What I have learned
"This is more than skill; this is art."
Being so new to this field, I have learned many things over the last six months about how Family Building Blocks keeps 99% of the children we serve living safely with their families. Our strategies are complex, yet are delivered through simple, common sense approaches that we are committed to practicing every single day. I have learned:
- Every person who walks through the doors of FBB is greeted and treated with dignity, grace and respect.
- When riding a bus with children, you are never just along for the ride. It is important to engage fully in the experience and talk with the children about everything that is passing by – Carlos and I talked about every single thing. His backpack, the red fence, his backpack, the noisy truck, his backpack….
- In the therapeutic classroom I observed what it looks like to be fully present with a child, while encouraging exploration and independence. This is more than skill; this is art.
- Sometimes adults need modeling, encouragement, even permission, to play, to be messy, to be happy. Children are the best teachers of all of these things. Home visits make this happen.
- "Joy" does not begin to describe the emotion that fills a heart when delivering Hope for the Holidays gifts to our children and families. I still feel the grateful arms of the mothers and children wrapped around me.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the staff and classroom volunteers at FBB for working miracles with our children and families every day.
My New Perspective
"We never met any of the children for whom we provided gifts. We could only envision the happy smiles... Imagine how my perspective has now changed"
Fulfilling "Giving Tree" wishes for children has always been a favorite holiday tradition for me and my daughters. Even when they were quite small, the girls loved choosing an angel from the tree, thoughtfully selecting a present and taping the angel to the unwrapped gift, with a note or a hand-drawn picture for added flair.
As girls, they loved angels, shopping, and drawing. They loved the idea of fulfilling a wish and making someone's Christmas dream come true. Their sparkling, wide-eyed enthusiasm made me proud. I was a happy and willing sponsor of their generous spirits.
We never met any of the children for whom we provided gifts. We could only envision the happy smiles that would come from our acts of anonymous kindness. Being a mom, I knew another wish we fulfilled was the priceless opportunity for parents to be able to wrap presents for their children and experience the wonder of the season during what can often be a challenging time of year for many families.
Imagine how my perspective has now changed – from giving a gift to an anonymous angel to seeing the connection between the hundreds of gifts donated to Family Building Blocks and the children I see every day in our therapeutic classrooms. These families are just like yours and mine – one mom even hides gifts like I do! As her wish list gifts were delivered, she was sneaking them into her garage where they will remain hidden until Christmas. She whispered, "The kids will love this. They will be so excited. Thank you so much for everything!"
The children and families benefitting from your support of Family Building Blocks are very real angels. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.