SUMMER 2021 RECAP
By now, we’re all familiar with the common words used to describe 2020: Unprecedented. Confusing. Uncertain. Chaotic. Isolating. Last year, as our team began the first summer in 20 years without beach retreats, these words became more real than ever. I saw them in the faces of our leadership, heard them in the voices of church and school partners and felt them from supporters in our Lighthouse family.
What hit home even harder for me? The truth that families living through childhood cancer carry the weight of these words even in years that feel normal to everyone else. The chaos and darkness we all felt in 2020 are constants for the thousands of moms, dads, siblings and kids experiencing the brutal unfairness of cancer.
This summer, we once again got the chance to let families throw these words out the window; to replace them with feelings of rest, rejuvenation, connection and peace that follow families home from their week at the beach and give them hope throughout the year.
In its own way, summer 2021 was unprecedented, too. We felt unprecedented support from everyone who rose to the challenge of making retreats happen! Through the generosity of people like you, we made a much-needed return to the beach and got back to why we started this whole thing 20 years ago: to strengthen every family living through childhood cancer.
Trust me... We couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to 20 more!
- CHRIS WOODRUFF, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | CEO
Meet the Kloesz Family
After months filled with appointments, hospital visits and treatments for their nine-year-old daughter Hannah, Nicole and Chris Kloesz joined us at the beach in June for their very first Retreat. Quickly, they got the chance to reconnect with one another and bond with the other families living through childhood cancer.
“We learned that it’s OK to not be OK, as we were surrounded by people who were sharing a similar experience,” said Chris. During their Retreat, Nicole and Chris were able to enjoy a date night for the first time in over a year. While Hannah and Sophia played with their Family Partners, mom and dad got the chance to step away from the chaos of cancer, refocus on their marriage and put one another first.
“This week has impacted our family by simply allowing us to just be present with each other — to actually experience normalcy,” said Nicole. Through rest, worship and time together, the Kloeszes were given a chance to experience joy, find a deep sense of community and return home with a refreshed sense of hope.
Nicole said it best: “This week has been everything. We’ve just been free. This week, we've been given permission to live openly and honestly. We've learned that it's okay to be hopeful."
THANKS FOR SHINING A LIGHT THIS SUMMER!
We are grateful for our Family Partners, Lighthouse Keepers, Hospital Partners, Board of Directors, Horizon donors and all Lighthouse supporters.
TO OUR LOYAL PARTNERS
North Point Community Churches
12Stone, Wiregrass, Rockbridge, Servantee, Journey, Chapel, Fellowship Forney, 3 Circle, Good News, Lighthouse, First Colleyville, Mtn. Brook, Johnson Ferry Baptist, River, and Simple Churches
Schools: Valor Christian High and Berry College
DID YOU JOIN US ON RETREAT THIS SUMMER? FIND YOUR RETREAT IMAGES HERE!
Join Us in the Sand
We are gearing up for the 2022 Retreat Season - and we cannot do it without you! Serve at a 2022 Retreat with family, friends, or a church or school group. Learn more about what it looks like to serve here.
2022 Retreat schedule coming soon, registration opens January 2022.
Do you know a college student looking for an impactful summer Internship? Available roles include Media Intern, Kitchen Intern, Work Crew, and more. Learn more here.
Online applications open October 1, 2021!
Beyond the Beach
Become a Lighthouse Keeper with a monthly gift to our organization. Learn more here.
Offer extended support to the families we serve with our new program: Community of Care. More information coming soon!