Saturday, January 30, 2016

Caring Causes: Angel Faces

Angel Faces®, a California-based nonprofit, is looking for adolescent girls to attend their annual healing retreat. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2016. Founded by Lesia Cartelli, who was severely burned in a gas explosion at age nine, this holistic retreat focuses on the psychosocial needs of injured girls. There is no cost to the girls; fees for the retreat are paid by donors to Angel Faces.

The retreat is designed to inspire and nurture the girls to process their injuries and losses and the professional instruction and activities, tailored to their unique needs, help boost their self-image and confidence so they may reach their fullest potential.

"We take girls who hurt inside and out, who may be in a spiral of self-pity, anger and depression, and we teach them to get out of the spiral by embracing the pain as a blessing,” Cartelli said. "We show them how tragedy can wake us to life's richness, how it touches our heart and our soul on many levels.”
The so-called Level I retreat is for girls 12-18. Its curriculum teaches girls how to improve their self-image and increase self-confidence while embracing their trauma and related disfigurement. Licensed therapists lead sessions on trauma and loss issues, followed by activities that facilitate emotional healing through verbal expression, journaling and art therapy. The girls attend sessions on how to handle stares, teasing and unwanted questions, and do goal-setting exercises. They also receive professional instruction for applying corrective cosmetics and experience therapeutic massage and facials that help them connect with and embrace their body, for perhaps the first time. Starting this year, participants in the Level I retreat will be required to commit to participating in a year-long, online after-care program, called 'Angels in Flight,' which reinforces and builds skills learned and friendships made during the retreat.

Angel Faces' mission is to provide healing retreats and ongoing support of adolescent girls and young women with burn/trauma injuries to achieve their optimum potential and develop meaningful relationships for themselves, their families, and their communities. Its board includes medical professionals such as Dr. Michael Murphy, Boston; Dr. Melanie Palm, Solana Beach, CA; and Dr. Jill Waibel, Miami.

Angel Faces is a 501(c) (3) non-profit, Federal Tax ID # 20-5718594.

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