have been a part of Vets Journey Home since its inception. I first participated in The Bamboo Bridge in May of 2002, when I finally realized that even though I had escaped my tour in Vietnam physically unscathed, I had not escaped emotionally unscathed. Bamboo Bridge helped me begin my healing journey. So I continued it by, among other things becoming a volunteer and staffing weekends to help others and continue my own healing work. Later, when Bamboo Bridge transitioned into Vets Journey Home, I made the transition as well. I have witnessed and experienced much emotional healing at VJH weekends and seen many a wounded warrior from wars as diverse as Korea and the current conflicts (as well as those in between) find a measure of peace and reconciliation with themselves and others over what they had done and what was done to them by war. I plan to continue this work as part of my healing. Beyond what I have written here, words cannot express how valuable I believe this work is for a returning veterans from humanity's wars. It needs to continue until all wounded warriors have experienced it. In the military, we have a code that includes not leaving fellow service members behind in combat zones. What many outside the society of veterans do not realize is that this obligation remains with us till the day we die. When a brother or sister has not yet emotionally come home from her or his war, we still need to be there for them, find them, and help them to come home.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband I are both Army retired vets. We attended the Healing Warrior Hearts program last year. Upon arrival, we were a bit uncomfortable and questioning if we should stay or even come back the next day. I'm so glad we did! We learned so much about each other and ourselves. We learned how our brains respond to trauma and that we can, with time, control our reactions and behaviors to past experiences and triggers. The others in our group have become more than acquaintances. They have become friends; battle buddies. We all made ourselves vulnerable, and open to needing and accepting love and support. I will never forget the memories made that weekend. Thank you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

These programs offer a safe space for people with PTSD to be held, to express feelings, to fall apart and others will not give up on them or go away. They offered a lot of knowledge without making a clinical diagnosis which helped me to understand what was happening for me and what I could do for myself and in this community to build a better life.

corey2280

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Starfish Foundation along with Healing Warrior Hearts is amazing! I can't say enough good things about this program. This isn't something offered anywhere else the VA doesn't do what these people(all volunteers) do. Pat along with her staff took us on a journey to healing our relationships and ourselves. I was able to talk about PTSD and what it has done for the first time since getting out of the military, I was able to communicate with my spouse on a level neither of us has ever explored until now.

I feel that the word needs to get to veterans and trauma survivors more so this group can help as many as possible, it's still a secret so I tell everyone who will listen about my experience. Im not a big hugger, the instructions you get may seem a little cheesy but have faith everything they ask of you has a reason. sign up NOW!!

1 Barb R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I help out as a civilian on the Healing Warrior Hearts weekend and on social media. They do amazing work to help our warriors with invisible wounds. I've seen beauty and healing; blossom and thrive from the work that these volunteers do. No veteran will be forgotten and all are welcomed home. This is a safe place to regain the pieces that you thought were gone forever.

2 Peter60

Client Served

Rating: 5

Allows veterans with different issues/problems to get together with other vets, when it would otherwise be too difficult or unsafe. It's always been a wonderful experience even though every event is always "different". Honestly these events allow us to blow off some steam, the right way.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have no words to apreciate Healing Warrios Hearts Program, for so many years I was faiting my self with my pass and was no able to comunicate to my wife abd my family , but after the retreat was a life change.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

After coming home from Iraq, I wasn't the same. I realized I had a n issue in 2008. I entered various VA Programs; but, never seemed to feel better.

I lost my 1st Service Dog in 2013 and spiraled. This sent me into numerous Residential Programs. Around 2015, I went through the Healing Warrior Hearts Program as a Participant.

The VA works with Emtional and Spiritual Issues; however, they DO NOT work with the moral injury of war. I got more out of this weekend in one weekend than all the time spent in the VA.

I received a 2d Service Dog which changed my life. I Staffed the Healing Warrior Hearts Program after my first as a Participant. Then, continued to go as a Participant and Staff.

This is the best Veteran's Program I've ever been to as it works with the Emotional, Spiritual and Moral Injury of war. In addition, it has a Native American twist when dealing with releasing energy.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

WOW! What an exceptional program. Healing Warrior Hearts provided me with an opportunity to bond with other veteran woman and do much-needed work to clear what had been holding me back for more than 20+ years. I am grateful for the experience, and the tools provided to sustain the work accomplished.
thank you thank you thank you!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

HWH has helped me to learn the skills to continue my journey of healing. I will be referring people to the program.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a new Staff Member, I have been welcomed into this group and community with open arms. As of yet, I have not gone through as a Participant and still every time I learn something new to better my life.
As a recent transplant to the area and I have made friends in this group that has expanded to other parts of my life. All Members of this organization are growing to be my chosen family. For that, I will be forever grateful

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Mojisola Edu and I am a female disabled Army veteran. I suffer from PTSD via MST. I entered the Healing Warrior Heart's headed by Patricia and her staff. I didn't know what to expect but, my mind is completely blown away by the care and service they provided me. They catered to me and the other female veterans. I suffer from anger issues and depression and they helped me to change my thoughts. I was able to overcome some issues I had been dealing with. I was also able to get better sleep than I ever had before. I am grateful to Patricia and her staff. I would recommend this program to anyone. All veterans should experience this program. Sincerly, Mojisola Edu Happy Army Veteran

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am an Iraq war veteran. Patricia Clason and Chris helped me overcome many of my traumas with their unique approach. It works and I can't think of a single thing that is wrong with the program.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board and fundraising committee member, my greatest reward is seeing our efforts come to fruition in the classes and workshops that the Starfish Foundation helps to support.
I see how each member of the board and fundraising committee is dedicated and willing to step forward and work together for a great cause. We all volunteer, on some or many level/s, at The Center for Creative Learning.
The Starfish Foundation has a great working team that wants to reach as many people as possible and truly help trauma survivors.
I am proud to be a part of an awesome team that has a passion for serving our community and the every person The Center for Creative Learning has touched.
I look forward to continued success and being a part of helping other trauma survivors find their joy and relief in emotional healing as well as being a board and fundraising committee member!



Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being a part of the weekends has been life-transforming for myself and my family. Unity, safety, and trust are developed here as well as tools to continue to develop in your own personal life. The tools you are given to work with leave you lifted, inspired, and energized to continue working on your innermost self and what is holding you back. Creating a safer world to share with others is truly empowering. The best part is that when you are a part of this organization, you are truly a family member for life.

1 akloken

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have nothing but amazing things to say about the Starfish Foundation and the opportunities that come with it! I immediately felt stronger and at peace with myself after walking out of the Taking It Lightly program. This weekend was exactly what I needed to get out of my comfort zone (in a safe, judgement-free environment) and make peace with the different areas I was struggling in. It's changed my life and it can absolutely change yours if you let it!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

With the help of the starfish foundation, I have been given the opportunity to heal parts of me I had forgotten about. I was able to gain a greater perspective and add that value to my children. I am thankful for the opportunity I was given.

2 Tiffany Koehler

Client Served

Rating: 5

Healing Warrior Hearts has forever changed my outlook and calmed me in a good way. From the weekend retreat I participated in I keep finding myself with new insights and a new found energy. Yes it takes a lot to drag around the pain from day to day, from year to year.

Healing Warrior Hearts truly gave great gifts freely, unconditionally and from their hearts.

If you are a fellow Veteran looking to heal from invisible wounds of your military service, I highly encourage you to sign up for one of their weekend retreats. You will not be disappointed!

Again thank you Healing Warrior Hearts for taking the time to care for us. I deeply appreciate the healing space among fellow Veterans and staff that support us.

Like the song Home says... Settle down, it'll all be clear, Don't pay no mind to the demons, They fill you with fear, The trouble it might drag you down, If you get lost, you can always be found, Just know you're not alone, 'Cause I'm going to make this place your home.

God bless you Healing Warrior Hearts!



2 aduncan511

Client Served

Rating: 5

My life was changed at my first weekend, despite my bad attitude! It continues to improve every time I interact with people from this great organization- as a volunteer, a staffer, or participant. Patricia has incredible insight and doesn't let you hide behind protective walls we've built our whole lives. Thank YOU HWH!!!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was an attendee and am now a volunteer. Attending Healing Warrior Hearts got me started on the healing path, after 40 years of personal abuse and military sexual trauma. I wish I had know about this sooner and started younger but it's never too late! or too soon! Give yourself this free gift and start enjoying life and relationships again. You deserve it!?!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a mental health professional with almost 30 years experience treating trauma and emotional pain, I can say with absolute certainty that this program and organization are top of the line. I've been involved with the work of the Starfish Foundation and the Center for Creative Learning for almost my entire career. There is an incredibly high level of integrity and ethical responsibility in every program and that has been there from the start. Hundreds of people have benefited, and hopefully hundreds more will continue to benefit from the gifts of the Starfish Foundation.

Dawn S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When all else fails in life to provide answers and heal wounds from whatever story one carries with through life- the mission and healing this organization lives by along with its dedicated volunteer staff - delivers real answers, real healing that leaves everyone wishing everyone could experience a healing weekend! I always tell people if everyone went through a weekend there would be World Peace finally!!

3 Kori C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was referred to the Healing Warrior Hearts Retreat from a friend with whom I served in combat with in Iraq. She explained that this program helped her with her PTSD more than another she had attended. With that recommendation, I flew from California at my expense to attend my first retreat in Katy, TX in July of 2017. I had been struggling with my PTSD and "moral Injury" issues for over ten years. It was here I met Patricia Classon and her group of voulneer staff as well as Sam Luna with Texas for Heroes. This program, lead by Patricia was life changing for me. I was heard, valued, repected for who I was, what I experienced and how I felt, period. I felt a burden lefted , a transformation of my heart. I have since become a volunteer staff and have attended two retreats in TX working with Patricia. Additionally, I recently attended my first HWH's retreat in Milwaukee, as a student, once again. I made the right decision to attend as a student, vice staff. The direct support I received from Patricia and the staff was again, life changing. With Patricia's guidance I was able to purge my mind and heart of hurt and deep pain. I have witnessed her amazing ability to connect with compassion, empathy and a deep understanding of the human condition. I cannot say enought about the Starfisht Foundation. Everyone is treated with respect and dignity, always. The integrity of Patricia and all involved in the foundation is above reproach.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is one of the best and most exciting healing modalities for Veterans in existence. I got to personally witness the January 2018 Healing Warrior Hearts weekend and was blown away. My only prayer is that 1,000s of Veterans from across the country might someday be able to experience something this profound and transformative.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Starfish Foundation truly cares about each and every person and believes that by helping each individual be a joyful, emotionally healthy person that the world becomes a better and move loving place. You can trust them to care about you! I've been involved with the Starfish Foundation since 2001 when I was a student in one of their courses. Since then I became a regular volunteer to help them forward their mission. I have referred many of my friends and family to their courses. As a psychotherapist, I also refer clients to their courses - all the clients I have ever referred have given the Starfish Foundation an enthusiastic "2 thumbs up!" You will too!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about the The Starfish Foundation, the programs it supports, and Patricia Clason.

The programs are truly life changing programs that heal the heart, transform an individual, and make the whole community a better place.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a Taking it Lightly class this year and I found it to be a tremendously helpful experience. The staff from top to bottom is wonderful to work with and I walked away from the weekend with a whole new understanding of myself

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starfish Foundation, Inc. absolutely qualifies as great: an incredible resource for anyone who is suffering. I have such appreciation for Patricia Clason and the many volunteers at Starfish Foundation and the Center for Creative Learning. Patricia has devoted her life to understanding, modeling, and teaching emotional intelligence, particularly helping veterans and others heal from trauma. She also has helped to grow servant leaders who help others. I was blessed years ago to experience and then staff the Taking It Lightly course. A self-help junkie having survived a period of severe depression in my late teens and early 20s, I was in my 30s, seeking continual improvement and growth, rising up one step at a time. The Taking It Lightly weekend was like an express elevator shooting 20 flights up in personal growth. Particularly for veterans who are struggling, the nonprofit Starfish Foundation Inc. provides full scholarships to the Healing Warrior Hearts weekend retreat.

Thank you, dear Patricia, for your beautiful heart and all your good work over the years. You are a blessing to so many.

For those who are suffering -- know that there is hope! You deserve this course!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was referred to the Starfish Foundation and the Taking It Lightly program 10 years ago, in 2008. I was having trouble concentrating, and was in the midst of a deep dive into the emotional abuse of my childhood and confronting it as an adult so I could move on with my life and with greater joy. This foundation and weekend programs provided me with a community of peers that I could trust. I received education, support, hope and action steps for embracing wellness into my life and appreciating my journey, even if turbulent, rocky and unpleasant. Having this community of people, that have also experienced and thrived from lived experience, has been a beautiful gift to me that I volunteer and give back whenever I can. Now I am a greater distance away and searching for a community like this where I currently live, and there is nothing like it. I volunteer and stay involved whenever I can because the Starfish Foundation helps me feel understood, supported and encouraged to step forward with courage into new unknown terrain in my life. Thank you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am 61 years old on social security for disabled. I need help for auto repairs or a car for errands doctor appointments. I suffer from type 1 diabetes for 41 years and bipolar diseases. The stress is making it hard to manage both. Please help.

3 James Jimmy Pee P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I thought I was okay with my past but this program helped me to see it, face it, and cure it. It's better than any professional help.

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.

1

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.

2

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!

2

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.

1 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.

1

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.

2 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.

2

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!

2

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.

2

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.

1

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.

3

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

4

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!

2

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.

3

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.

3

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.

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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.

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!

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.

4 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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

8 Sarah295

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cried for the first time since the war. I learned many new techniques on how to handle my PTSD and TBI. I learned new language to help me understand me and the new world I came back to. I am still involved now as both a participant and now have staffed to help my fellow veterans and it feels great.I view my life differently and desperately need this organization to stick around and help me become a better me as I participate and peel more layers of my onion off.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were at the end of our marriage with no hope in sight. The couples weekend changed our lives as well as our marriage. Where there was no hope we now see hope. I could t recommend this event enough. I've told every military couple I know what a wonderful and heart opening experience we had. I am forever grateful for what they did for us.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Healing Warrior Hearts was the best program i have been to since I got back from Iraq I hope the work continues to heal our veterans. Thanks SSG FLOYD PETERS US A Ret

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Skeptical would be an upgrade to how I felt about another resource that was supposed to help me deal with the hurt and anger related to the sexual trauma I experienced in the military but Thank God I trusted my friend Kim's recommendation! Having just a glimpse of how it changed her more than decades of previous resources had, I decided to give it a chance. The Healing Warrior Hearts retreat was expertly organized and staffed by the kindest, most professional people! Patricia and the other instructors along with the volunteer staff were incredibly attentive and insightful into what my issue was and how to help me release it! The intro to neuroscience helped me understand that I've basically been "checked out" for nearly 15 years, that I've been blaming myself and living with shame. Now, I'm learning to recognize the dysfunction and depression that have been holding me back and find new ways of responding to all of that so I can enjoy life and my family while helping others do the same. Forever grateful, Dianne