2013 Refuge Center Holiday Appeal

The Refuge Center for Counseling is pleased to introduce our 2013 Refuge Holiday Ornament, handcrafted by the mother and daughter team, Coille and Molly Hooven. The heart is representative of the work done at The Refuge Center for Counseling in healing so many hearts each day.

Made in the U.S. entirely by hand, the ornament is individually cut, embossed in porcelain and measures approximately three and a half inches wide. They make lovely gifts and keepsakes for all kinds of occasions, not just during the holidays. Ornaments are available for $30 each, while quantities last.

To order, use the paypal “Buy Now” button; please contact us in case you are having problem placing your order.



All ornaments are now SOLD OUT. 




Refuge Joins Hands and Feet Project in Haiti

Click here to view the article on the Tennessean Online!

Counseling takes ministry beyond the basics in Haiti

Refuge Center joins effort ofHands and Feet

FRANKLIN — For years, ministries in Haiti have worked on meeting the basics of life — clean water, food, shelter — for the thousands of orphaned or abandoned children there.

It’s only recently that one of those ministries, Franklin-based Hands and Feet Project, moved to a higher level of care, dealing with children’s emotional and mental stress through a new partnership with The Refuge Center.

The Refuge Center, a Franklin faith-based counseling center, will start the process Saturday as a group of clinicians leaves for an intense two days of evaluations with children in Hands and Feet villages in southern Haiti.

“This partnership fulfills the circle,” said Mark Stuart, executive director and co-founder of the ministry. “We’ve worked with doctors for physical help, teachers for educational help. This is the final piece of the puzzle.”

“Hands and Feet partnered with us because we’re experts in trauma,” said Amy Alexander, executive director of The Refuge Center. “But we’re not experts in Haitian culture. We’re all going into this first trip with a spirit of humility, ready to learn.

“Our core values are the same. And the heartbeat is to care well and do it with excellence.”

As house mothers in Hands and Feet villages build relationships with the children, who may not have living parents in the country, outbursts and behavior issues from past trauma may crop up. The Refuge Center will hold group assessments with children through specific age-based questions.

The goal is to create a manual and go back to Haiti several times a year. They’ll also meet with the house mothers and site directors.

Since announcing the partnership, The Refuge Center has had calls from local clinicians who want to help, Alexander said.

Hands and Feet has been working in Haiti for almost 10 years and takes care of about 100 children in two villages. An American family of missionaries lives at each as its site director, and Haitian house mothers take care of about six children each in a home in the village.

Hands and Feet is building two sister villages for each existing village. As the children age out of the younger program, the new villages will be for 18- to 22-year-olds who will also get vocational training.

Stuart, of the Christian band Audio Adrenaline, sees the global change in orphan care shifting from so much adoption, which he believes in (he has two children adopted from Haiti), to sponsorship and building community in a country.

“For so long the thought was to get them out,” he said.

But Hands and Feet’s children’s village model works to feed and educate children often with the idea that they may reunite with family.

Contact reporter Vicky Travis at vtravis@tennessean.com.



Meet Dean

Meet Dean in our latest installment of The Story Project

Dean had invested everything in his marriage. So when it fell apart, he was devastated and unsure of how to process his emotions. That’s when he found The Refuge Center. Listen to Dean share his story of how he went from being a victim to a victor and how The Refuge Center helped him keep hope alive.


Meet Sarah and Jonathan


Sarah and Jonathan came to The Refuge Center for Counseling almost three years ago to help
their children get through a dramatic divorce. However, the couple quickly realized their children
were fine, and the two of them were the ones who needed counseling.

The Refuge Center successfully helped them tear down the walls of mistrust and anger they had
built and helped them build bridges that led toward healthy communication and a successful co-
parenting plan.

Hear Sarah and Jonathan’s story of hope in their own words by watching the newest video
released as part of “The Story Project.”

“Will you help the next family that walks through the door by making a gift to The Refuge
Center? More families are seeking support this Spring than ever before. Your gift ensures that we
can continue offering therapy sessions with a sliding scale fee.”

Thank you,
The Refuge Center for Counseling