No Family Left Behind The Keys to Healing may be in your hands.
Why, you ask?
Imagine one of the people you love most disappears. There is no goodbye, no letter or last phone call. There is only silence and an empty place in your heart that can’t be filled by anything or anyone but that person.
There are fear, guilt, anxiety, loneliness, and frustration as you spend every waking minute on the search. You’ve registered your missing loved on every website you can find and sought the advice of several trained nonprofits. You’ve worked with your law enforcement to do everything in your power to bring him/her home. Searches have taken place and media came to your aid. There is nothing left to do right now but wait and hope for the lead to come in that will resolve this awful situation.
Help may come for the search, but there is little help for your emotional needs. No counselor in your area has experience with this situation. There are no local support groups for families of the missing, and you feel alienated in victims’ or grief groups -- they have answers. You don’t.
Then you hear about the Keys to Healing retreat where you can learn why you feel as you do and how to best live in your new reality. At this place, you’ll meet people just like you, people who understand how you feel. This is what you need in order to go on because you’re at the end of your rope and no one is listening.
Your heart leaps at the thought of the relief the retreat has brought to others Then you look at your bank account balance and pile of bills on the table. You spent your savings on a reward fund, billboards, posters and private investigators. You paid his/her bills, never predicting this would go on so long. You may, as many, have taken a second job to compensate for the loss of their paycheck. You also have no vacation pay left, and those bills keep piling up.
Suddenly, you are overwhelmed with the weight of it all. You need this retreat but without the money, you can’t go. The thought of yet another day like this brings you to your knees. The tears come, slowly at first, but then erupt into sobs. And no one hears you. Families of the Missing Need Emotional Support
This isn’t just a sad story….this was reality for numerous families who wanted…no, needed to come to our 2009 retreat but could not afford it.
While some online support is available, there is no substitute for an in-person gathering like Project Jason’s Keys to Healing retreat. We have the very best and most knowledgeable counselor in the country explaining why attendees feel as they do and detailing what they can do about it. For three days, families of the missing are enveloped in mental, physical, and spiritual health guidance, massage therapy, peaceful, quiet surroundings, and much more. They meet others who truly understand, and they forge bonds that will help them with support long after the retreat ends.
We asked you to imagine a life in their situation. We now ask you to find it in your heart to help us help them. We need your help to be able to bring as many families to the 2010 retreat as possible. You hold the Keys to Healing for these families in your hands.
Last year, 20 families came to the first Keys to Healing retreat. On the first day, Friday, the pain of their loss and the weight of the situation was clearly etched upon their faces. By the end of the second day, we witnessed the families bonding, and even heard laughter now and then. By the time they left Sunday, there were smiles on those same faces. They were transformed both inside and out. We wondered if we were imagining what we witnessed, but we weren’t.
See for yourself by watching this video. Observe the faces at the beginning and at the end. http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5609428/14723375What Attendees Have to Say
The families who attended the 2009 retreat will tell you in their own words how life was for them and how the retreat helped them know they can go on. "On June 26, 2007 my entire life changed, my 26 year old son disappeared. This began a new chapter that altered the path of my life completely. Through the beginning days of darkness I struggled, and with the instruction from Law Enforcement that they have limited resources and that they would do all they could but that the family must do the rest ringing in my head."
"Every aspect of the retreat had impact on me personally, and I took away from it tools that will help me over the coming months and years to not only cope, but to move forward with more strength, health and armed with knowledge that not only I can use, but that I can share with others to help in their walk."Christy Davis, Mother of missing Michael Austin Davis “I feel as though the Keys to Healing Retreat made such a major impact on my life and family! Before the retreat I was going down a negative and destructive path. I was devastated by the loss and presumed death of my loved one. Because of the retreat, I have started making better choices, and my husband and I are working on our marriage instead of being determined to end our marriage. I felt so alone and afraid…I felt incapable of dealing with the pain and emotion of losing my loved one. Because of the retreat, I feel like my family is on the road to healing….although I don’t know when, or even if this traumatic event will end…I know that my husband, child, and I will survive and hopefully even thrive.” Carolyn Johnson, Mother of missing Clinton Nelson“During the early days of my daughter’s disappearance, I was frantic for something to do, or someone to connect with who could help us. The only resources I was finding were located in Australia! I think I gave up. I was struggling personally, not only with my guilt and fears for my missing child, but also with cancer. The latter two are history, but my missing child is always there. The few people that I could share with were helpless and sometimes cruel, so I just closed up. I had no money for reward or a trip to the state where she disappeared, and I just got angrier and angrier!
Through the experience of the retreat I had to come to terms with that anger and frustration. Yes ‘dumping all this’ may not resolve my daughter's fate but the process certainly was enlightening. I didn’t realize how destructive my silence and anger were. Also, the strength of the other families affected me profoundly. The education at the retreat reinforced what I was experiencing but also provided insight and constructive things I can practice to become a better ‘me’, even a ‘me not knowing what has become of my child’.”
Malinda Hoyt, Mother of missing Emillie Hoyt"I have spent the last 5 years with severe depression, feelings of guilt, and long stretches of insomnia. You see, when you have a missing child, spouse, or loved one, you have no answers you feel helpless and all alone. I took myself away from the entire world and I buried myself in a world where no one could touch or reach me, not even myself. I became my own worst enemy. I hated the person(s) responsible for taking my little girl away from me, and I hated the police department for not doing enough. Most of all I hated myself because I wasn't able to search for her financially or mentally.
The Keys to Healing Retreat was like the weight of the earth being lifted off my shoulders. I saw others just like me who had been through the same pain, the same loss and the same fears. I felt as if I had awoken from a very long sleep. I even looked in the mirror for the first time in a very long time and I saw a person who wanted to live...I felt rebirth, a second chance back to live after attending the retreat. I can now communicate with the children where as before I only existed with them when necessary, and then I locked myself away in my room. I ask if you read this please help, look deep into your heart and soul and remember that this too could happen to you or someone you know.” Elizabeth Rivera, Mother of missing Elsha M. Rivera“We were helpless when Jesse disappeared, and our lives seemed to be over. Project Jason helped us see that wasn't true. At the retreat, we found out it is okay to smile and to laugh and to appreciate what we have. Yes, we miss Jesse, but we were able to see that he would not want us to live lives of darkness and sorrow. And we learned about the resources that can help us look for Jesse while still being a part of all the good things that are a part of this world. Just recently, friends from church lost their son in an auto accident. We are now ready to help these people as we were helped.”Don and Donna Ross, Parent of missing Jesse Ross
You may read additional testimonials from the families we serve on the Great Nonprofits website at http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/project-jason
and at Project Jason's forum at http://projectjason.org/forums/index.php?topic=6504.0.Keys to Healing Fundraising Campaign
Help us ensure no family is left behind for the 2010 Keys to Healing retreat. Project Jason receives no grants or government funding. Everything we do is reliant on private donations. With your help, we can offer the retreat to families at a very low cost, with the ultimate goal of no charge at all.
The Keys to Healing Campaign begins October 6, 2009, the sixth anniversary of the founding of Project Jason. It will end December 31, 2009.
A key will be added to our retreat information and campaign update page every time another $250 (the per-person cost) is raised. Each key represents another family member of a missing person to whom you gave the Keys to Healing.
If you’d like your name displayed as a donor, let us know at the time of your donation. We will also email you a graphic that you can display on your website or in your email that shows you are supporting the 2010 Keys to Healing Retreat.
To participate, choose the PayPal or the Change.org buttons at the bottom of this page to make your donation. http://www.projectjason.org/leftBehind.shtml
Any amount will help! You can also mail a check or money order to:
PO Box 3035
Omaha, NE 68103
Be sure to note “Keys to Healing” on your donation. All donations are tax deductible.
“It’s like the power of one.” --Bill Daniel, 2009 retreat attendee
It is the power of one, one united voice for the missing, all of us working together as one to give these families hope, and a chance to live joyfully again.
Give the Keys to Healing today.
We also have a wish list of items we need donated. View our wish list (http://www.projectjason.org/keyswishlist.shtml
) and let us know if you are able to help by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The estimate to cover all on-site retreat fees is $18,725. If we achieve our goal of offering the retreat at no cost, any additional donations help pay for instructor, handbooks, printing, candles, photo frames, gift bags, transportation, and other expenses. Retreat fees cover all lodging, meals, drinks, and retreat materials. For attendees flying in, transportation from the Omaha airport to the retreat center is provided.