Vol. 4, 2016-2017
Recently Knights Council #12153 in McKinney, TX joined forces with the Warrior Bonfire Program, a 501 (c) 3 dedicated to serving our Veterans, to tackle a silent epidemic that is plaguing our Nation. This epidemic touches at least two tenets of the Knights of Columbus ethos, those being Pro-Life and Patriotism. This epidemic presents us with the following statistics:
We, as Knights and as a Nation, must do something to restore hope to these men and women and their families. This human tragedy is what we began to tackle at Council #12153 and hope to expand across the State and Nation with your help.
The Project we have chosen to support is called the Veterans Restorative Care Center (VRCC) www.veteransrcc.org which will be situated in La Grande, OR on an historic site that includes a 100,000-sf building capable of housing a medical facility and up to 50 rooms for Veterans and their families and a hot lake that provides 3 million gallons of hot, therapeutic water per day. When repurposing is complete, this facility is projected to be able to serve 1,000 Veterans and their families each year.
This Project is the result of a vision shared by three groups and combines their individual successes achieved through the realm of more natural healing:
• Warrior Bonfire Program who for years has taken small groups of Purple Heart recipients into the outdoors (Recreational Therapy) where the healing power of nature and the bond of brotherhood has been used to help heal their hearts and minds.
• Hot Lake Springs, a restored medical facility once considered the Mayo Clinic of the West and known as a place of healing for over a millennium, and
• National University of Natural Medicine, the premier naturopathic Medical University in the United States
In order to launch this Project, $12 M in funding is needed. This is where Council 12153 stepped in. Overwhelmingly and enthusiastically, the Knights of 12153, its leaders PGK David Harmon and GK George Balsam, and our Chaplain and pastor, Father Don Zeiler, agreed and volunteered to be the pilot for a program that can help expedite the re purposing of the building and the healing of at-risk Veterans. This project was named CANpaign 22 to help us remember those 22 Veterans who take their lives each day. The project involved distributing collection cans to willing parishioners at St. Gabriel’s in McKinney, TX wherein they would place their spare change, bills, and checks to support the effort to eliminate Veterans’ suicides. The Knights coordinated the program and have collected over $16,000 for the VRCC.
Council 12153 plans to make this an annual event at St. Gabriel’s and wants to see the program expand across the Dallas Diocese, the state of Texas, and the Nation. By joining forces, the Knights can help heal Veterans by restoring them to, once again, being a whole and productive person as we help restore the HOPE that they have lost:
Council 12153 is dedicated to helping create a sustainable model of health and restorative care, a nonprofit Veterans Restorative Care Center[VRCC], led by veterans, supported by naturopathic physicians, and sustained by donations, grants, and profits from business. Together, and with your help, we will provide urgent, sustained and appropriate care and intervention to stop the crisis and restore the health, lives and families of our heroes.
If you are willing to join the effort, there are many ways to do so. You can:
For those willing to step up and help, please contact John Bickel, a member of Council 12153, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 978-853-9005.
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