As we enter this holiday season, I would like to pause and thank you sincerely for the support you have given Project Legacy this past year.
This fall, twenty-three youth are attending colleges in Washington, DC; Minnesota; North Dakota; Missouri and California. These are youth of color – some of whom have grown up homeless, as refugees from war-torn countries, and with generational poverty, abuse and neglect. Ninety percent of them have family members who are incarcerated. These are young people who by their own admission were without hope before finding Project Legacy. Because of your financial support we have been able to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical and dental care, transportation, career counseling, access to chemical dependency treatment and educational support including college visits, tuition assistance and emotional support throughout their college careers.
We have been taught that Heaven is a place but we see it as a practice. It is a way of being in relationship with one another. And for most of our youth, this is the first time they have experienced caring relationships with adults who practice tenderness, kindness and compassion and who truly are in relationship with them because they want to see them succeed.
When we started this work 8 years ago, our focus was on providing opportunities for youth living in poverty. Today, we know that providing opportunities and removing barriers is only the beginning of the healing that has to take place. Healing occurs because we build our services on a foundation of love and tenderness. We don’t hold up the bar and tell our youth to measure up, we hold up the mirror and ask them to see themselves as we see them – people of worth, possibility and potential. We offer concrete services combined with subtle interactions that allow healing to occur.
We could not do this work without you, the people who have chosen to stand beside those youth who have been marginalized. You have given your attention, your love and your resources. For that, I am profoundly grateful. Wishing you joy this holiday season,
Karen Edmonds, Founder and Director