Each season, the Nashville Predators Foundation names a set of feature charities, giving select organizations the opportunity to raise awareness and collect funds or items to benefit their cause during a Preds game. On March 4, 2017, when the Predators take on the Chicago Blackhawks, The Refuge Center for Counseling will get that chance.
A nonprofit organization founded in December 2005 by Amy Alexander and Jennifer Gillett, The Refuge Center for Counseling aims to make a lasting impact within the community, and has been supported by the Preds Foundation for years. Since the beginning, the goal has been to provide excellent care, paired with affordability, to empower and support individuals, couples and families in the immediate area. In its first five years, the center has seen a 1,000 percent growth as they look to impact those in the area that need help who may not always be able to afford counseling.
“Over time, the Predators Foundation has funded things such as art supplies, continuing education resources, educational DVDs for parents and play therapy carts, which can be used in non-children specific rooms, thus increasing our capacity,” Alexander said. “Those items have been tremendously helpful to us and allowing us to serve children well.”
Nashville Predators Chaplain and Refuge Center counselor Pike Williams is passionate about what he does at The Refuge Center. He notes it’s not just an environment beneficial solely to those in counseling. Being with people in the important moments, as they share their story with him, has just as much of an impact on him.
“It’s very inspirational,” Williams said. “Sometimes I’m sitting there, and I’m supposed to be the therapist helping, and I’m thinking this person in front of me has more courage than I do. They are doing work that perhaps I haven’t done. I love that. I’m probably more energized at the end of the [work] day than I am at the beginning. Just being able to be with people in those sacred moments is what I love the most.”
Coming up on October 11, 2016, is the Fourth Annual Hope Grows, a benefit that supports The Refuge Center for Counseling. The night features dinner, a silent auction and entertainment by comedian Henry Cho. The Hope Award is also given out to a community member that embodies the mission of The Refuge Center - empowering, educating and supporting those in need. For more information on the event, or to purchase tickets to Hope Grows 2016, click here.
The Refuge Center for Counseling deals with a wide variety of people from children to families to couples. With 16 counseling offices, counselors, multiple Master’s and post-Master’s interns, and more on staff, there is a diversity of focus from domestic violence, behavioral issues, play therapy, marital therapy, grief counseling, adoption-related issues and more. For more information, visit their website.