With the holidays in full swing, I am reminded that we have truly entered the time of the year when we all stop to reflect on the work we do and why we support Family Services.
Two instances this past year speak volumes as to why my family and I support the work of Family Services….
Last month my wife, daughter, and I traveled to Seattle for a conference I was attending. One day, while I was attending a training session, my wife and daughter took the opportunity to view the sights of Seattle. While they were out, they witnessed a domestic violence incident that erupted in a public space, and tragically resulted in the victim’s death a day later. Although my family was not hurt, this tragedy was a tangible reminder of how important it is to provide support, counseling, advocacy, and safety planning for victims. It also reminded me how important our work is with offenders, holding them accountable, working to change patterns of thought that lead to abusive behavior and ultimately increasing victim safety by reducing the likelihood of continued abuse.
This past year I have also been reminded of the joys and tribulations of being a new parent with a 17-month-old at home. My daughter is such an incredible gift and is as wonderful as a toddler can be. I’ve found, perhaps like most new parents, that parenting is the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced! I’m extraordinary fortunate to have a committed partner, supportive parents, extended family, church, and a caring work and community family in raising my daughter. I also know that not every parent has these resources and even with the best resources in the world, parents (like myself) can feel as if we don’t have any of the tools or skills we need to raise our children! When I’m facing a particularly challenging situation with my daughter (which at present means keeping her from climbing on every unsafe surface in our house), I am reminded of the work we do providing childcare for families going through the Family Court system, sharing nurturing parenting skills through family education, and ensuring that parents have a safe space to visit with their children.
These stories are but a handful of stories that I could share, both about my life at home, but also about the incredible work that Family Services does. It is for these reasons and for the thousands of lives we touch every year, that I not only give my time and talent, but also give financially to the work of Family Services. I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming year and ask that you join me in supporting the work of this wonderful agency. Have a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic New Year!