Vaughn-Thomas Borum Fund To Support Teen Counseling Programs at Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities is honored to be a beneficiary of the Vaughn-Thomas Borum Teen Counseling Fund. We are grateful to the Borum family for supporting this important ministry.
Our organization already provides counseling services to students at Catholic schools around Middle Tennessee. We look forward to expanding services for other teens who need help.
Counseling is one of our most important services and available to anyone regardless of race, religion, or ability to pay. Our counseling team has expertise in many fields, including trauma, victims of violence, parenting, and much more.
About the Vaughn-Thomas Borum Teen Counseling Fund
Our mission is to provide immediate emotional support and counseling services for teens struggling to find healthy ways to cope, regardless of ability to pay
The Vaughn-Thomas Borum Teen Counseling Fund was inspired by the life and struggles of our vibrant, healthy 17-year-old son who was a victim of fentanyl poisoning.
Seeking ways to cope with the stressors of teenage life, Vaughn-Thomas had begun to experiment with pills. When this came to our attention in late summer of 2021, we began seeking help for him. After being unable to find suitable counseling that took insurance, we found ourselves in the emergency room at a very reputable, local children’s hospital, hoping to get immediate support for Vaughn-Thomas’ emotional distress. We were told to wait, and he would be evaluated by a psychiatrist. After 7 hours of waiting, we were then told that we were not going to be seen after all and that this seemed to be a dispute between the child and parents. They discharged us with orders to follow up with our physician.
By late November, we found some help. Vaughn-Thomas spent a week at the Madison Campus working with counselors and figuring out next steps. He was discharged on November 24 and was scheduled to start an intensive outpatient treatment program on Dec 7. This was not soon enough. The morning of Dec 2, we woke up, but Vaughn-Thomas didn’t. The cause: Fentanyl poisoning.
Early intervention could have made a difference. And while I can’t do anything to save Vaughn-Thomas now, maybe he can save someone else. This is not just my desire; it is also Vaughn-Thomas’.
On the way home from school drop-off the month after he died, I was missing Vaughn-Thomas. Desperate to talk to him, I asked for a sign. Within moments, I was passing by a literal sign in front of a church. The billboard read “John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In that moment, I promised Vaughn-Thomas that his message was heard and that by his death, others would live.
That promise drives the mission of the Vaughn-Thomas Borum Teen Counseling fund: “Immediate emotional support and counseling services for teens struggling to find healthy ways to cope, regardless of ability to pay”. Immediate intervention should be available to any child who struggles regardless of insurance or ability to pay. With this fund, counseling services can be provided to teens throughout the Middle Tennessee area through Catholic Charities. I can think of no better way for Vaughn-Thomas to live on. As his friends would say, “LLVT” (Long Live Vaughn-Thomas!) And to Coach Rucker, you are right. Vaughn-Thomas is a hero.