At first glance, these faces of Sarasota area children reveal typical, happy, well-rounded people, getting ready to return to school…
With the start of the 2012-13 school year, we may recall the many delights and even trepidations of the back-to-school days… selecting new supplies, fun clothes, cool shoes, making new friends, meeting the teacher, leaving the summer play for another year. Remember?
This year, those of us who were fortunate to be involved in Day of Hope were reminded that some children will not be shopping for new supplies or clothes or even food for the lunch boxes they are not privileged to own. There are nearly 1000 homeless children in Sarasota County and about one tenth of them shared the day with volunteers who wanted to make some of those school preparation memories fond. Books, backpacks, supplies, medical exams (general check-ups, dental, hearing, eyes), hair cuts/styling, breakfast and lunch and more were served up to children and families who visited Day of Hope at Church of the Redeemer in early August.
Barbara Banks Photography had the privilege of taking individual and family portraits after the checks and a visit to the hair stations manned by professionals from area salons. For some, these images were the first and only pictures they have of their child/family. Volunteers helped organize the children and families, print on the spot and then frame the photographs. My dear friend, Heidi, selected, cropped and printed each photo with love. The look of delight when our guests saw their photos was so touching. What a great day!
So… take a look at these faces and know that they, just like us, have hopes and dreams and wishes for comfort, food, a roof over our heads, love, warmth, belonging. Each of us can do a little something to make someone’s day (or life!) better by giving time, service/in-kind, a donation of clothing, books, supplies. The list goes on. Every child should BE ALL RIGHT – no child should be denied the chance to have a warm meal, a hug, a new toothbrush, a clean pair of socks, a new notebook full of paper, a home… any of those basic and happy childhood experiences that create the foundation of a life unfolding and expressing.
For more information on Day of Hope and how you can help make a kid all right, contact: Pam Hawn, HopeKids Community, www.hopekc.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 941-544-4850
We hope to see you next year! Let’s help every kid be all right…