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Gratitude and Responsibility

By Marny Hackley, Development Officer

For the almost three years that  I have worked at Children’s Home Society, one of my responsibilities as the database administrator is to make sure our donor information is up to date and everyone is properly acknowledged for their gifts.  I enter all the gifts in the database and see firsthand what generous hearts our donors have.  I have come to understand that we have a loyal group of donors who embrace our mission—and in some cases have been making donations to CHS for over 20 years.   A constant source of amazement to me is how giving our supporters are, not only in the amount of their monetary and material gifts, but of their time in volunteering and how they respond to the needs of the children and youth in our service during the holidays or in times of need.

The world can be a scary place, the issues facing our future can be overwhelming. The kind folks that support Children’s Home Society have decided they can make a difference in the world, one child at a time.  What I have come to believe as a parent of two adult children (yes, they are adults but they will always be my kids) is that the children in Virginia who find themselves in foster care are all of our responsibility. I like to say it takes a village to raise a child in foster care. The state of Virginia is our village; the children in foster care that have been removed from their birth parents—usually because of abuse and neglect—need our help to overcome the adversity and trauma they have suffered. They need what everyone needs to thrive: a family, security and love.

What I see happening just outside my office door—the hopeful people looking to adopt, the scared pregnant teenager and her mother, the child who is ready to be adopted, the families coming for meetings with their social worker, the adoptee who is looking for their birth parents,  the young person coming of age who has been in foster care and is now facing their future on their own—is testimony to how many lives are touched by the work of CHS, and our supporters role in making all of it possible.  I have had the pleasure of meeting many of our donors in person and being able to put a face to the names that I see when we get a donation.  We get envelopes from all over the state including Chincoteague Island…and many out of state addresses.   I am in awe of the generosity of people who are able to pause in their busy lives and make a gift that will help a child find a home, or make a bequest in their will to leave something for the children and families that will need the services of CHS in the future.

Growing up I knew a few children that were adopted, and often I hear an adoption story from people I meet. But I never really understood the complexity of the miracle of adoption, the giant leap to faith that families take in adoption, the heartbreak and joy of adoption…until I joined the staff of CHS.

I just want to let all of our supporters know how much your commitment to CHS means to us; that your part in our extended family and village is a vital part of our work and we could not do it without you.

If there were bigger or better words other than “thank you” that would convey the gratitude of Children’s Home Society for your help, this is where I would write them. Thank you for your part in making a difference in our village.

Please contact CHS for any question you may have about adoption, or contact me if you need any information about your donation, or we need to update your address or email. Thank you!