January 12, 2023

As I reflect on 2022, I am grateful for the abundance of blessings Set Free Refuge has had this year. It was no surprise that we received immense support from the people who make up our wonderful community. We wanted to take this time to celebrate and thank everyone who supported us throughout the year. Cliche’ or not, we wanted to take the time to say that it is truly because of YOU, that we can do what we do! 

Let’s get on the celebration train and take a ride into our amazing year! In January, we were contacted by a community partner needing to place a young CSEC survivor coming out of the foster care system. We felt compelled to help this young woman and called on our community partners to help us open our home. Answering our call, a group of psychology students from UWF collected household items, gift cards, and many of the necessary items the home would need. To further furnish and equip the home, we had the support of community members such as Carmen Reynolds, Robert Barnett, Jersey Jerry, Heather Pohlmann, and the local community group, ‘Navarre Ladies Chat and Chew’. Furthermore, the home security cameras were donated and installed by Jon Halley. Thank You to each and every one of you for making the opening of The Refuge a tremendous success!

Our next stop on the celebration train is the expansion of our Therapeutic & Emotional Recovery services. In June, we received a 45k grant to assist with this shift. With these funds, we were able to rent an office space to conduct confidential therapeutic services, we hired a part-time  Clinical Manager, and we obtained many of the necessary counseling materials. This was a huge win for us! Over the past year, we’ve provided over 200 counseling sessions, which now include clients outside of our immediate region and across the state. To top it all off, as of December 2022, one of our biggest accomplishments has been the ability to now accept the following insurances: Aetna, Cigna, Oxford, United Healthcare, and Oscar Health insurances.

Next stop, Sherry Clynch, our Volunteer Fundraising Coordinator, knocked it out of the park by coordinating our events! We had a silent auction at St. Michaels Brewery, held an Open House, and were recipients of proceeds of a Dine to Donate at Beef O’Bradys, all of which were a success. In alignment with our mission, for Christmas, we partnered with Lavished Ministries out of Panama City to provide 2 Christmas trees, gifts, clothing, and toys for survivor families. Before our last stop, we want to say a huge thank you to Step One Automotive and our supporters who purchased items off of our Amazon Wish List, which provided gifts for survivors and their families for the 2022 holiday season.

Last but certainly not least, it's the individuals we have served and the hearts we have ministered to that we count as our Biggest Wins! Go ahead and clap with me here! We showed up for our survivors in their times of need, found drug treatment programs, helped bail people out of jail, picked them up on the beach at 2 am, ate dinners around the kitchen table, and did many of the hard things we must sometimes do in this life. This is what 560 support services for over 25 survivors looked like in 2022. We were right there with them, every step of the way, holding their hand or just saying a prayer for their safety and guidance. This is who we are and this is what we do. We help women and girls believe in themselves and find healing, restoration, and freedom so that they may live out their God-given purposes and fulfill their hopes and dreams.  

And again, we couldn’t have done it without YOU! So, THANK YOU ALL! 

Join us for our ‘Evening of Healing’ event so that we may celebrate in person! We look forward to celebrating with you soon!

Written by Marcie Rey Landreth, RCSWI, MSW. Marcie Landreth is the Executive Director at Set Free Refuge, Inc.