He was a good man . . . kind, loving and adventurous. He enjoyed his friends, cherished his family and loved flying. According to his mom, Patti Carey, Cory was fascinated with airplanes from an early age, learning everything he could about them so no one was surprised when he became a corporate pilot. And as any professional pilot knows, the road to success requires an unwavering commitment, intense focus and a good support system. Cory had all three, which is exactly why he would love the concept behind the recently established Cory Lee Campbell Wings Fund – helping women and children take flight away from abuse.
We hear and read statistics all the time that say women return to their abusers up to seven times before finally leaving them for good. It sounds ludicrous to those outside the situation but what that statistic doesn’t say is why. Why would a woman return to someone who beats her, takes her car keys, installs tracking software on her cell phone and takes away her human rights? It’s actually very simple. They have no place to go.
And if there are children involved, it gets even more complicated. Their stories play out every day at Mission Granbury’s Ada Carey Shelter.
In the ten years since it was founded, the Ada Carey Shelter has been an emergency shelter only - a safe place for women and children trying to escape an abusive situation. They may stay 30 to 45 days while they search for housing, usually with friends or family, and employment if they’re staying in the area. But, family members are not always equipped to take them in and are often concerned about their own safety from the abuser. Over half arrive with no car, little work experience and sometimes, no ID, which makes finding gainful employment even more difficult. If there are children, it’s even more daunting. She must now consider uprooting her children from their schools and/or figuring out daycare and finding affordable housing in a safe neighborhood. Leaving took courage but facing the realities of starting over can be even more frightening, especially in a 30-day timeframe.
We were sure we could have a stronger, more meaningful impact if we just had more time to work with residents who had that unwavering commitment and intense focus.
In January, we stepped out on faith and launched a pilot program with a resident who was working very hard to start over. She and her son were diligently trying to find a way NOT to go back. She worked three jobs, saved her money and was making every effort to put her life back together.
Today, six months later, the resident is working a full time job and with the help of her MG care team, she was able to purchase a used car, get insurance and move into her own place. Her budget is tight but doable.
The Cory Campbell Wings Fund is designed to step in at graduation and assist with the initial move-in expenses such as rent and utility deposits, bedding and a small allowance for furniture to help the new family get established.
I didn’t know Cory, but I hope he saw the joy in the little boy’s face when he walked into his own room for the first time in years. Even more, I know he would be happy to know this is just the beginning. This program – The Wings Program works and we have to do what works if we intend to make a meaningful impact.
For more information on the Wings Program or to donate to the Cory Campbell Wings Fund, go to www.missiongranbury.org or call 817-579-6866.