Lynnwood City Councilmember Shannon Sessions took a break from council responsibilities and spoke during all three Sunday morning services at Alderwood Community Church Nov. 12 about the work of another entity she is involved with, Support 7.
Sessions, the executive director of Support 7 since the spring of 2019, described to church attendees the services that the non-profit group provides — standing alongside South County Fire, law enforcement and the medical examiner to provide victim support.
“What we do when we get on scene is to help victims and survivors move from trauma to hope and healing as an early intervention in the crisis,” Sessions said.
Support 7 reaches out to victims of vehicle collisions, structure fires, homicides, natural disasters and any other events that first responders are called to with chaplains and other volunteers. The Support 7 responders provide emotional support; an “emergency mobile unit” for victims to escape inclement weather, onlookers and the media; and a slew of connections to other support organizations.
Support 7 can also handle the difficult task of notifying family members of any deaths associated with the tragedy.
Sessions described the interaction that Support 7 chaplains and volunteers have with crisis victims as “a gentle arm (that’s) put around them and a soft reassuring voice (saying) we’re here to help, friend.”
Sessions asked church attendees to consider volunteering or making financial donations to the organization.
“We never charge for our services, we don’t take taxpayer funding from the agencies we serve,” Sessions said. “We rely solely on generous donations of individuals, businesses, churches, organizations, grants — we rely heavily on that to make this sustainable and keep our organization alive.”
You can learn more about Support 7 here.
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski