Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Angel Faces: helping scarred young women
Today I read a touching story about a 16-year-old girl who has burns all over her body. When she was a baby, hot cooking oil was spilled all over her and she was left with scars all over her body. Now, at age 16, she is determined to help people who are going through the same or similar struggles. I was really inspired by her story and by her attitude to life. What struck me even more was the fact that she spends so much time being and ambassador and giving back to the people who helped her (Angel Faces).
Angel Faces® is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide healing retreats and ongoing support for adolescent girls with burn/trauma injuries to achieve their optimum potential and develop meaningful relationships for themselves, their families and their communities. They have a video which explains a little more about their work.
Angel Faces’ CEO and Founder, describes the basis of Angel Faces and the motivation behind starting this NPO.
Angel Faces® started out of my own pain. My desire to heal from a serious burn injury at the age of nine has encouraged me to dedicate and create the best possible program for adolescent girls who have suffered from disfiguring burns and other traumatic injuries. In front of me, I reach for you.
The girls, ages 14-20, come from all over the United States and beyond. They have endured so much pain.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." — Khalil Gibran
Pain is a motivation to make the world a better place for others, especially ones who have been thrown from their youthful and innocent path to a path of survival and a long road of physical and emotional recovery from a serious burn or trauma injury.
Since 2003, we have grown far into the hearts of the wounded adolescents girls we serve. We have worked (imbedded with love, hope, skills and tools) to help each girl who suffered from a trauma to create a better life and restore hope and passion to her path, teaching each girl she has the power to create the life she wants.
Our sustained success and growth are due to the help and commitment of amazing people (from corporations to individuals) who have given a piece of their lives, time, talent and financial support to help us lift the girls to their feet.
Our published research shows we are on the right path. The results of a research study conducted in 2010, using four methods of measurements, showed that after participating in the Angel Faces® Retreat, the girls experienced favorable psychosocial adjustments: increase in hope; decrease in depressive symptoms; and increase in quality of life. The abstract of this study has been accepted and won awards at medical conferences in the United States.1
Over the years each retreat has taken on its own identity and energy. Some years the retreat has served more girls who are freshly wounded, both physically and emotionally. Other retreats have more girls wounded emotionally. Their burns healed from long ago yet they are left with scars covering up a weeping soul.
The retreat is only one small component of Angel Faces®. The fruits of our labor harvest when the girls go back home, anew. We receive several calls and emails from the parents and medical centers about how confident and content their daughter/patient is since she has returned from the Angel Faces®retreat - she joined a sports or academic team at school or now is going to prom!
We call our ongoing support program, Angels in Flight®. Our continuous support of the girls throughout each month strengthens the golden thread that connects us to our duty - to heal and empower. Through technological tools such as Facebook, Skype and Twitter, healing, learning and growth continue. Whether problems with rejection at school, unwanted questions, feeling alone – we are here to teach, inspire, empower and help the girls grow.
We hear so many stories of tragedy and hope. We experience so many moments and conversations highlighting life's richness. Angel Faces®. Come take a look at our pages throughout our website. You may just simply feel the magic through the pictures.
I believe the best way to heal a wound from an emotional standpoint is to reach out and take someone's hand to "help them, love them and give them their wings to fly."
Be the light,
Lesia Cartelli Founder/CEO
So, if you too are inspired and want to be part of one of these girls' journey, please support this cause by donating online.