Gala supports Safe Harbor mission

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On the evening of Aug. 24, supporters joined Safe Harbor’s Board of Directors at Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) headquarters in Inverness for the fourth–annual fundraising Kick–off Gala.

This event began the fall campaign, which will end Oct. 10 with a fall family festival and walk/run events at Heardmont Park.

Safe Harbor’s mission is education of the community about dangers facing today’s young people, and restoring families negatively affected by their teenager’s behavior.

Threats to teens include drugs, alcohol, gangs, the occult, and sexual and mental health. Statistics are dire. One-in-five teens attempt suicide. One-in-four teens use illegal drugs.

Pain tears families apart, worlds are crumbling. Children are fighting emotional battles. Parents in crisis don’t know where to turn.

The room became still as a tree on a windless day as three families shared incredible personal stories of being all-American families, being involved in church and doing all the right things.

Some parents’ first clue to a problem teen is a call from the police. One family mentioned a comforting promise from the Bible, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV).

A combination of biblical principles and counseling along with prayer has proven successful. Parents are taught not to enable.

They learn how to identify at-risk behavior, intervention techniques and are offered counselors, support groups and mentors. Safe Harbor has served 321 families in five counties so far this year.

Safe Harbor partners with law enforcement and schools in programs for juveniles at risk.

“I truly believe that the Community and Court Referral Program as offered by Safe Harbor is an essential spoke in the wheel of the juvenile justice system,” said Shelby County District Juvenile Judge James Kramer.

Safe Harbor is where families facing life’s storms can find peace. More than 175 volunteers are dedicated to helping hurting families.

Sixty to 70 percent of Safe Harbor’s budgeted funds are from donations. If you would like to support Safe Harbor, call 981-0995 or visit

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at