Ryan arrived at Epworth this summer. He came to us after being removed from his parents’ care by the Department of Social Services for neglect and endangerment. Throughout this transition from home to Epworth Ryan has maintained a pleasant demeanor. He respects the staff in the cottage, he does well in school and he enjoys playing games with his new friends. Despite his pleasant demeanor, there are visible signs of his struggles to adjust to his new environment.
When he came to Epworth we took him shopping to pick out new clothes. He was delighted to be able to pick out new super hero shirts and even a new pair of shoes. However, each morning when he dressed, he reached for his old tattered pair of sneakers he was wearing when he first arrived. The laces were frayed, his toes were cramped and the soles were separating from the shoes. He could not run in them safely, and still he continued to choose them over the brand new shoes he picked out on his shopping trip. His old shoes seemed to be a security blanket for him.
As the weeks went by the Epworth staff talked with Ryan about his shoes and the events of his childhood. After a few weeks, he began to wear the new shoes to school and then switch to the old shoes when he got back to his cottage. Eventually he became comfortable with his new shoes, and just the other day he decided to throw the old shoes away. He realized that the new shoes are giving him new opportunities. He can run safely and play harder, his toes are no longer cramped and his self-confidence is growing as he interacts with other children.
Ryan’s stay at Epworth is doing similar things for him in other aspects of his life. Ryan’s comprehensive care plan provides him with both the space and guidance he needs to heal and grow while revealing new opportunities in his life as he sees his childhood being restored.
Your support for Epworth during this season of giving helps Ryan receive new games and clothes on Christmas morning, and it does so much more. Your support provides children with new shoes when they first arrive, and caring cottage staff to guide them through the healing process, and many other components they need to transform their lives and their futures. Please remember the children at Epworth during this season of giving, children like Ryan.
Very best wishes,
President, Epworth Children’s Home
PS – Your gift makes a difference in breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect.
This Christmas, you can give hope, love and care to a child like Ryan.
*Child’s name and photo changed for confidentiality