Why do we call our counseling office The Soul Shak and why do we spell it that way?
Luke Stashak was a close friend of my (Dr. Pete’s) son, Josh. He quickly became a friend of the family. While we loved having him around our own kids, Ellen and I found that we, 30 years his senior, loved having him around us, too! Pizza nights, movies, campfires…Luke was a mainstay in our home.
At first, Luke was very shy and apprehensive. He was unsure how to engage with the Cannizzaro Clan. We were believers and followers of Jesus and Luke wasn’t sure what to make of us and our faith.
In God’s perfect timing, He came to Luke in the person of Jesus and Luke said, “I am in. All in.” When he came to Christ, the change in him was evident. His grades in school began to vastly improve and his personal confidence around adults increased! Our love for Luke was palpable.
Luke was an amazing photographer, and writer. He loved life and loved his friends. But Luke was suffering inside. Much of the deeper sufferings were unbeknownst to us. In time, the suffering outweighed Luke’s motivation for life on this side. On a Friday night in the Spring of 2018, Luke ended his life. Needless to say, we were beyond devastated.
According to research, it is fair to conclude that this millennial generation is the most abandoned, anxiety-riddled and depressed generation we've ever had. Luke was no exception from this cauldron.
SoulQuest exists to help people like Luke. People who need a safe place to lay out all of their pain and mess for the sake of receiving compassion and healing from God.
To honor the remembrance of Luke in our family and in our work, we took a piece of his last name and called our counseling office The Soul Shak. We often call it The Shak, for short. We have a picture of Luke hanging in The Soul Shak. It was placed there at our dedication service by his dear mom Suzanne and her fiance, Tim.
Our SoulQuest board has opened a benevolence fund in honor and remembrance of Luke. This fund is for young people who suffer from depression, anxiety and the ever-present villain of suicide, yet can’t afford professional counseling. No one should be without the help they need to thrive in life. If you would like to give, click here.