The C.A.R.E. Story
The idea for C.A.R.E. began when Jo Getzinger and Cheryl Knight were encountering clients with very traumatic histories. Several years were spent going to conferences to learn how to help these clients. The more they learned, the more they knew that the traditional counseling setting was not going to be enough. The decision was made to give up their private counseling practice and become prayer ministers. Their desire to provide services for survivors of severe abuse and trauma became Consulting Advocacy Resources Education, Inc. Corporate status was granted in December of 1992 and nonprofit 501(c)(3) status in December of 1994.
Cheryl and Jo, co-authored the book, Caregiving: The Cornerstone of Healing, which provided information on how to minister to ritual abuse survivors. The CARE CONNECTION newsletter, first published in the spring of 1995, continued for several years on a quarterly basis offering information for survivors, pastors, caregivers, and therapists on the topic of ritual and cult abuse. While they were in print, the book and newsletter both enjoyed a national and international readership.
From 1992 through 1998, C.A.R.E. was located in Kokomo, Indiana, providing services to the community and surrounding area. During that time there was a search for a new location — one that would enable the establishment of community life. The plan was to add additional staff, begin a community, and provide safe-housing for survivors. During 1998, a warehouse became available in the village of Baldwin, Michigan. This facility would provide plenty of space to develop further programs. In January of 1999, C.A.R.E. relocated.
The plan was to safe-house the small community of survivors that had come together, so everyone lived in the warehouse. After a season living like this, it became apparent that safe-housing survivors was not feasible. The leaders were trying to do a task that was not theirs — it was God's. What is impossible for man (or woman) is totally possible with God. Having the leaders living in the same space as the survivors did not help them to mature in trusting God. A lovely house along the river was purchased and the women survivors moved there. Since then the Riverhouse has been home to several women.
CARE Packaging was started in 2002. It sells and distributes materials for C.A.R.E. and other ministries. Members of the community volunteer in this area. It is a way for them to stay active and give back to the ministry. The online store has many materials.
After the writing of the Life Model book, the CARE Community formed Life Model groups and began using the Life Model concepts in day to day living. From 2002 through 2006, C.A.R.E. hosted the THRIVE Conferences featuring speaker E. James Wilder, Ph.D.
C.A.R.E. has received a national and international reputation for providing services to survivors of trauma and those who work with them. Cheri and Jo have given numerous presentations about trauma recovery at local, regional, national and international conferences, as well as many free seminars to churches and small organizations. They have also consulted with survivors, therapists, organizations, clergy, and support people throughout the United States, Canada, England, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, and Australia concerning trauma recovery.
The primary focus of the ministry continues to be shepherding the CARE community and providing intensive prayer ministry for survivors of severe abuse and trauma.