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HUMANS OF PROJECT SANCTUARY:  Why We Give Back

Kelly Granado | Volunteer
I’ve always had a respect for the military, almost a captivation with it. I grew up loving the honor and strength it represented, and still do. But in many ways, that perception was theoretical and intangible – based on stories I’d heard and movies I’d seen. It wasn’t until people that I loved left to serve that I really started to understand. I couldn’t understand the strength until I saw the struggle, I couldn’t understand the sacrifice until I saw what was given, I couldn’t really understand the honor until I knew the people. And I’ve truly only started. I got to wait on a man, and wait on some brothers. I knew them before and saw them after. Loved them the whole time. It’s indisputably a privilege to have that place in their lives, and to have purchased the perspective it creates. And it ignited in me the desire to serve back. A sense of responsibility. To give from the chair that I sit in – in the ways I can to the people I can. The men and women that I’ve known are infinitely worth it, and if nothing else, I give on their behalf – as if it were to them. I pray often that God blesses our military. And figure I should do my best to help Him with the deliveries. Project Sanctuary gives me that opportunity. To get to spend time with the families, and to give a little back. To be part of the good that they stand to defend. To show honor in seemingly small ways to those who have earned much. Not because I can ever ‘pay’ them back, but because lots of small good, eventually becomes a big good…
Shawn Lengeman | Peer Mentor
For many years, I struggled to find a purpose for my life. When I was in PTSD treatment last summer at UCLA, I recognized that I was much further along in my recovery than many of my peers. During the course of the six week treatment I offered my personal experiences with trying to find that connection to society, strategies on dealing with conflict, and just managing the day to day life. When Heather announced that she was going to start up a peer mentor program, I knew that this was the purpose I had been desperately seeking. I joined Walton’s Warriors to be the some glimmer of HOPE for my fellow veterans.
Joe & Dana Morrin | Board Member/Healthy Marriage Facilitators
Dana and Joe have been volunteers at Project Sanctuary since 2013. They began with facilitating the Money Matters, Family Matters workshop for First Command Financial Planning. They fell in love with the mission, the families and the staff immediately, and now consider Project Sanctuary their second family. They love making connections and using their experiences to help make a difference in the lives of the PS families. Dana and Joe also recently became certified to facilitate Healthy Marriage starting in 2017, and consider it a blessing to have the opportunity to share the lives of these families and see the change that happens throughout a retreat. Joe and Dana contribute financially to Project Sanctuary, and Joe also serves as President on the board.  They are currently enjoying retirement (or semi-retirement!) on their small ranch near Fort Worth, Texas. Joe is an Army veteran, and served as a cavalry officer.
Michelle Kaye, LPC | Counselor
Project Sanctuary is the most authentic military/veteran-serving organization I’ve worked with that truly serves the ENTIRE FAMILY.  And I love that FAMILY means whatever it means to our participants, not what is defined by any paperwork.  If YOU say that someone is your family and you want to bring them to the retreat with you, then bring ’em on!  It gives me unending joy to watch all of the kids play together while all of the parents get to spend time together just hanging out and talking, getting acquainted, becoming friends.  People from all branches, all generations, all ranks, all ages, and all unique combinations of families come to Project Sanctuary to be together and get the opportunity to be themselves, to relax, and to reconnect with their tribe in a meaningful and impactful way. I continue to feel deeply honored and grateful to work with PS and our resilient, courageous, beautiful families!

Carol & Frank Scaletti | Volunteers
I spent 20 years as a military wife wife, and was an ombudsman for many years. Now both of my children are active duty and I run a support group for military moms. I started volunteering with Project Sanctuary in July 2015 after my husband and I attended a retreat. We decided the program was so amazing and did so much for us that we wanted to help others, as peer mentors. We live in Arizona and help at as many retreats as we can each year. 
Scott Harper | Outdoor Recreation & Logistics
Scott retired after 20 years in the United States Air Force including deployments to Southwest Asia for Desert Storm and Operation Southern Watch.  Before joining the Project Sanctuary team, Scott was a Park Ranger with the National Park Service. He was the coordinator for Post to Parks: a national program that connected thousands of Active Duty, Veterans, and military families to our public lands and the outdoors. Outdoor recreation is a vital component in the healing process that Project Sanctuary provides. Scott’s passion for the outdoors and helping military families led him to Project Sanctuary. Scott spends his free time skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, golfing, ballroom dancing, and hanging out at his remote mountain cabin.
Chrysti Hagen | Volunteer
I never really gave much thought about what they and their families went through as service members until I was back in Colorado and came across the non-profit Project Sanctuary. I’m not even sure how my attention was drawn to them, but once I read about their program, something struck me and I began to think of not only my Alaska friends, but also my own family and how we were all affected by the act of serving, even later in life. It was one of those ‘mind blown’ kinds of experiences.  I then began to think of why someone would sign up to serve – I know people have many different reasons and I expect that many don’t really understand what they are signing up for, yet they do. Not that it was an option so long ago, and those who freely do today, I have the utmost respect and admiration for.
Larry & Vicky Daub | Healthy Marriage Facilitators
Larry is retired from the Air Force with 21+ years and a corporate career of 20+ years.  Vicky is a retired teacher and spent 20+ years in the corporate world training, managing, and helping produce and support various technical products. The Daubs are Center for Relationship Education facilitators, and lead Healthy Marriage seminars at Project Sanctuary retreats. Larry and Vicky volunteered at their first Project Sanctuary retreat in January 2012, and facilitated at their first retreat later that same year. The Daubs have been participated in more than 40 Project Sanctuary retreats over the past 5 years. They continue to support Project Sanctuary because they both love connecting with military families, and watching the families grow during the course of the retreat.

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The Tuskeegee Airmen

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Lynn Shore | Volunteer
The families served by Project Sanctuary have sacrificed so that I and my family may live a free and comfortable life. This creates a debt that must be acknowledged, although it can never be repaid. Washing dishes, vacuuming a floor or wiping a table, which facilitates the families interaction with Project Sanctuary counselors and staff, thereby making their lives better, is the least I can do to honor and respect their sacrifices. What I am giving up for a few days pales in comparison to what they have given up for me.
Scott Lee, MA, LPC | Lead Counselor
As a Mental Health Counselor, it is great to see changes within families during the 6 day retreat, how behaviors are changed and families get that bond back together in just 6 days. I love the 2 year follow up, we don’t just kick them out of the door and wait till the next retreat. I love hearing from families months or years from their retreat, asking how to do something they learned at the retreat. I enjoy helping others, as I Veteran I see/know the need for help. I work for PS because where else can I get paid to have fun with great and wonderful people.
Karen House | Volunteer
I discovered Project Sanctuary in 2012 when a friend returned from a retreat.  I personally volunteered at several subsequent retreats, and wanted to be more involved but work full-time and can’t afford much time away from my job.  I have watched Project Sanctuary grow its locations and services, and appreciate the passion of the entire PS team, volunteers and supporters.  I am involved with Project Sanctuary because I am impressed with its focus and dedication, and I admire the HOPE and healing that this program offers to returning service members and their families.
Rick Bernstein | Grant Writer
Yes, I was looking for a contract to help a non-profit with grant writing. But the stars aligned and sent me to Project Sanctuary. This is a group of people who take their contribution seriously…and so they should. PS does so much good to help keep military families together and strong. Their outreach is extraordinary. I am so proud to be able to help get proposals together and raise much needed funds to continue the great work of Heather and her team…our team. I could not think of a better way to serve than to work for Project Sanctuary.
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