I’m sitting in a cozy coffee shop on a cloudy winter morning. Behind me a group of five gray-haired gentlemen chat about HGTV (of all things!). A dad and his sleepy teenager in a school uniform split a giant blueberry muffin wordlessly as two large coffees are handed to them. The wind blows in two little boys, their mom trailing behind them with a pajama-clad toddler in her arms. The girl behind the counter knows them all.
This is a place of belonging, a place where the simplicity of connection takes center stage and suddenly, the world doesn’t feel like one big mess no matter what news is streaming live across the globe.
In our frenzied desire to fix the world and manage our lives, it’s easy to overlook the power of connection; the magic medicine that soothes our weary souls, tired bodies, and anxious minds.
The sense that we are part of something beyond ourselves is deeply rooted in each of us. We yearn to belong to something bigger than ourselves.When we are disconnected, we suffer. So does the world.
At Invisible Kids Project (IKP), we know that connection is what will save vulnerable kids in the foster care system. Despite the efforts of many agencies and non-profit organizations, too many children continue to suffer. They simply cannot successfully drift through childhood without an ongoing, stable connection to at least one loving, responsive adult caregiver. This is the anchor that will give them the freedom to stretch and grow into their potential.
With your help, the team at IKP is building a growing community of educated and empowered citizens who echo our stance. Hundreds have joined us in asking elected officials to elevate a child’s right to such connection. Hundreds more high school and college students have written letters to elected officials and others asking the same.
Engaging the masses in this issue and cultivating the next generation of empathic parents, caseworkers, attorneys, and foster parents are novel concepts. This is uncharted territory; at times difficult to navigate and even harder to measure. However, we know this is the best path to securing a healthy, happy childhood and future for hurting children who are forced to navigate a painful world completely on their own.
As 2015 closes, we want to thank you for your support and willingness to stand with IKP as we collectively and relentlessly advocate for a child’s right to the one thing that will help them heal. Your continued support will help us move our message forward in the year to come.
A sense of connection to others offers a warm and welcoming space where the world is a little less chaotic and a lot more loving. It is what will save our kids and save our world.