This week I have had the opportunity to speak in front of 24 children living in two group homes in Hampton Roads with Tidewater Youth Services.
These kids are the forgotten children of our society. They were born into poor circumstances, and some having made some bad decsions in their early teenage years, have landed 24 kids in a group home. Their ages are 12-17.
I spoke to these kids, and was even cautioned that some of them were "rough around the edges".. After each session, I came away with the exact conclusion. These kids are bright and full of potential. No parents are rooting for them at home. There is no Family guiding them to make good decisions. But nonetheless, they laughed, were happy, were respectful, despite their circumstances... and for a moment, they were kids.. A little rough.. but still kids.
One of the stories is a young man who's father is somewhere in Florida and he was removed from his mothers home 3 years ago.. He said, "I am just waiting to be adopted... but its been 3 years and not looking good" As I write this, I find it difficult to contemplate what an unwanted child must feel like. How that permanently impacts their life and their life choices.
The workers at Tidewater Youth Services are amazing. They are on the ground fighting the fight. But there is only so much they can do..
For Christmas, they will spend it together with the dedicated workers of TYS. But when the magic of Christmas is not there. The idea that someone, anyone, has any concern for them has long passed. They will go to bed Christmas eve no different than any other night, and will have no expectation of showering love on Christmas morning.
I am getting involved. I am going to do something about it. That's a long term project. However, today, we can all do something. Each child has a need. Maybe a jacket. Maybe a pair of shoes. If we don’t act, Right now, each will get a stocking, for which the best gift may be a pair of socks..
Lets, as a community, come together. Last minute indeed, but with time still on the clock, to raise some money and do something for these kids. I will put my own money into this.. My goal is to raise $50/child which is $1200.. 100% of what I get will go to this kids plus money I will put in. I want to buy each one of them something they need, and if there is anything less get them a giftcard to Target for what ever we can do. I want to raise the money in the next 24 hours. So give $10..
Not only will the gifts mean something, but what if they learned 120 people in the community said, at least for a minute, I see you.. I care about you..
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