Awareness-Peace of Mind-Commitment
A 501c3 Non-profit of Worcester County MA
Supporting our countries heroes, our Veterans
OUR FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
CHARLES SMITH C.P.S.
WHAT IS KARMA?
Karma is a Massachusetts-based non-profit committed to empowering veterans and their families in living a healthy and fulfilling life post-wartime. The transition from wartime to home life includes dealing with trauma and violence that no human being should need to deal with alone. Only veterans who have had the experience of war, which is about 5.2% of all living people, truly understand the tremendous strain of wartime. Challenges for today’s veterans include: PTSD at rates of 14-33% depending on war, alcohol abuse with about 39% of veterans, prescription drug abuse at 11%, homelessness at 12%, and suicide rates where 22 veterans take their lives each day in the US. Karma was created to transform these numbers and help veterans proactively make the transition in a powerful, empathetic and thoughtful manner.
Karma has a leading edge curriculum that helps balance and normalize veteran’s lives so they can thrive and reintegrate in their home life with peace. We specialize in PTSD identification and healing, family intervention services for families-at-risk, and with confidence building programs for youth. Each and every one of us either: is a veteran, loves a veteran, knows a veteran and truthfully, we all should appreciate each and every veteran. We invite you to learn more about Karma's programs and make a donation to sponsor a scholarship for a veteran or their family member. Thank you so much for supporting those who protect each of us, our families and this great land.
Untreated, PTSD does not get better in time. It often gets worse
LONG TERM SOLUTIONS?
What is meant by long term solutions? We offer ways for our clients to live self-sufficient lives and be self-reliant, knowing Karma will be with them along the way will give our clients the assurance that they are not alone in the world.
When you’re a client of ours you’re not just a client you’re a partner for life. Karma is in place to augment the services already provided by other non-profits. We will be working with these other non-profits in our field as well as the emergency services in our area such as the police and hospitals. Karma offers peace of mind with our services that are desperately needed for our Veterans to live healthy and fulfilling lives post war-time.
Veterans Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255(TALK)
Director Charles Smith
I barely spoke 2 words for a while after my father’s death, and most of my childhood I battled the inner feelings that go along with this sort of childhood. My whole childhood I was angry at the world, and at God, and felt different then everyone else. I hid a lot of this from people that were closest to me, even some of my best friends didn’t know exactly what it was like for me, and the inner feelings I had. I had such low self-esteem I let the woman of my dreams slip through my fingers because I couldn’t bare to have her know and not feel the same. I was also bullied by some of my classmates, some because I was quiet, and some out right told me it was because I didn’t have parents.
I was a child with P.T.S.D. and neither my family nor doctors realized it, because back then it was known as battle fatigue and what 6yr old has battle fatigue? I turned to substance abuse to cope with the feelings I had, and I barely graduated high school, after I did, I became a soldier, my detox being Basic Training at Fort Benning Georgia. I became a U.S. Army Infantry Soldier. I served 3 years active duty 2 of which I was a team leader, and Battalion B.O.S.S. Representative (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers) I also spent 6 months in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, doing interior/exterior guard duty at Camp X-Ray. While at Gitmo I had become a sort of shoulder for a lot of the soldiers who missed their families, and helping the soldiers cope with being away from home. Although I never went to war, I seen my share in training such as a friend of mine being decapitated, my B.F.V. turret blowing up and my Gunner & B.C. both being blinded for about a year, a few riots in Gitmo Bay Cuba camps, and the list goes on.
After my time in the Army was over I was Honorably Discharged, and received the Good Conduct Medal, and the Overseas Medal among some of the other medals I received, I gained a lot of self-control and began coping with the inner demons and feelings I faced. Within some of the work I did in my civilian life I made a lot of friends, and met a lot of people with different problems in their lives; I found one of my gifts in life is to be sort of a consultant for them, to help them in their time of need. A lot of these people we’re in situations like what I lived through in my life.
Years went by and my Uncle that raised me, and my Grandfather both became deathly ill, dying only a month apart. When they died, it was like my parents dying all over again, which brought me into a deep and very dark depression, and spiked my PTSD to dangerous levels, I eventually tried to take my own life, I became a carver, just to feel something other than the emotions I had within me, and became homeless on the streets of downtown Boston Massachusetts. I found Veteran’s Shelters to stay at after about a year on the streets and started to rebuild my life. Over the 3 years I spent in the V.A. Homeless Shelters I met a lot of soldiers like myself that were homeless and needed help. A lot of help that was not there for them at the time; I knew they all needed permanent solutions to their problems, not just cover up for their wounds. I felt like I was finally beginning to see my purpose in life and gained a new perspective of what happened to me in the past.
I finally was able to get out of the Homeless Shelters and begin a new life; but one thing that drives me is that I am one of the only ones that got out of these shelters. I then swore to dedicate my life to helping people and use the scars I have suffered in life for good, and really make an impact on the world around me for the better. To give the people around me a fighting chance, and some good karma. Karma is one of the strongest forces in the universe and no matter what you do be it bad or good Karma is always there and will impact your life every time. Thus the agency Karma was born.
As I was preparing myself for a lifelong commitment of helping others, I came to realize that one of the most disturbing trends these days is the increase of distress across environments that were once considered safe. No safe havens exist now; we must become and provide the safe haven for ourselves if we are to truly cope with the traumas in our lives. For those that do not know how to create their own safe haven or need assistance getting out of their current abusive situations there will always be Karma to provide long term solutions to families be it veteran’s or civilians that are subjected to P.T.S.D. and require help to rebuild their lives.
I still live with some trauma now and then, who doesn’t? For instance I broke up with my sons mom a little over a year ago, I hardly see the little girl I raised for 3 years of her life, whom I still consider my daughter and I see my son on the weekends, both of these tare a whole in my heart bigger than Texas but I cope with it and cherish every moment with both of my children. I learned the coping strategies I teach to others to help me deal with the trauma in my life be it recent or 30+ years ago, because we may be able shut the doors on our past and we may be able to block them out of our thoughts, we may even be able to take medication to ease the pain. But, in order to truly overcome the trauma in your lives, and in my own life, is to have long term solutions through meditation, positive thinking, confidence building talking with someone you can trust, and other grounding techniques and coping skills; not just band-aids to cover up the wounds.
I have a saying, "if a soldier loses an arm or a leg they don't just want a prosthetic limb, they want to know someone will be there for them while they heal". That is a part of the long term solutions that Karma offers, assurance, assurance that someone will be there for the Veteran and their family. At Karma we know you don't just want to be on medication for your P.T.S.D. We know that you want to be a part of your recovery, you know what works for you and what doesn't, and you know what will make you feel hole again. You don't just want to cover up your wounds with band-aids either, and with our services we can assist you in finding ways to get better.
My life started out great, I was the son of 2 loving parents, and have an extended family that loves me and saved my life on a few occasions as this story unfolds. My life took a major turn for the worse at only 6yrs old when my mother passed away, my father decided to take me and my sister out west after my mother passed away. We lived in places like Van Horn Texas (on the Mexico border), and on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona, both places I was a minority and treated as such by the other children. Some have asked me if I turned out racist because of that, let me just say no I didn’t, to me everyone is “green” the color of the Army uniforms, and I have a 3yr old son who is my life, and he is half Spanish, which kind of solidifies the fact that I’m not racist I was in a relationship with a half Spanish half Hawaiian woman for 3 years, and even after splitting up I still consider her a friend. My father died when I was 11yrs, and I watched him die in a hospital right in front of me, shortly after that my sister and I were almost taken by the system, but my family in MA sent one of my Uncle’s down to bring us back home to MA.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF PTSD
Please consult your doctor or the VA if you have the following symptoms
WHAT IS TRAUMA?
The word “trauma” is used to describe experiences or situations that are emotionally painful and distressing, and that overwhelm a person’s ability to cope, leaving them powerless. Trauma has sometimes been defined in reference to circumstances that are outside the realm of normal human experience like what a lot of soldiers experience in war. Unfortunately, this definition doesn’t always hold true though, For some groups of people, trauma can occur frequently and become part of the common human experience. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events. P.T.S.D. was once considered battle fatigue but, it is now realized that anyone who goes through a traumatic event can have P.T.S.D.