Anonymous donor brightens holiday for Wraparound Center - OSF Strive client
Linda Williams lost her son, John Bell III, in April 2017, an innocent victim of random gun violence. Williams is raising four of her eight grandchildren, Peoria Public School students ranging in age from nine to four.Battling stress and severe depression over the loss of her son, Williams reached out to the Wraparound Center for help in October 2018 shortly after they opened its doors.
Contacting OSF Strive was a good first step for Williams. However, it was the assertive outreach of psycotherapist Janie Exner, and case manager Barbara Hedrick over the next three months that encouraged her to stick with the supports. Exner and Hedrick kept calling and checking in with Williams, urging her to come back to the OSF Strive program.
Williams had made such temendous progress since reaching out to OSF Strive and the Wraparound Center that just before Christmas an anonymous donor, inspired by Williams’ story and the steady effort she has made to help herself and her grandchildren, surprised her with a gift of $500 cash – a perfect gift for a grandmother of eight.
OSF Strive is a trauma recovery program offered through OSF St. Francis Medical Center and one of ten Wraparound Center partners. The program offers counseling and other services to guide victims of violence through the healing process. OSF Strive counselors and case managers are specially trained to help victims of traumatic and violent events. OSF Strive also serves victims of violence from an office located at Manual Academy.
“My son was an innocent victim of violent crime. OSF Strive and the Wraparound Center helped me get through, that is a miracle. I want to live my life again,” said Williams after receiving the gift. “I couldn’t have made it without you,” she told Exner and Hedrick. “You kept me coming back. You taught me how to walk it out and breathe it out. I hope others who have experienced violence will think they can get help too.”