HARLINGEN — Jamie Graham’s journey with Blue Sunday, a nonprofit that helps abused and neglected children in South Texas, started with a photo on social media.
In the photo, Graham recalls, her friend was wearing a Blue Sunday T-shirt, and after doing some research, she said she needed to become a part of it.
“Right off the bat, I felt the love and the genuine heart and purpose of Blue Sunday,” she said.
Graham has been with Blue Sunday for seven years and started out as a volunteer.
She became the executive director in March.
The organization started 27 years ago with a day of prayer, where people were encouraged to pray for abused children and the people helping them.
As executive director, Graham oversees the operations, fundraising and networking throughout the community.
Besides being in charge of Blue Sunday, she is a mother of two and has been married for 17 years. Graham met her husband in New Braunfels and because of him, she ended up moving to Harlingen.
“I was able to tiptoe in and slowly watch and learn and grow into the position I am now,” she said.
“There is so much good all the way around it. A definite high point would be the relationships in the community with sister agencies,” Graham said.
In July 2020, Blue Sunday moved to a house across from the Wesley United Methodist Church on Austin Street.
“It was run-down pretty good, and we asked if we could partner with them. We received a grant from H-E-B to do repairs,” she said.
Blue Sunday has projects where they bring siblings together who have been living under foster care. It also hosts a camp for teenagers for two days during Spring Break at a San Benito ranch.
“They don’t realize college is paid for them, and they have wonderful options. We want to make sure they know they have resources available,” Graham said about some of the children they help.
Another program offered by Blue Sunday is WINGS, a 12-week course that helps survivors with how past trauma affects them today. It gives them the tools and resources to untangle from that framework and build a healthier life, she said.
“We teach them how to regulate emotions, how to identify things that are affecting us, how to get our nervous system to relax. We have helped hundreds of women, and it is changing lives without a doubt,” she said.
“From a broken past, people will throw stones at you. Janet Magee, our founder, said to me, ‘You take those stones and you make a path with them.’ Through the wings program that is exactly what is being done,” she said.