A Message from Our CEO - May 2024

A Message from Our CEO – May 2024

Dear friends,

Whenever I hear a child laugh, see them smile, or hear about moments of joy for a family who has been struggling, I think about the journey they have each taken to reach that point. I am reminded of our “WHY” at Gemma – “Because You Matter” – and the many ways that our dedicated staff accompany youth and families to make sure they know how much they truly do matter.

Donations from friends like you enable Gemma to walk beside them along the way to their brighter future. For many of the children, teens, and families who come to Gemma, their path to joyful moments may be long and full of complex challenges.


  • You are 10 years old and have experienced abuse and then must go to live in a foster home, then another, and another – all because you “act out” how angry and scared you are.
  • You are 7 years old, and you are sent to our Martin Luther School because you were trying to run away from school or were fighting, and how you must feel about leaving your friends.
  • Or you are 12 and come to Gemma’s Residential Treatment Program, your third, and you still want to hurt yourself.
  • You are a parent with a 5-year-old whose behaviors are out of control, and you feel desperate and don’t know what to do.
  • Or you are a teenager who recently saw your friend get shot. You are scared to go to school, and you are having nightmares. So, you come to Gemma’s Outpatient Program to talk with a therapist for the first time, but you don’t know what to expect.

You might be feeling ashamed; possibly angry, sad, and scared. Perhaps, you feel invisible and all alone – – like you don’t matter. THEN – someone at Gemma says to you, “I understand. I’m here. I’ve got you.”

That’s exactly what we want each family, child, and teenager to feel – that they matter, and they are not alone. Gemma is here to accompany them on their journey for as long as it is helpful.

Your support is instrumental in enabling Gemma to assist more than 3,000 youth and families annually as they face extremely difficult times. As we near the end of our fiscal year on June 30th, we hope you will consider making a charitable gift to support Gemma’s programs and the youth and families we accompany every day. Your friendship matters. You are helping make it possible for Gemma to say to children and families, like those described above, “We understand, and we’ve got you.” Together, we are working to create a world where every person knows they matter, and they are not alone. Gemma is here for them because you are here with us.

Most sincerely,

Kristen E.M. Gay, Ph.D.
President and CEO