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LETTER: Remember the children during the holidays

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As we embark on the holiday season, our thoughts are filled with images of gathering around a table with relatives and loved ones. While we’ll spend plenty of time at shopping malls and parties in the coming weeks, the most festive and warming holiday setting remains the home.

That is, if you have a home.

For thousands of children across Kentucky who suffer from abuse and neglect, home might not bring such warm feelings or memories. Instead, these children are battered by memories of suffering, loneliness and abandonment. For these children, the family holiday traditions are nothing more than pictures on a greeting card or images on a commercial they may have seen. Reality for them is much colder.

Fortunately, many of these children find peace in the form of a foster home where, possibly for the first time in their lives, the children feel the love and warmth of family.

At Sunrise Children’s Services, we’ve heard touching stories of children and young people enjoying the holidays for the first time because they’re in a safe, secure setting and surrounded by people who care for them. Some have known hunger, many have known pain, and most all have known fear. But this year, things will be different all because a family made an extra place at the table for them.

Others however, are still waiting. Waiting for homes where a good, warm meal can be enjoyed; where it’s safe to close their eyes and enjoy a peaceful night sleep; homes where morning will find them welcomed as part of a loving family.

As you enjoy the holiday season this year with your family, we hope you may consider if there might not be room for more at your table. You can learn more about foster parenting by logging onto our website at www.sunrise.org.

We extend to you our best holiday wishes to you and your family.

Dr. William Smithwick

President and CEO

Sunrise Children’s Services