I am a Clinical Psychologist, now retired. I spent several years conducting clinical research, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) into psycho-educational interventions with children of divorce and of short stature. Before retirement, I spent over 30 years providing direct services in Raleigh. So, my professional experiences led me naturally to support the Foundation for a long time.
Then, shortly after my retirement, my older son, Clark, was killed in a car accident. Shelley and Van opened their hearts to my family and me after Clark’s death. And we opened our hearts in return.
The loss of a child is among the most significant one can experience in life. Compelled by our grief, my wife and I along with two friends, Jody and Tom, started an outreach ministry within our church after Clark died. The ministry’s mission is to provide on-the-street professional services to those experiencing homelessness in Raleigh. These services, touching the lives of about 250 people each year, are reducing suffering and giving our neighbors the chance to get help for their addictions and mental illness. Partnering with other community groups has been essential to the effectiveness of Clark’s Promise.
The Foundation of Hope is one of those community partners. My wife, Linda, has participated in the Walk for Hope many times. She and I have attended the Evening of Hope for many years. Annually, we are ‘givers’ financially to the Foundation of Hope. And, the Foundation has given financially to Clark’s Promise!
Linda and I are members of the Foundation of Hope family. We have come to believe that financial support of mental health services is possible only through community partnerships, such as we have with the Foundation. We have learned that resolving our grief has been possible primarily through meaningful relationships with others.
The Foundation of Hope embodies this belief. Just as the Foundation supports mental health services locally, so too it supports research into cures for mental illness at the University of North Carolina’s Department of Psychiatry. Effective responses to the longstanding pandemic of mental illness requires these collaborative efforts: The Foundation has been leading the way for years!
Linda and I are grateful to be a part of the Foundation of Hope, a family that continues to inspire us to hope and to help.