Welcome to "Compassion for Life/Disaster Relief Servants"
WHAT IS COMPASSION FOR LIFE?
Compassion for Life is a 501C-3, non-profit, non-denominational, humanitarian, charitable organization that provides physical, spiritual, mental/emotional and other relief necessary to aid victims of poverty, natural and/or man-made disasters. Compassion for Life assists the uninsured/underinsured to help meet their needs following a disaster. Compassion for life assists the impoverished/elderly/disabled coordinated with other organizations within the community. The organization was established in November 2004. Donations/proceeds are used 90% for ministering to the needy who have no other means of support and 10% for the ministry's operating expenses. We operate strictly on a volunteer basis, there are no paid positions within the organization. The organization is currently funded by private donations. Corporate sponsorship, fellowships and/or grants are welcomed if anyone wants to assist us so that no one is turned away due to the lack of funds, supplies, donations or volunteers.
THE SERVICES WE OFFER
- Disaster Relief: Food, water, clothing, hygiene items, blankets, clothes/toys/games for the children and household furnishings are offered to victims of natural and/or man-made disasters. When available to us, we will help in mobile kitchens feeding the first responders at hurricane, flooded or other disaster sites as well as the remaining victims in those areas. When asked to assist, we help with the gutting of flooded or fire raveged homes left by hurricanes, floods, fires, etc.
- First Responder Assistants: First individuals to arrive at a disaster site to give assistance to the victims by way of CPR, First Aid, Traffic Control until Fire, Police, Military or EMS arrive to take over. When asked to assist, we will also aid in search and rescue missions.
- PITT (Preparation In Today's Times) Program: Providing disaster preparedness material for the public.
- Fire Safety Program: Providing smoke detectors for the needy in the community, when supply is available.
- Keep Kool Program: Providing fans in the hot months and heaters in the cold months for the needy in the community, when supply is available.
- Clothing Mission Program: Providing clothing for disaster victims and the needy within the community.
COMPASSION FOR LIFE'S MISSION
The mission of Compassion for Life is to provide relief, when possible, to organizations and/or private individuals in times of natural and/or man-made disasters. Compassion for Life will strive to maintain a strong community services presence and will attempt to coordinate humanitarian projects with other non-profit organizations without prejudice toward anyone regarding race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age or creed.
COMPASSION FOR LIFE BELIEVES IN ACCOUNTABILITY
- We began CFL in November 2004. CFL's income from November 2004-December 2004 was a total of $75.00 in monetary donations.
- In 2005, CFL began to flourish as many of you hopped on board with our vision. The total income for CFL in 2005 was $4685.00. This amount includes all gross receipts of monetary contributions and donations of material goods combined.
- In 2006 we took in $17,186.00 in donated goods and $5,386.00 in financial donations. The total for 2006 was $22,571.00.
- In 2007 the total income for CFL was $10,855.75 for total receipts. $6,449.00 was donated goods and $4,406.75 was monetary contributions.
- In 2008 the total income for CFL was $9,713.33. Even though the economy was doing poorly, we still had faithful givers that invested $5,815.00 in monetary donations and $3898.33 in donated goods to help us help others.
- The gross receipts for 2009 for CFL was $14,045.00. $7,335.00 was monetary contributions and $6,710.00 was donated goods.
- The gross receipts for 2010 for CFL was $8,310.83. $3,090.00 was monetary contributions and $5,220.83 was donated goods.
- The gross receipts for 2011 for CFL was $12,065.70. $3,315.26 was monetary and $8,750.44 was donated goods.
- The gross receipts for 2012 for CFL was $7861.88. $3741.88 was monetary and $4120.00 was donated goods.
- The gross receipts for 2013 for CFL was $7804.49. $2710.19 was monetary and $5094.30 was donated goods.
We thank all of our friends and partners...you are truly amazing! Thank you all for having faith in us, we are so humbled. We pledge to be good stewards over everything that is donated and sown into our ministry to help to meet the needs of others. We are especially grateful for your love and prayerful support.
Paul & Barbara Testa, CEO/Founders
COMPASSION FOR LIFE'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 , 2013 & 2014
The end of 2004 is when we decided we needed to form Compassion for Life. We filed the appropriate paperwork, paid the designated fees and began seeking out training. 2005 began with being mentored by another disaster relief organization with 15 years expierence. The name of the organization is "Hearts With Hands" located in Asheville, NC. They gave us encouragement, direction, some gear and many materials to model our programs after. From there we took Community Emergency Response Team training and gained our certification. We were also certified in CPR and First Aid. Upon completion of our training we were immediately thrust into action with the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. We helped in the giving of clothing, hygiene items, blankets and toys/games for the children of nearly 80 displaced families that evacuated to our area. We were given over 2000 lbs. of water that we delivered to a distribution center in Destrehan, LA called "Covenant Compassion Center" that furnished water for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We were called upon to supply water for "The Development Group" who were relief workers helping to rebuild and put on tarps in Florida from Hurricane Dennis' fury. As 2005 was coming to an end, wildfires began breaking out in the South. We were able to help a family who lost their home in a fire with money, clothes and toys for the children. As 2006 began, the wildfires continued to destroy and devour everything in their paths. Our Operation Restoration Program went into effect by cleaning up yards to free them of debris, leaves, dead branches, trash, etc. to make the elderly/disabled safer from the wildfire dangers. Our PITT Program (Preparation In Today's Times) also went into effect. We held a class on disaster preparedness for the public to aid them in keeping safe during all the wildfire breakouts. The wildfires took many dwellings in our community and we helped with a fundraiser that brought in approximately $45,000.00 for the victims that did not have insurance. We were also able to help ease some financial distress for a single mom and her family by helping her to pay her medical bills. A houseful of furniture, small and large applieances and clothing was donated to Compassion for Life in May. We contacted the Fire Chief and were hooked up with individuals that needed items that had lost everything in the January wildfires in our local community. We were able to bless 4 families with material goods. Compassion for Life's Founders were given a 24' travel trailer to get away and relax from all the hard work they do helping others. They accepted the gift with the intent to allow CFL Relief workers to use whenever they are called to help at disaster sites, ensuring they will always have a safe, secured place to rest up for the following days work. Compassion for Life has been blessed with an over abundance of clothing, so much we have run out of storage. We have been able to help another organization within our community, called New Haven Helping Hands with their clothing ministry. We were also glad to help the ministry of the Lutheran Church in Mineral Wells called, "The Acts Of Prayer" for their outreach to the homeless. They give meals and clothing to the homeless and we were blessed to give them a truck load of clothing for their cause. The "Girls In Action" from Garner Baptist Church had a garage sale to help pay for their summer camp. The items left over from their garage sale they donated to Compassion for Life. We have been in need of more storage space for quite some time and the Tincher's of Mineral Wells, TX donated a large storage unit to Compassion for Life, "What a blessing!" Awhile back we were blessed with $400 worth of Microsoft software, including Quick Books from KLTY Radio Station. We were in need of a newer computer that was capable of running the new programs on. In May we were blessed with a newer computer from Joella Feasel of Bliss Charters in Fostoria, OH. and a monitor from Kathy McCann of Weatherford, TX. In September, a 5700 watt generator was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Tatum of Mineral Wells, TX., making us self-sufficient at disaster sites. As members of Parker County CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) we have been briefed on "The Cities Readiness Initiative" and the State of Texas mandate for emergency preparedness opportunities, training classes and drills across the country. In Sept. 2006 we returned to Louisiana to help at a distribution center and to help rebuild homes. The need still remains a year after Katrina and we will continue to help in whatever way we can to rebuild the lives that Katrina tried to destroy. We were blessed with a brand new 16' cargo trailer in November 2006 and were able to put it to use immediately. We had furniture donated to an elderly/disabled couple that lost their home to a fire. We were able to furnish their home with those donations. We were able to bless a single mom who was recently released from drug rehab to get back on her feet and supply her with items for her apartment. A mother of 5 contacted us and needed clothes, shoes and coats for her children along with many household items that were greatly needed due to a family crisis. As 2007 began we have attended refresher courses on chemical disasters, storm tracker safety, etc. We were contacted by a fire victim, Sally Johnson, and we were able to give her some donated items that she needed. We were also blessed to be able to help out a family of 11 who lost their home to fire as well. The Ramirez family of Mineral Wells, TX received clothing, bedding, small appliances, furniture items, household decorating items, etc. We were also able to help provide assistance to a family of 7 when the mother was diagnosed with cancer and she needed a blood transfusion. CFL gave blood and food for the family when their supply had run down due to large medical bills. Many of you also donated blood to replenish her supply and we exceeded it! The family was donated so much food that they did not have room to store it all. A local church offered to pay the family's electric bill for one year...our friends and partners are the best! Together we will continue to help the helpless and bring hope to the hopeless. Thanks to all of you who support us with your time, prayers, finances and goods. We could not do all that we do without you, thank you! We have been blessed to welcome a Grief Recovery Specialist, Denise Alessandri to our team. Denise helps victims to live beyond their loss. She does grief, loss, bereavement counseling for the disaster victims that we encounter. Our CERT team was activated to help assist the flood victims of Horseshoe Bend in June 2007 when the gates were opened at Possum Kingdom Dam which flooded the already saturated land from all of the unseasonable rain that Texas had. There were many victims that needed to be evacuated and sheltered during that time. Our church relief team, EMIC Emergency Relief, went to Gainsville and Sherman Texas to hand out food to the flood victims in those areas and to adopt a family that lost everything with financial assistance. CFL will assist the disaster victims that the Red Cross helps, when contacted by the victims, with the programs that we have to assist them in their recovery. In 2008, we joined up with the efforts of U-Turn World Ministries of Fort Worth, TX in assisting the afflicted within that ministry. The April/May hail storms caused much damage to the residents of Mineral Wells, TX. We were blessed to assist an elderly/disabled widow on a fixed income without insurance to make some repairs to her home. June brought an opportunity to help a disabled mother of 4 children to clothe, feed and encourage her and her children. We were also able to give her a hospital bed and wheelchair, thanks to our donors. We humbled and honored to be invited to speak at the First United Methodist Church Men's Fellowship Breakfast. We are always blessed when others show an interest in what we are called to do. Hurricane Gustav caused quuite a stir, however we did not have to deploy due to the lack of it predicted severity. We were however, deployed to assist an international disaster relief organization called Operation Blessing International. We had the capability of feeding up to 2,000 people a day from their mobile kitchen, both first responders and survivors of Ike. We filled out work orders in the hard hit community of Bridge City, TX where over 90% of the homes were flooded. We provided gutting of homes, blue tarping of roofs and tree removal. It was a very rewarding trip. 2009 has been a financial trying time on many. We have been contacted by a wide varienty of individuals who are losng their homes, jobs and are just plain hurting financially. Many want us to pay their bills, however, that is not our mission. Wish we could assist them, but we must stick to our calling. We were, however, able to help a disabled widow living on a limited income who needed some warm clothing, blankets and a heater for the winter months and to assist an elderly woman with a decrease in her income to stock her pantry until food stamps kicked in for her. We were blessed to help a family of 6 whose home burned to the ground. They lost everything, including their 3 dogs. No one was home when the blaze took place. We were able to assist them with clothing, furniture, bedding, appliances and household items. Another fire took the historic Dunbar Neighborhood Council that housed several homeless residents. They all escaped with only the clothes on their backs. We were able to provide clothing for the residents. We took a truckload of clothes to one of the drop off points for the fire victims. Fire also injured a 5 year old boy early in 2009. CFL has been donating blood every 52 days, the designated time allowed between donating times, for the young victim. The child will be needing many surgeries ans this is the only way we know to help the child and his family. If anyone is inteested in donating for this child, please contact us and we will give you all of his information to donate blood on his behalf. CFL was also blessed to assist in furnishing another home for homeless foks that have gotten off the strees, drugs, etc. and are cleaning up their lives. We assisted another disaster relief organization that helped the flood victims in North Dakota and also their efforts in the Alanta, Georgia area that suffered much loss due to massive flooding. We have worked with this organization before and since we could not physically assist them in heir efforts, we sent them some finances to help their endeavors. We have been able to help a family of 8 that have been dsplaced from their home. Once they found another location to dwell, we were able to help them with needed items and clothing. We were contacted by fire victims from Louisiana and Illinois. We offered to mail clothing and to fill up their homes with furniture once they fund themselves a new place to live. Since they could not make the trip to Texas to pick up the items, we offered to meet them halfway with a full cargo trailer to deliver the items to them. We were also able to assist a family of 5 whose residence burned, leaving them homeless. We supplied them with toys for the children, clothing, bedding, dishes, etc. in their temporary dwellng. We offered furniture to them when they relocated to a new residence. 2010 began with earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. At that time, we realized we needed to expand our vision and our outreach. We busied ourselves with filing the necessary paperwork and paying the many fees to empower us to go internationally to assist at disaster sites whenever possible. 2010 brought another change for CFL. We lost our Grief Recovery Specialist this year. Due to her move to Missouri, we no longer provide grief, loss and bereavement counseling to our clients. Since we had a lot of medical equipment donated to us, we were able to assist 2 elderly individuals that were in need of a walker and a 4-prong cane after the one hurt his leg and the other broke her back after they both suffered falls and were not covered by Medicare. We have made an alliance with Integra Care to assit their clients with medical equipment when available, and we were able to help out some of their clients already with this new partnership. Alone we can do some good, but together we accomplish much more! We assisted an elderly/disabled man who had been hospitalized, had too many doctor bills to buy himself food...we were blessed to provide food for him. With donated appliances, we were able to assist a Food Kitchen Ministry in Fort Worth that feeds the hungry. They were in need of the appliances and we were thrilled to help them fill this need. A MWISD teacher contacted us regarding an impoverished family of 6 and their extended family. The family relocated after a housefire took all their belongings. It took them 4 years to get into a home and they were in need of everything! We were blessed to assist them with clothing, toys for the children, dishes, bedding, a house full of furniture, etc. The grandmother needed a walker and the sister, a single mom, was given maternity clothes, baby clothes and all the baby items needed for a newborn! This family was so very grateful for all the wonderful things that we were able to provide for them. CFL committed to donating blood for the many surgeries left a young man after being hit head on by an oncoming car going the wrong direction on the interstate. Until the young man is fully healed, fitted with his prosthetic leg, finished with his rehab and back functioning in society, we are commited to helping him. Thanks to Mineral Wells Medical Supply, who donated an adjustable hospital table for this young man, we were able to meet a need when the insurance company refused to do so. 2011 has been an extremely hot/dry year, making wildfires abundant in our area. We were so blessed to be able to help several families that have been dispaced by house fires. We were able to assist them with toys for the children, clothing, furniture, small appliances, bedding, dishes, TV's and many other household items. We were also able to assist the firefighters with water, chapstick, and many other donated items from our grateful community for all their hard work fighting the wildfires to keep us safe. With so much help from so many in the community, we can accomplish much! Since we wee busy assisting the wildfire victims in our area we were unable to go the Mississippi River regions to assist them with all the clean up from the flooding. We were able to send finances to a disaster relief organization assisting the flood victims in that area. We were able to assist a single dad with 2 children in Boyd, TX when their home burned down. We gave them furniture, clothes and toys for the children. We sent finances to assist the relief workers during Hurricane Irene since we were dealing with another fire victim at that time. We assisted a family whose home burned down in Millsap, TX by furnishing their home with furniture and clothes for the entire family. We were blessed to be able to assist with the needs of a newborn baby of a mentally handicapped and impoverished mother. We have also pledged to assist a family in Albany, LA whenever they relocate after they lost their home to a fire and cannot find assistance in their area. 2012 began with assisting another organization within our communtiy that helps the elderly. We were blesses to help with some elderly that have been displaced with furniture, small appliances, pots & pans, etc. We also assisted a disabled woman who had been displaced from her home in Arizona. She moved to TX to make a new start, however she had nothing but the clothes on her back. A local church asked for our assistance and we were happy to assist her with clothes, bedding, furniture, pots & pans, microwave, etc.. We assisted OBI with their clean up efforts after tornadoes hit the southern states. Since we were out of state at that time, we sent them some finances to help defray their costs of feeding the relief workers and victims alike, housing and clean up efforts. We were able to help a 53 year old woman who is underinsured with a wheelchair after she had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and unable to walk. We were blessed to be able assist an elderly/disabled woman who called in need of a window A/C unit to help her beat the unseasonably hot summer due to an A/C unit that had been donated to our "Keep Kool Program". We offerd assistance to a widow in Gordon, TX and a family in Shreveport, LA that both lost their homes in July. Whenever they relocate they will be given furniture/ clothing/toys for the children, etc. We were unable to physically assist at the disaster sites at the time of Hurricane Isaac, however, we were able to send finances to another disaster relief organization that had set up a base camp in Louisiana and Haiti to assist with feeding and helping those victims to rebuild their lives. In September we were able to help with a community effort to relocate an elderly/diabled couple caring for a young child after their trailer house was invaded by a rattlesnake. We were contacted by a case manager working for an aging program that was seeking assistance for one of her clients. The disabled/impoverished man was being released from the nursing home and was in need of furniture, clothing, etc. for his relocation process. We were blessed to have the items on hand to help meet his needs. When Hurricane Sandy pounded the East Coast of the USA, we were able to send finances to OBI, another relief organization staged there to assist the victms with food and the rebuilding of their lives. We were unable to assist, in person, due to our own building project at the same time. 2013 began with assisting a home-healthcare worker in need of a wheelchair for one of her clients. Apparently, with the cuts in Medicare the elderly/disabled are restricted on what they can currently get. The disabled, stage -four cancer victim was in need of a handicapped shower seat, a bedside portable toilet chair and a wheelchair, however, only one of the three Medicare will provide. We, however, will give all we have in supply to whoever is in need, and be so blessed to do so. There was a bombing at the Boston marathon this year and many people were injured at that time. There was also a bus crash in TX injuring 40 more folks. CFL donated blood to help the some of the injured. Carter Bloodcare informed us that Boston did not need the blood due to the high volume of donors in that area. The bus crash victims depleted their reserves, and after the fertilizer explosion in West, TX, we were told that our blood donation had gone to the many victims of the explosion that had been hospitalized. We had gone to West, TX to offer our assistance to those in need. We were blessed to make a contact at that time to give the victims our contact information whenever they get settled in and are in need of furniture, clothing, etc. We will help as many uninsured/underinsured victims as our supply allows. EMIC Relief at our church went to assist the remaining victims of hurricane sandy who have not received the assistance promised to them by the government. We were assisting with another disaster at the time, however, we sent them off with some finances to help them with their construstion and food distribution costs. There has been mass destruction in Cleburne and Granbury, TX from a series of tornadoes that ripped through TX. We went to see how we could be of assistance to the victims in those areas. We made a connection with a Community Emergency Response Team member involved with Mission Granbury. Thanks to the many donations outpouring for this cause, we have many trailer loads of furniture, clothing, household items, etc to help the victims get their lives back on track, so many infact that Mission Granbury ran out of room for anymore items! After a local church contacted us on behalp of an impoverished couple in need of a hot-plate or an electric skillet to cook on, we were able to provide them with an electric stove instead! We offered our assistance to a family from our church who live in the Fort Worth area. Their home burned down and we offered to assist them with furniture for their home once they get relocated. When called to help a single mother of 2 small children to escape her abuser and furnish a home for her and her children, we were thrilled to be able to help. Unfortunately, she went back to her abuser. We continue to pray that she has the strength to break away from her abuser and embrace a better life for her and her children. We are awaiting to assist her when she gets the courage to leave. We had a large amount of men's clothes that we found a need for in Azle, TX. We took enough clothes to provide for the 25 residents of the homeless shelter in Azle, TX with enough leftover for many new arrivals with the cargo trailer full that we took to them. An elderly/disabled and uninsured couple in Mineral Wells had lost their home and all their belongings after lightning struck their dwelling. We were extremely blessed to give them furniture for their living room, bedroom, kitchen, home office and to replace their cookware, microwave, washer and dryer. Their enthusiastic gratefullness blessed us more than we blessed them. As 2013 is quickly coming to an end, the needs of others continues. We were greatly blessed to help an edlerly/disabled/impoverished grandmother when her adult grand daughter called for our assistance. The grandmother was released from hospice, however, she had nowhere to go and no furnishings. We were thrilled to furnish her new apartment upon her release. We were happy to assist a single mother of 2 when she had to find a safe place for her children to escape their pedifile father. The mother found an apartment, however, she had no furnishings. We were able to provide a new start for her and her children. Another young couple with an infant had escaped drug abusing family near the Texas/Mexico border. They had been living in a motel when we got a call for assistance from The United Way. We were to happy to assist this little family with furnishings for their apartment, clothes and toys for the baby. When Typhoon Haiyan, the biggest one to date, struck the Philippines our hearts broke seeing all the devastation. Since we were not asked to deploy, we are always eager to help in any way that we can. We partnered with OBI/CBN Disaster Relief who are already in that area with financial assistance. We were also able to assist a single mother of 2 small children with furnishings, clothes and toys for the children when she moved to a safe place away from her abusive boyfriend. 2014 began with a referal from Hospice in our area. The elderly/disabled/impoverished client was in need of some furnishings upon moving to her own apartment since she has improved to the point of living on her own after being hit by a car while in her wheelchair. She was also a victim of spousal abuse and had fled her home without any furnishings. Her outpouring of thankfulness for the items we were able to give to her was such a blessing to us! With a referral from another commumity outreach group that gets individuals back on their feet and empowers them with job seeking assistance had asked for our help for a single mother of 3 children. The mother and children were only days away from being homeless when they were rescued and a place was provided for them. They had a roof over their heads, but no furnishings for the apartment. We were able to assist them with some furnishings and lots of hugs. We were contacted by the Salvation Army for assistance with helping a family of 5 who lost all of their belongings in a house fire in April. Carter Bloodcare contacted us in June to donate our particular blood types due to their supply being depleted. We donate whenever there is a need. Due to back injuries suffered by both CFL Founders for several years, the time has arrived that the doctor has insisted that the Founders stop their disaster relief work. As of July 1, 2014, Compassion For Life/Disaster Relief Servants will be closing our doors for good. All donated goods will be given to The Noah's Ark Thrift Store within our community...they assist other organizations and people within the community. CFL's cargo trailer will be given to Disaster Relief Team Palo Pinto County to help them with their start up efforts. All monetary donations of CFL will be given to Operation Blessing International of which CFL Founders have worked with numerous times at disaster sites. OBI is an organization of integrity and excellence that we have witnessed firsthand. 90% of what is donated to OBI goes for disaster relief alone. We are so grateful for all who have supported us and our passion for helping the helpless and bringing hope to the hopeless for the past 10 years...thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! We have only been able to do what we have done, with the help, prayers and support that so many of you have given. Your reward in heaven will be great!