My parents were late picking me up from daycare only once when I was growing up. I still remember that winter night because my parents were never late. Many of my classmates had no idea when their parents would arrive, because the time was different each day. I, however, knew exactly when they would arrive because they always came, right on time.
I remember being really nervous and worried that one evening, as slowly all of the other children were picked-up to go home. Even when the staff let me know my parents had called, I was still afraid, because they were never late.
I was a bit of a nerdy child growing up. I was also a little strange since I was a tomboy and preferred sports to tying string into knots to make friendship bracelets. Like a lot of kids then and today, I got teased a lot, for any number of things. It’s just what kids do. It hurt, but I think I was more unaffected by it than most because, at the core of my existence, were my parents: a steady force that helped me keep my center.
They weren’t always perfect, and neither was I; but I know, at least in part, I grew up stronger because of their support.
Some of our Leaven kids aren’t so lucky. They may come from broken homes or large households of extended family members. Their parents may be so stressed from working long hours just to make ends meet that they just don’t have the energy at the end of the day to give their children all of the support they may need. They love their children just as much as my parents loved me, but they can’t always be there because of the demands of their lives.
And when the children begin to fail at school, the problems only get worse.
But these kids were never lost, because they all have someone in their lives that saw their struggles and reached out to The Leaven for help. At our centers, our caring volunteers and staff give each child the support he or she needs, whether it’s emotional, physical or educational. We stand in the gap so these needy families can grow stronger together.
Our Leaven kids are blessed with loving, hardworking families. While these families are struggling, at the core of their household is a strong love that desires nothing but success for their children. We always say that together we’re helping kids and communities rise, and it’s the truth. We don’t do anything on our own; we just come alongside concerned parents and help them give their children the very best educational foundation and strong, positive values so they can have a great future.