Seven years ago, Michele McGeoy founded the non-profit, Solar Richmond to assist troubled male youths ages 18-24 in Richmond, CA by teaching them the skills to install solar panels. She thought that providing a marketable skill would be the key to equipping these young men with a chance to create a different future.
As children in the United States head back to school there is always a flurry of anticipation and excitement — and the usual rush to make sure the school supplies and wardrobe are in order. I am counting my blessings and recalling my experience at an orphanage in Haiti during a visit with CMBM’s Global Trauma Relief team last March. Here are my notes from that trip, and my thoughts about each of us being the bridge between scarcity and abundance.
“After Katrina hit I received mops and a bucket from a disaster relief organization. From The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, I got my life back.”
Mindy Milam, LCSW, New Orleans
Most relief organizations focus on the physical: providing supplies, water, shelter, food and medical assistance — and rightly so. But where there is physical trauma — whether it affects our body or our possessions — there is also emotional distress. And with emotional distress, especially in extreme situations, if you can’t cope, nothing else matters. Relieving emotional stress is the key. By lowering levels of stress, we can think more clearly — vital in a crisis — and we can relax our bodies, to express caring and give and receive love more fully.