While I feel a little bit like Dora the Explorer as I write this, I do feel like dancing. On Saturday, August 25th, 200 volunteers showed up to work hard in the sun for Family Service Center. And a playground was built.
When I think about all of the work that went into Build Day - meetings, phone conferences, Board meetings, volunteer recruitment, donation solitication, meetings with the City, and tool request, I am overwhelmed by it. We worked hard to bring it all together, but we couldn't have done it without help. People showed up - friends, family, strangers, coworkers, neighbors, and community minded people who want to help make Springfield a better place. By working on the playground, they sent a strong message to all of the children in our area and who are served by Family Service Center - they matter.
The kids we work with have typically been sent other messages along the way, including messages of instability, heartache, and loss. These kids are resilient, and they want a safe place to be loved. When we respond to their needs through stable, loving foster families, they thrive. One of our foster children demonstrated that growth on Saturday by helping out - only 11 years old, she helped run errands, entertained toddlers, and generally made herself useful. Her presence of mind and maturity was impressive, and I genuinely appreciated her helpfulness. She is wonderful, and her future is bright.
The future is bright for Family Service Center, too - after Saturday, who could doubt that? So, now the question will be, "what mountain will we tackle next?" Could we recruit enough foster families to keep all of the foster kids from Springfield close to their biological families? Could we establish a summer program for homeless children in Springfield? Could we strengthen our community by getting involved and solving problems that face our families together? I say yes. To all of them.
Stay tuned. We're on a roll.