Children of all ages deserve bright futures!
When I found out I may be relocating to the Washington DC area, I began looking for organizations that provide work similar to the work I had done throughout my career. I read about an organization called Family Matters of Greater Washington that was founded in 1882. One of their many programs is the Bright Futures Program for teen parents who were in foster care. I worked with teen parents for over 25 years and was impressed that not only were the teens in Bright Futures provided 24 hour support and encouraged to continue their education, but they were provided with an apartment in the same building with the other parents in the program. What a wonderful support system!
I called Bright Futures and spoke to Joy, the social worker and explained that I wrote a children’s book series that informs parents about the importance of developmental milestones and early brain development, and was interested in donating books to the teen parents and children. She said she was excited about a new-dedicated space she was setting up for the teens and children to use, and thought the books would be a wonderful addition.
I packed up 75-signed children’s books, and CDC “Act Early” booklets and brochures, and hopped in a cab. While trying to locate the residential building, we became lost. When we tried to use our GPS, but soon realized our phones no longer had cell service… but when the driver heard about my mission, he wouldn’t give up.
When we finally found the building, the driver offered to wait outside the apartment until I returned. I went to the door and was greeted by Joy. She couldn’t wait to show me the new space she had spoken about. It was a school day and the young parents were there. We unloaded the books and CDC materials, and after a big hug, I was on my way home. It felt good to know that the children would enjoy the books and the parents would increase their knowledge about their child’s development.
I returned to the cab grateful to have been able to help in my small way. When the cab driver dropped me off, he said he was happy to know that he was also able to play a part in helping the teens and their children that day. It reminded me that there are many ways to give to others.
A young man waiting at a bus stop really summed it up. When we were lost and I asked him if he knew where we could find Bright Futures, he looked up and very seriously said, “Bright Futures? No mam, but it sure sounds nice.”
That young man and the future of children everywhere are what inspire me!
Review from #MyGivingStory