Everyone Has A Journey is this year’s theme for Sunset Sip, and what a journey these past months have been. Our clients, our staff, our supporters and our surrounding communities have all been navigating through life in a new way we never predicted. Although this has been a universal experience, each individual, child or adult, has their own journey unique to them. Each journey is a story of what you have learned, how you have grown and the hope that keeps you moving forward. It’s the process of becoming healthy and happy. 

Over the last few weeks, we shared updates from two of our staff members, Julie Ruano and Debbie Lambert, and a community partner, Mrs. Ausra Hassan. Like many of us, they have each been on a journey of change and growth in this year of uncertainty. Their encouraging messages articulated the power of perspective in persevering through the unknown.

Julie Ruano, Grants and Communications Specialist, expressed that while she misses connecting with her community, she is pushing through this challenging part of her journey with hope that it won’t last. She shared, “What is getting me through all of this is knowing that like all journeys, this will come to an end. And that it’s not about the journey itself or an end result, but it’s about the process that the journey takes you on and the person that you become throughout it.”

Mrs. Ausra Hassan, School Counselor at Barton Elementary in Long Beach, depicted a beautiful outlook on journeys being full of peaks and valleys, highs and lows. She encouraged us to have hope that things will get better in our low points so that we can keep climbing onward and upward. “My journey right now, like I’m sure many of yours, seems to be uncertain, and uncertainty can present some fear or anxiety. But I know that this particular experience will help me to get stronger, and continue to climb to the next peak, to the next experience, in this lifelong journey. I continue to have hope knowing that the view from the next peak will be worth the struggle and the climb. I have hope for you too.”

Debbie Lambert, Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist (MHRS), empowered us to embrace the journeys we are on and to pass that empowerment on to children and families. With a strong call to action in giving back to our community, Debbie enforces the point that no matter how many obstacles find their way on our paths – we can overcome them. “I say to you, embrace the journey. Embrace your life. The walk of your life. Love the journey, because it’s your life. And to embrace your journey means to love you.”

Join us on our journey to give hope from home at this year’s virtual Sunset Sip, presenting online on August 28th at 6:30 pm. Your participation will help us continue to provide support and mental health treatment to our community’s most disadvantaged children and their families struggling with mental illness and abuse.


To register for free, make a donation or become a sponsor, visit bit.ly/SUNSETSIP2020