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Celebrating a Caring Community

Written by Karen Potratz

This work starts in the quietness of a safe office and with a good connection. Working with people who are asking for help and confessing their vulnerability is an honor and a privilege. Specifically, many referrals come from family and friends.

One such call came from a young lady in a desperate state, concerned that her body was responding to overwhelming stress. She was concerned for her health and her safety. She suffered from anxiety and panic. She was exhausted from keeping a busy schedule trying to balance the need to work and also the goal and hope of getting an education. She presented with limited funds and had already lost hope in the medical community when she experienced an adverse reaction to medication. She entered therapy with an urgent need and serious intention. After some time, her anxiety and panic gradually became manageable and eventually resolved. She communicated that the therapy meant everything to her and “she wouldn’t have made it without it.” In this case the sliding fee scale was utilized.

This work happens because people outside of the room care enough to invest in the ministry. The annual Murfreesboro Luncheon and Auction, for example, was a delightful success — our focus was Celebrating a Caring Community, and celebrate we did!

We have so many things for which to be grateful, and we want to say Thank You! With the help of a supportive community of churches, First United Methodist Church stands out as the annual hosting congregation for this event. So many organizations and people joined in to help. This starts with the volunteer Advisory Council members, past and present. Jennifer McGuire, Council President, and Rise’ Hayes, President Elect, lead an enthusiastic group of representatives from church and community. We are also grateful for the gifts of the Garden Lover’s Club, who for two years have provided flowers and funded this project. This year the leadership made connections with Iron Gate Kroger of Murfreesboro who supplied a surplus of flowers and monetary support for the luncheon. The center pieces this year were extraordinary and many of these are then re-gifted to individuals who benefit from this kind of gesture! Council member Sue DeWees made connections with a local Walmart and again, after communicating the need, received a generous grant of $500 in support of this ministry.

Thank you to each of our Advisory Council members who worked hard making connections and gathering resources to make this event happen. The commitment of our seven supporting congregations has remained constant, and they were well represented in the 172 people present at the luncheon this year. It is a pleasure and privilege to work alongside such committed volunteers. At the end of the day, $10,659 had been contributed to the work of Insight Counseling Centers!

One of the high points of the luncheon was when two of the counselors from our Murfreesboro Center, Claudia Avila-Lopez and Clint Hamm, shared personal stories relating their passion for this ministry and the difference it is making in lives. Being a part of this staff is an enviable position and a rewarding experience!

Thank you to the community of Murfreesboro for demonstrating care through your generosity and volunteer spirit. You made this a spectacular event!


Karen Potratz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who coordinatesKaren Potratz - Insight Counseling Centers Insight Counseling Centers’ office in Murfreesboro. Karen enjoys working with groups and teaching people about mental illness and how to improve life’s experience. She is passionate about marriage and family and is committed to helping people work on improving these vital relationships. Schedule an appointment with Karen.

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