When approached to write a column for SAN ANTONIO WOMAN about “relevant” topics and issues, I was exhilarated by the challenge. Given the platform to tout interesting facts about the goings-on in San Antonio is a privilege. I hope to share a potpourri of experiences, thoughts, news, opportunities and some “ah-ha” revelations with you. This first column is about three organizations I’m especially drawn to because of the very special services they provide. It would be my bet that there is at least one of these organizations you have not heard of.
Harper’s Embrace Lifesaver Program (H.E.L.P.) — Once upon a time there was a precious little girl named Harper who was having a good time playing with other children in the swimming pool. The parents were in good spirits watching their children in the pool. Suddenly, it was discovered that Harper had disappeared. She was underwater. She had drowned! In a panic the adults pulled her out of the water. Harper was not breathing, and nobody knew what to do. So sadly, she died. If only one person who knew CPR had been at the swimming pool when Harper drowned, perhaps she would be with us today. As a result of this disastrous outcome, Harper’s Embrace was created. This organization offers CPR training at no cost to corporations, individuals, organizations, schools, churches and beyond. The goal of Harper’s Embrace is to make sure that people can be saved in tragic situations because there are others trained in CPR who are able to save their lives.
ThriveWell Cancer Foundation and Can Survive Cuisine — ThriveWell recently sponsored a luncheon with Can Survive Cuisine. ThriveWell is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer by funding research and offering programs to support and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. One of their programs is to help relieve the financial burden for cancer treatments. Several cancer survivors who attended would likely not be living today had it not been for the financial support they received from ThriveWell in helping them pay for the treatments necessary to save their lives. The featured speaker was Dr. Mike Wargovich, and his partner, chef Iverson Brownell, prepared the meal. Together, they have created CanSurvive Cuisine, a science-based meal planner to fight inflammation, the root cause of chronic diseases, including cancer. At the luncheon we dined on some fairly indistinguishable treats, all of which were pleasantly appetizing.
Clarity Child Guidance Center — If you don’t know about Clarity Child Guidance Center, you should. I recently went on a tour of the beautiful campus and hospital. Most impressive is the tranquil and serene environment they provide to the needy population of children in and around San Antonio who suffer from mental illness.
The statistics are mind-boggling:
• One in five children in the United States have a mental illness.
• Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.
• One in seven of Texas Hispanic high school students report having made a suicide plan, with suicide being the second leading cause of death in children.
Clarity transforms the lives of children ages 3-17 who suffer with disabling effects of mental illness, and their families by providing treatment and compassionate care. It’s disheartening to know that Clarity is usually filled to capacity and simply cannot serve all the children and families that so desperately need their services.
If you are not familiar with any of these organizations, I hope you are now inspired to learn more about them. They are striving to make our community a better and healthier place to live. Perhaps there is a way that you might even get involved. As stated in the Bible: “Give and you shall get back tenfold.” This does not only apply to giving money. It also applies to giving love, prayer, praise and time.