Living

‘Someone To Tell It To’

In Sun Country, There’s…
By Aura Hill


Tom Kaden Tom Kaden This year, two men co-founded a non-profit counseling service with a mission to relieve pain, ease isolation, soothe anxiety and bring peace to those in need.

“Someone To Tell It To” provides a safe place to offer guidance and insights to enable those searching for meaning to find it, those wanting deeper relationships to learn to develop them and those needing to know that they are innately worthy of love and acceptance to discover and embrace that,” Hershey’s Michael Gin­gerich wrote about the venture he and Tom Kaden recently began together.

“We want to offer a safe place where anyone, with any issue, can come to share, to unload and to find clarity and, we hope, to find healing and well-being, offering this without required cost to anyone who comes to us,” Gingerich said.

Both are pastors, Kaden is at Engage Community Church in Carl­isle and was youth director at Trinity United Methodist in Hummelstown. Gingerich, not presently assigned to a church, is a frequent “guest preacher” at area churches.

“As pastors, we are doing min­istries we love which are building re­lationships with deeper connections, providing a safe environment that is gra­cious and compassionate. It took both of us talking together to realize that we can provide this service to more people,” Kaden said.

“The most important and profound service we can offer is compassionate listening, simply forming a place of trust, intimacy and healing; a sacred place that reminds us that we are not -- and never need to be — left to face our challenges on our own,” Gingerich said.

Their counseling reaches out through all forms of com­munication, social media as well as traditional face to face conversations.

“We blog three times a week,” Gingerich said. “We do counseling through writing. We write about letting go, for­giving, grace, joy, connections, deeper relationships.”

“We connect with a lot of secular people,” Kaden said, “those who are skeptical of religion or ones who have been burned by a church. We try to show them a better way.”

“Some of our people are deep Christians and some are non-believers,” Gingerich said. “It doesn’t matter. We meet them where they are. We don’t judge, we don’t condemn.”

In addition to blogging, they routinely use Facebook, Skype, email and telephone to get their word out. As a result, clients come from throughout the country and the world. A woman from New Zealand, devastated by continuing earth­quakes, needed someone to talk to and contacted them; a fellow living literally in the middle of nowhere suffered from isolation issues and needed “somebody to tell it to.”

“It’s not our motivation to offer advice,” Kaden said. “We don’t tell people what to do. We help people find their way. We challenge them, asking things like ‘is this best for you, for your family?’ We ask them what is in your heart, your mind, your gut.”

“Sometimes we simply give them permission to feel this way, to choose this path or take this course of action,” Gingerich said. “Usually their reaction is ‘thanks, I needed to hear that.’”

Although they are a non-profit, they have nothing against money.

“Our mission is a service that is free of charge, but we are hoping for donations from those who can afford to give something,” Gingerich said.

He told of a young lady who, af­ter her insurance plan changed, could no longer afford the $150 per session her then counselor charged.

“She came to us and said she would pay what she could, but it wasn’t

$150,” Gingerich said.

One of the administrative jobs they are working on is a fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 2. Tim Madigan, award-winning newspaper journal­ist, after hearing of the duo’s efforts, offered to come speak to raise funds for their mission. They had contacted Madigan after reading his book, “I’m Proud of You,” which told of his rela­tionship with the late Fred “Mr.” Rog­ers. “It was a meaningful connec­tion,” Gingerich said. “All he wanted to know is ‘what can I do for you?’”

Of their efforts, Madigan wrote,

“I learned of their hopes to help coax people out of their isolation, (as Fred coaxed me out of mine).

“I believe one of the greatest struggles of humankind is individual isolation, particularly with suffering.

With great personal courage them­selves, these two guys are committed to tackling that strug­gle head on. I endorse them without reservation, and admire them both greatly. I am proud to call them my brothers, my friends,” Madigan said.

For more information on their mission, making a dona­tion or simply for Somebody To Tell It To, contact them at michaelandtom@somebodytotellitto.org or www.someone­totellitto.org.


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