The Refuge Center Honors

Linda Bennett Compassionate Care Award

Anita Pringle, LPC-MHSP

Linda Bennett (1969-2016), a beloved member of The Refuge Center for Counseling team, passed away in 2016 after a hard battle with cancer. She was the first director and founder of our Compassionate Care Program and nurture team. This program’s focus is to help manifest, in tangible ways, our commitment to support, encourage, and nurture our interns/staff/volunteers/board members; to help foster their emotional, spiritual, and physical health; to equip them with tools to prevent compassion fatigue; to celebrate the personal and professional successes of our Refuge Center family; and to be a source of help to them in times of need. The team also focuses on tangible forms of appreciation for the contribution each makes to the work and culture of The Refuge Center. 

In 2016, we began The Linda C. Bennett Compassionate Care Award to honor and remember our friend. Linda received the inaugural award and going forward, the award will be given to a Refuge Center team member each year.

Anita Pringle, LPC-MHSP, Clinical Director​

“I think everyone at The Refuge Center shows compassionate care, but Anita is someone, I and others, recognize as going above and beyond in a very effortless and genuine way. Anita is a constant and consistent source of support, especially in times of need. She appreciates the work each person does to contribute to the culture of refuge, while encouraging and nurturing growth. Anita is kind, gracious, and honest. She doesn’t try to fix the hurt, but allows the space to be and move towards healing. Anita, I think I can speak for all of us when I say thank you for being you and demonstrating such compassion and care for others.” 

– Elizabeth Edwards, Staff Therapist & Director of the Compassionate Care Program

Volunteer of the Year

Dawn Garcia

The Refuge Center is fortunate to have many volunteers on our Board of Directors and Partnership Council. We are also grateful for the time and talents of many individuals and local groups from local businesses and churches who volunteer time with us. In 2017, we established our first Volunteer of the Year Award to honor volunteers who go above and beyond the volunteer role they are assigned. 

Our 2018 Volunteer of the Year is Dawn Garcia, who served on our Board of Directors for over six years.

Dawn is a mother and wife and lawyer and dispenser of unsolicited legal advice such as “if you’re going to court, make sure you’re wearing your pants.” She grew up in Wisconsin, but Tennessee has been home for the past 17 years. She finds joy and satisfaction in her immigration law practice. She also enjoys reading fiction and drinking good coffee. Volunteering with The Refuge Center has been a highlight for her, because high quality mental health care should be available to all.