Shortly after 9/11, Gina Roes answered a call for counselors to come to New York City. Without a guaranteed job, she packed up, sold her house, and moved, with her dog, to Manhattan. This spirit of trust, compassion, and courage allows her to best serve Inheritance of Hope’s families.
Now, Gina brings her 22 years of counseling experience to a new position at IoH. As Legacy Resources Manager, she is in charge of what makes our retreats more than just a vacation--the tools we offer families facing life-threatening illness.
Post 9/11, Gina gained insight into working with those who have survived trauma, grief, and loss. She has a true heart for the suffering, and over the course of her career has served clients of all ages. Having developed curriculum around these issues and supervised other counselors, Gina is well-positioned to expand our high-quality offerings while IoH continues to grow.
Gina first learned of IoH one day at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. Co-Founder Deric Milligan was a guest trumpeter at the service that morning, and gave a plug to the congregation that volunteers and counselors were needed on the upcoming Legacy RetreatⓇ. Just a month later, Gina was en route to the May 2015 Legacy RetreatⓇ to Orlando. Since then, she has only missed one, and recently marked her tenth retreat served.
In her new role, she will contact families before their retreat and answer any questions, assess ages and dynamics in organizing our group sessions, and also help standardize materials. She wants to be certain that each family, regardless of retreat location, gets the same wonderful IoH experience and is exposed to the same helpful ideas and resources “As IoH grows, we want to make sure,” she says, “that the groups on a New York City retreat are basically the same as those on an Orlando, Southern California, or Colorado retreat.”
Gina stresses that what IoH offers is not therapy, but rather a psychoeducational group, focusing on validating feelings surrounding the circumstances of each family and exploring helpful coping mechanisms together. She explains, “Especially in the kids’ groups, we are not extracting like in therapy, but rather putting things into their toolbox.”
|Children filling their “toolbox” in NYC.|
In addition to her big-picture duties, Gina will serve during retreats as needed and follow up with any additional support once families have gone home.
When asked what she most wants families to know about our group sessions, she answers that she hopes they understand our family-based approach--that we love each retreat participant as part of the IoH family, and much of the support we offer stems from that place. IoH is grateful to have Gina as part of this family!
Angie Howell graduated from Davidson College, where she met Inheritance of Hope Co-Founder Kristen Grady Milligan the first week of their freshman year. In 2010, the two former hallmates got back in touch, and Angie became involved in IoH shortly afterwards. Angie has has served as a Legacy Retreat volunteer, Coordinator, and now, as Communications Manager, Angie helps tell the stories of IoH. She is constantly inspired by the people she meets in the IoH family. Read more Inheritance of Hope blogposts >>