This past week I was visiting with family in my native Massachusetts. Although I was there for the first day of spring I had to shovel wet, slushy snow twice, so much for the beginning of spring! Even upon my return to California the weather is still more reminiscent of winter. But it is indeed spring and in spite of the forecast you can sense the desire to put off winter and prepare for yet one more beautiful southern California summer.
As I returned to Hillsides on Monday, I found the campus quiet with the school on a week-long spring break, making my reentry a little less hectic. While our residents and students enjoyed a refreshing break, much activity continues on campus. With the move of some administrative offices off campus, vacated space on campus has been refurbished to accommodate additional work and treatment space for our clinical staff. The auditorium, a hub for a great deal of activity, is also being refurbished and equipped to better serve as a gathering place and conference center for our residents and staff. The restored auditorium should be completed in time to host the Hillsides Education Center graduation in June and serve as a focal point for our Centennial Founder’s Day celebration in September.
Off campus, Youth Moving On, our supportive housing and services for young adults program, is preparing a storefront on the corner of Los Robles and Orange Grove as a peer resource center to expand our outreach to this vulnerable population. In Baldwin Park, our new Family Resources Center has been up and running for the past few months serving as a center for an expanded array of services to children and families in that area.
However, as busy as things may be, we never lose sight of what it is that we are trying to accomplish for each and every individual that is served… to make a lasting impact on their lives.
There is a great story about a shoreline inundated with stranded starfish. As people gathered on the shore to view the spectacle, someone started to throw the starfish back into the ocean. One of the spectators approached the person tossing the starfish back into the ocean and asked what impact this effort would have given the magnitude of the problem. The person responded that for the one starfish returned to the ocean it made a big difference!
Confronted by the magnitude of the task–to restore hope to children and families that have been traumatized by hardship and tragedy—it can be overwhelming. But for the child that is cared for, the youth that is sheltered, the families that are supported, the task to restore hope makes a big difference.
So in spite of all the many things that are going on during this time of year, let’s harness the energy that comes with a vibrant spring and get around the hard, but worthwhile task of making a last impact on all we serve…one person at a time.