Do you remember how much fun the holidays were when you were a kid? In my family, Christmas meant big meals that took hours to prepare and warm houses filled with music and laughter. Now, I meet kids every day who aren’t as lucky as I was.
Kids like Steven, who was only 3 when he came to the SafePlace shelter with his mom.
Once they were in the shelter, Steven’s regular day care wasn’t a safe place anymore. His dad had told his mom that he would kill both of them — and after years of abuse, Steven’s mom believed him.
So Steven started coming to the Stockton-Hicks Family Tree Child Development Center on our campus when his mom went to work. He was in our care for several hours a day, so we got to know him pretty well.
On a good day, Steven only had five or six temper tantrums. He would swing his arms and kick his legs and scream and cry. This little boy was hurting, badly.
We didn’t have to read his case file to understand why. Every child sleeping in our shelter carries great loads of anger, fear, confusion, and sadness.
What your support means
Over time, with the help of trained and dedicated staff, Steven learned to cope with overwhelming emotions. Eventually, whole days passed peacefully, and Steven began to learn and grow in new ways.
That’s why your support of SafePlace means so much.
Will you make a year-end gift to SafePlace so kids like Steven can keep getting the support they need? Former SafePlace board members are matching all donations made until Dec. 31. So your gift now will have double the impact to help kids like Steven — kids who are hurting.
I can’t help but wonder: What do you think would have happened to Steven if he hadn’t gotten the early intervention he needed? What if he had started kindergarten and behaved the way he behaved with us?
Most likely he would have been removed from the classroom. Labeled a “problem kid.” Expected to fail.
Steven will start kindergarten next fall, on track academically and developmentally. He will know how to be a friend to his classmates. He will be ready to learn. And it wouldn’t have happened without support from people like you.
If your holiday memories are happy ones, I hope you recognize how lucky you are. And I hope you will make a year-end gift to SafePlace today to help kids who haven’t been as lucky. Your gift now will go twice as far to help them build brighter futures.
Executive Director, SafePlace Campus-Based Services
P.S. Every kid deserves to have happy holiday memories. Please make a year-end gift to SafePlace today.
*This name has been changed to protect the child’s identity