Archive for November, 2011

You Are Not Alone

Often people will ask us, “What do you hope the couples who stay at David’s Refuge will walk away with.”  Our response is always the same, “We want them to leave David’s Refuge knowing they are not alone, that what they do really matters, and that they are loved by God.”  Let me share a little why we are so passionate about wanting people to know they are not alone.

One of the most life sucking forces in the world is that feeling deep in your gut that you are all alone.   I remember one Sunday watching my wife sit with my son, David, in the lobby of our church feeding him his favorite health food, a chocolate covered donut.  David was severely disabled.   He was blind, physically and mentally challenged, and diagnosed with a disease that was terminal.  As they sat in the middle of the busy foyer people walked around them, avoiding them as if they had the plague.   That afternoon Brenda came home weeping, crying out, “I can’t do it anymore, I feel so alone.”   We knew that people loved us but they were afraid, not knowing what to say or do so they did nothing.   Thankfully we had a group of friends who were willing to step out of their own comfort zones, reaching out to simply say, “You’re not alone!”  “We are here for you.”  Their willingness to be available, to serve us, and encourage us pumped oxygen into our starving souls and enabled us to press on in the care of David’s growing needs.

One of the main reasons we are starting David’s Refuge is to pour some of that oxygen into the lives of people who are caregivers of special needs children or children with potential life threatening disease so they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are not alone.   Today I was surfing the web and read the following blog: A Few Feet And A World Apart.  It is a very powerful and personal account of one woman’s struggle with feeling isolated from the people living right around her.  It is well worth a read.

If you are struggling with feelings of isolation or loneliness give David’s Refuge a call and let us remind you are not alone!  Go to our website (David’s Refuge) and sign up for a stay.  We would love to have you.

Don’t ever forget, You are not alone, What you do matters, and You are loved by God!


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What a Wonderful World

In an hour we are driving to pick up our son, Daniel at SUNY New Paltz for Thanksgiving.  Chris and Brit will arrive late tomorrow night.  I can’t wait to have my family home.  We have been so busy the last few weeks I haven’t had time to really sit down to pause and think about Thanksgiving so in an attempt to prime the pump I listened to What a Wonderful World by Loius Armstong.  If you have 2.25 minutes click on the link and listen to it.

As I stopped and “thought to myself” here are a few things I am thankful for this year:

  • Even though I miss my son David his life and influence lives on in David’s Refuge
  • The adventure and thrill of starting a non-profit.  Every morning I feel energized and excited for the challenges we will face
  • The families we have never met who will stay at the Refuge.  We can’t wait to meet you!
  • My favorite employee at David’s Refuge: Brenda Pfohl! 🙂  We are having so much fun “working” together
  • Driveway markers!  A friend is going to plow our driveway for free to support David’s Refuge.  If you are looking for someone to plow your driveway call 315 410-1469 and tell them David’s Refuge sent you.
  • Money 🙂  We are beginning to see financial support come in which will allow us to operate the Refuge
  • We are so proud of our children.  Daniel is loving college, Chris loves his job, and Brit is almost done with her Masters as a Nurse Practitioner.  They have encouraged us and supported us as we have worked hard at stating David’s Refuge.  Please keep my daughter-in-law, Brittney in your prayers.  Her Aunt just passed away.
  • Some of the great organizations we have connected up with who are serving our community: Make a Wish, YMCA, Camp Good Days and Special Times, CompassionNet and many others.  They are serving families who need to be reminded they are not alone.

I hope you will take sometime this holiday season to pause and “think to yourself what a wonderful world” you live in.

Don’t ever forget, You are not alone!  What you do matters!  God loves you!

Thankful for each one of you,




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CNY Horn of Africa

If you and your family are looking for a practical way to give thanks this year during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season I would love to encourage you to give to CNY Horn of Africa, a network of Central New York organizations, churches, and people united together to bring awareness and relief to the famine in the Horn of Africa.  Through government grants, your gift will multiply ­five times with World Vision to rush critical aid to families who are struggling to survive.  This is a great way to let the people of Somalia know that they are not alone!  You can get more information by going to http://www.cnyhornofafrica.org

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Last week I received a letter from the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation letting us know David’s Refuge had been awarded an $8,000 grant to help pay or offset the cost of childcare while parents get a much needed break at the Refuge.  At the top of the letter is the foundation’s tag line, “Helping to Better our Community.”  As I read the letter over and over again I was struck by the fact that David’s Refuge is a part of a much bigger community.  There are people and agencies and foundations and churches and neighbors and politicians who want our efforts to succeed.  And as these various groups gather together to work and serve side by side our community gets better!  Families are lifted up and encouraged.  Hope is once again infused into marriages that are frazzled by being full time caregivers.  People are reminded that they are not alone, that what they do really matters, and that they are loved by God.

I hope you are a part of a larger community that is trying to help make that community just a little bit better.  I have found that the more I become a part of my community the richer my life is, the less I feel alone, and the more impact my life has.  To everyone who has joined our little corner of our community we just want to say thank you.

It is our prayer and hope that you believe YOU are not alone, that what YOU do really matters, and that YOU are loved by God!


PS: If you get a chance check out the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation website!

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Open House

November 2nd would have been David’s 23rd birthday.  To celebrate his life and to remind ourselves that we are not alone we had an Open House for David’s Refuge.  We invited supporters, board members, local businesses, and community organizations to see where our guests will be staying and to introduce them to our mission.  Over 55 people showed up and enjoyed some delicious food, drinks, and laughter.  Brenda and I gave tours, answered questions, and made new friends who will partner with us to serve parents who care for children with special needs or have a potentially life threatening illness.  It was a perfect birthday celebration.

I was struck more than once as I gave tours of the sitting room which used to be David’s bedroom that we have come a long way in two years.  As we reflect back on the joy of having raised David we now look forward to opening our home to many families who simply need to be reminded that they are not alone, that what they do really matters, and that God loves them.

If you are ever in the area please stop in and let us show you David’s Refuge.  The doors are always open and we will leave the lights on for you!

Here are a few pictures from the Open House.


Friends from the East Area Family YMCA and Camp Good Days and Special Times

Great food and drinks!

Warren giving a tour of the recreation room

Brenda giving a tour of the sitting room


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