Lake Texoma

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Debra Ann Haggin and Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc.

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I planned this story before the February, 14th massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this horrendous tragedy. The subject of this article’s timing is purely coincidental on my part.

I met Debra Ann Haggin through the writer’s group, the Author’s Roundtable, recently and realized that could help her organization with spreading awareness about its mission. Debra, founder and director of Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc, works tirelessly with Grayson county youth to raise awareness to stop bullying and domestic violence, but she took her organization’s purpose a step further.

While helping survivors of these human tribulations learn to heal, Surviving Sisters & Brother’s nonprofit programs redirect them to find a deeper purpose in their lives through love and peace. I wanted Debra to tell her story so that Texomans can educate themselves about her innovative program and activities. Debra survived domestic violence, bullying, and her brother’s suicide and found purpose from the adversity and persecution that she endured which was beyond her control.

Tell Us About Your Experience

I am a survivor of domestic violence and bullying. I was broken. Thirty years ago, my brother committed suicide. He also was broken and bullied, and he passed away at age 19.

I believe I was divinely inspired by God to help heal the brokenhearted with love, peace, and purpose, and to raise awareness and assist my sisters and brothers to go beyond survival. I have made it my life’s mission to be there whenever possible to help, be of service, and give a hand up to my fellow man. In return, I have been given a heart of love, peace, and purpose.

How Did You Begin Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc.?

My organization was a dream in 2002 to help displaced women and children. In 2007, my dream became a reality and I formed a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. This dream resulted from my own domestic violence experiences. It originated in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the name Surviving Sisters, Inc.

Where Do You Operate in Texomaland?

After living in Oklahoma for 30 years, I moved back to Texas. I began to merge into our new name, Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc., and made our home base in Denison, Texas. We focus on anti-bullying with youth in Grayson County,

What Is Your Mission?

We are an anti-violence group that raises awareness and networks to assist the needs of our sisters and brothers to go beyond survival and find purpose for our lives.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

The community is our target audience. Little by little, the minds of the people are beginning to open with the mindset that love can defuse hate. Sometimes people do not want to address violence.

What Do Your Programs Involve?

We have an after-school program through the Sherman Housing Authority. Currently, I work with 30 to 50 students through art therapy, and I teach strategies that help the youth learn how to defuse anger with love! It’s the Kid’s Club! We have food and fellowship where the bullies and the bullied come together in peace! In the summer we meet in Denison at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, the Temple of Outreach Church, and the Denison Public Library.

What Are Some of Your Activities?

We raise awareness with cookies, roses, balloons, etcetera. The community donates different items which we sell, and we ask for monetary donations.

We host our Stop Bullying Boot Camp, movie parties, picnics, Cici’s Pizza parties, and visit attractions like water parks. We reward good behavior. My mission is to bring joy as much as possible to the people and youth whom I work with. This builds confidence for the children who sometimes cannot speak because they are badly broken. I work with people that cannot even smile, let alone laugh. We sing, dance, and practice role-play therapy.

What Are Some of Your Success Stories?

Something magical happens with a good, old-fashioned heart-to-heart talk with someone who has common ground. My experience with survivors is that healing comes from sharing from the heart.

What Are Your Future Plans?

We are going into our fourth year of our Stop Bullying Boot Camp! I am very excited because Waples Methodist Church in Denison invited Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc. to be a part of their summer program for underprivileged children!

What Needs Have Surviving Sisters & Brothers Put on Their Wish List for 2018?

A website!

If you want to get in touch with Surviving Sisters & Brothers, you can contact them by calling:

903. 337.7799

On Facebook:

Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc. Fundraising Introduction and Volunteer Recruitment Letter

Surviving Sisters & Brothers Inc.
175 Kool Lane
Denison, Texas 75020
903. 337.7799

To Whom It May Concern,

We live in a culture that is fascinated with winning, power, and violence. Some experts suggest that it is unrealistic to expect that people will not be influenced to seek power through violence in their lives. A high rate of domestic violence means that many young people grow up expecting that violence is an acceptable way to get what one wants.

Somewhere along the way for some reason or another, we have lost sight of love, peace, and purpose for our sisters and brothers. So in return, our youth are suffering, yet they are our future and the light of the world. It is my belief that love, peace, and purpose is to be taught.

With that belief, I created an anti-bullying program called Surviving Sisters & Brothers Stop Bullying Boot Camp. In today’s society, people have created hard shells in which they live because of all the abuse we bring on each other in one form or another. Can you imagine what our world would be like with a few simple steps that our youth could use to break free of their shells and step into love and peace? Unity between sisters and brothers could save the world in which we live in.

Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc. is dedicated to raising awareness about domestic violence and bullying and the harmful effects they leave on the human lives. Over 3.2 million students in the U.S. are victims of bullying each year.

Our goal is to help change the mindset from hate to love in order to help heal the brokenhearted. Surviving Sisters & Brothers has developed a strategy to help the bullies and the bullied one victim at a time. We would like to thank you for taking the time to read our introduction because we are highly dependent on volunteers such as yourself who may be willing to donate your time or money to help us achieve our dream in raising the brokenhearted to find that peace and love which is as common as turning on a light.

Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) tax deductible, nonprofit organization. Our mission is to raise awareness and network to assist the needs of our sisters and brothers to go beyond survival and find purpose in their lives.

Debra Ann Haggin

Director and Founder
Surviving Sisters & Brothers, Inc.






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