Congratulations to Restoration ID for being applauded by Avalon Park Wesley Chapel.
The nonprofit officially started in February 2021, but the idea was birthed out of a men’s church retreat in November 2020 where Josh Saliba, along with 10 other men, traveled to Logansport, Louisiana, to slow down and seek God.
“Coming back from the trip, we began talking about what made that trip so special and how do we create space for what happened on the retreat, to happen back in our everyday lives,” says Saliba.
One of the conversations Saliba had was with Mike Schaer, a captain in the Temple Terrace Fire Department, who also went on the trip.
“We talked about how much first responders specifically see, and deal with, and how much a trip like this would help. More than the trip, it was the community that made the difference. That is where our work with first responders was born,” says Saliba.
Some of the things that Saliba and the Restoration ID team have found as they work with first responders are:
- According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 1 in 3 first responders develop PTSD.
- Depression is up to 5 times more common in first responders.
- Studies show the divorce rate for law enforcement personnel is around 75%.
- Statistics show that first responders are more likely to die from suicide than from a duty-related death.
“What we discovered was that as we created spaces for First Responders to connect with others, it allowed us to begin having great conversations about their lives and health. Believing that it was the authentic community that was opening the doors to these types of conversations, we began to look for ways to build those relationships,” says Saliba.
Some of the ways Restoration ID helps support first responders is by hosting monthly meals for first responder agencies, organizing family events and date nights for first responder families, and promoting businesses in the area to help them take care of a family’s needs while first responders are deployed and serving.
“We are constantly looking for other opportunities to build an authentic community with first responders so that we can have real conversations that lead to a healthier culture in their worlds,” says Saliba.
One of the more recent ways Restoration ID has helped is to cook for agency members on the frontlines in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The nonprofit has served over 300 meals in the first five days of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office being deployed to Cape Coral.
Restoration ID also works with other organizations and community groups such as Grace Family Church, The Arbours at Fort King in Dade City, various groups in Zephyrhills, as well as both the Temple Terrace Police and Fire Departments.
The goal is the same: create places for authentic community to happen, so that they can engage in real conversations that add value to people’s lives and, ultimately, restore their identities and create a culture that is unified and healthier than before.
For more information, go to RestorationID.org, or call 813-618-7909.