A special tribute

The January issue of THE Magazine provided Hillsides with an opportunity to reintroduce itself to the community and define its place as a premier provider of an array of services to very vulnerable children, youth and their families. Universally, the reaction to the 24-page insert was how surprised many are to see the scope and depth of the services that we offer.

For many, the one thing that continues to dominate their perception of the organization is the 100-year-old residential program. First as an orphanage and now as a residential treatment center, this campus-based service embodies the core of what Hillsides is all about–providing the highest quality care and support that makes a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve.

The increased attention generated by our centennial year has helped to surface many former residents that have contacted us, sharing recollections of not just their memories of time spent at Hillsides, but also the impact the services they received  has had on their lives.

One former resident sent us the following recollection…

“I was placed at Hillsides in 1972 after being in foster homes off and on for six years…I recall being very scared and acting out… I recall my counselor… my favorite aide …earning money in the kitchen … learning pottery up on the hill by the pool. Weekend trips to the movies…but mostly I recall being cared for… Hillsides represents a turning point in my life, where I decided that I was going to be responsible and not blame what had happened to me for my own failures. I was abused, neglected and forgotten …at Hillsides I learned to forgive and move on. 

“I am a father now and my daughter has everything I never did because of the lessons I learned from Hillsides and the caring people involved there and my own motivation to be the best parent.”

This is what Hillsides is all about at its best! Whether it is our residential treatment, the services offered at the Hillsides Education Center, our community-based services in schools and neighborhoods or our innovative program for former foster youth, Youth Moving On, Hillsides strives to create lasting change for children, youth, and families we serve. At the end of the day, we measure our success by the impact that we have on each person.

Our measurable work is made not just by our dynamic team of experts, but also by legions of dedicated volunteers and supporters who are so committed to tangibly making a difference in the lives for whom we care. Let me end by, once again, sharing from the tribute that was offered by this former resident.

“The next time you think you are not making a difference, think again. Everything you will do for those in need will have an effect, however small it may seem at the time.”

To all those who are associated in some way with our important mission, thanks for all you do. I hope you will consider joiningus as we celebrate 100 years of creating lasting change.

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