I would like to share about what has been going on in my life, and specifically discuss an exciting and challenging opportunity that I will be taking on.
After graduating with a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012, I began working as a therapist within acute psychiatric hospitals. I have been blessed to hold two jobs: one working fulltime at Methodist Hospital of Chicago and the other, on weekends, at Norwegian American Hospital.
My time at these sites has been spent building relationships with amazing patients who are diagnosed with severe mental illnesses and exhibit extreme and dangerous symptoms. These include aggression, hallucinations, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, sexually acting out behaviors, etc. Additionally, these people often carry incarceration histories with violent convictions such as murder and rape.
I have also spent significant time working with the developmental disability population, caring for people with diagnoses such as mental retardation and autism. I cannot express how much I enjoy working with all of these folks! As much as I have taught, I have learned just as much in lessons of love from some of the most oppressed and avoided people groups of our culture. While it may seem like this work would be taxing and difficult, I have found indescribable inspiration and joy in it.
After spending over two years within this clinical setting, I now have an incredible opportunity to further my training and work with a reputable Not For Profit Organization overseas. My intention is to be able to offer a more comprehensive helping relationship—coupling clinical counseling skills with a broadened cultural population, to best serve those suffering with crippling illnesses and life stressors.
All of that said, I have just been accepted into Iris Global Harvest School in Pemba Mozambique, Southern Africa. Iris Global has bases in over 30 nations. It has established its reputation as being a successful organization, providing decades of effective programs. These include Children Centers, Orphan Care with Feeding Programs, Primary and High School Education, Medical Clinics, Farming and Agriculture Education, Well Drilling, Disaster Response, Vocational and Computer Training, Prison Outreach and much more.
The Harvest School 21 session will begin October 1, 2014 and I will study through December 22, 2014. In addition, I have applied for a hands-on outreach where I will be traveling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to learn from and assist next to incredible social workers and humanitarians working to help rescue children who are being trafficked and abused. It is my hope that I may remain in long-term Program Development doing this type of work and I am eager to begin my journey.
Before I can move forward, I need support in order to participate in this opportunity. I am financially responsible for all expenses incurred during my trip, which include tuition, curriculum materials, airfare, vaccinations, etc. The total cost for my three-month mission trip will be $8,000.
With this in mind, I would feel incredibly blessed and grateful for any donation that you can provide to support me in covering the expenses during my pursuit. Post-Iris graduation, I would love to continue to apply my expertise and passion for serving oppressed people groups in Cambodia. I have been invited to found and run an art therapy program in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to provide therapeutic services to children with developmental disabilities who are being trafficked and to support them in re-integrating back into their lives.
Your gift can be a one-time donation or a continued monthly support to aid in my long-term missions work. Please know that any level of financial contribution is greatly appreciated.
Additionally, the following information will give you specific instructions for making a financial donation where you will immediately receive a registered 501(c)3 tax deduction receipt. If you would like to donate via GoFundMe and need a tax deduction, please leave a comment indicating so.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for considering providing support in any way that you are able. I look forward to sharing all of my experiences when I return and can’t wait to utilize my future training in newfound ways. If you have any questions, always feel free to call or send an email.
Financial Support Instructions for tax deduction: Cash or Check
Step 1: Write check out to HUB Ministries
Please do not put my name on the check but include a separate note with my name. HUB (His United Body) is a registered 501(c)3 Ministry.
Step 2: Send check/cash to
Iris c/o Cassandra Magiera
1434 Keele Drive Carpentersville, IL 60[phone redacted]
*You will receive your tax letter immediately. Please follow up with Hank Magiera at HUB Ministries ([phone redacted]) with any questions.
Financial Support Instructions for tax deduction: Credit Card Transaction
Step 1: Visit www.hubministries.org/wpress/donate
Step 2: Click on the Paypal Donate button
Step 3: In the Paypal notes write: Donation for Iris Global Harvest School
*You will receive your tax letter within 7 days. HUB (His United Body) is a registered 501(c)3 Ministry. Please follow up with Hank Magiera at HUB Ministries ([phone redacted]) with any questions.
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