The vision for Shining Through Shadows, Inc. was inspired by the sudden loss of an exceptional father for a teenage girl at a crucial time in her life. Seth Thomas Stark was an ordinary man who became known as an extraordinary man as a result of the selfless devotion of his time and efforts to help others in need.
Although he passed into God’s hands at the age of 46 years old, Seth Stark did more in those years than most people do with many more years on Earth. For seventeen years, Seth volunteered for the Melbourne Beach Volunteer Fire Department in Melbourne Beach, Florida. His influence as a community leader reached beyond his role as a volunteer firefighter. Seth loved the opportunity to put a smile on a young child’s face as they sat in the driver’s seat of the fire engine or had Santa call their name and hand them a present on the Christmas Eve visit organized by the volunteers of the fire department. Responding to the calls for help in his community was a top priority for Seth.
When he wasn’t helping others through his volunteer hours at the fire department, Seth was actively involved in the South Beach Little League and Tsunami Soccer teams. Seth was most at home in a gathering of parents and friends cheering on their children and instilling the lessons of teamwork and commitment. Seth was also an instrumental member in the inception of the St. Mark’s Waterfront Worship team, sharing his strong faith in God with people in the Melbourne Beach community.
This calling to serve his neighbors was clearly communicated to and supported by his family. It was instilled in his children as they grew up in the shadow of his large giving spirit. Seth was an everyday hero to so many people. Some days, it was just telling a joke and making someone smile who was having a hard day.
Seth’s passing in September of 2011 left a large void that rippled far beyond his family and close friends. Seth never met a stranger. His ability to make people laugh along with his superb ability as a natural born salesman won people over very quickly. His persistence to accomplish goals and projects that would do good for one, a few, or many was unstoppable. He was always on alert for new opportunities to serve the greater community and individuals who needed help that he could provide. If he couldn’t help directly, he always knew someone who could. Seth connected people. Seth brought people together for a common good. Seth inspired people to reach out and help others as his role model provided.
So now, those of us who Seth loved, who shared him with the world, have pledged to carry on his mission. Love and acceptance starts from within. Connecting with people where they are, adrift in that grieving period of a loss or sidetracked by unexpected circumstances, and helping to improve their outlook by raising their spirits is the primary mission of Shining Through Shadows.
Encouraging others to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”, while providing a firm foothold at the base of the ladder, STS provides a foundation to take a secure step up the ladder with confidence. The vantage point from that first step up the ladder provides a better perspective! Stepping up above the obstacles a loss forces us to navigate, we discover our own vision and purpose more clearly. Shining Through Shadows' purpose is helping one person at a time, climb up each rung of the ladder of success…one step at a time.