Much to celebrate
As I walked around at the Christmas Eve celebration for our residents who were on campus that evening, I came across one of our adolescent boys who greeted me with a smile and what seemed to me a strange question. I’ve seen him deal with a number of challenges and have always admired how he managed through them. On this evening he was all smiles, clearly having a good time, happy to partner up with one other resident to entertain the gathering with some impressive dance moves. As we sat together catching up on how the holiday was progressing, he looked at me and asked, “You are not going anywhere, are you? Will you be around Hillsides for a while?”
As I assured him that I wasn’t going anywhere, I could not help but wonder where that question was coming from. Maybe my premature grey hair gave him the impression that I might be at the end of my career! What I think the question expressed was his appreciation for the relationships he has with me and others at Hillsides and how important these relationships are to him. As gratifying as his acknowledgment is, my hope for him is that he can learn from the relationships he has been able to establish, knowing that trusting adults look out for his best interests and support him as he makes his way through many challenges.
For this boy and all these children we serve, this new year must be about helping them achieve much so that by this time next year they can find themselves safe, confident and secure in a permanent home.
2013 is our centennial year and aside from marking this milestone with great celebrations, the goals for this year are what they have been throughout this century: to keep those we serve safe, to provide them services and care that improve their lives, and to set them on a path to success. The measure of our success will be their achievements.
We have much to celebrate in this centennial year and hope that all of you will consider joining us at our annual gala on February 23. Look for a special edition of THE Magazine this month that will feature Hillsides and presents a very succinct and compelling picture of the critical services we offer. Share it will family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues as a way of advocating for the important mission of creating lasting change for all we serve.