Dear Friend of the Children at Epworth,
This Christmas, as you are preparing your gift list, I ask that you remember to include the children who call Epworth home. Children like Aiden.*
Aiden arrived at Epworth last winter, just before his 13th birthday. Before his arrival at Epworth, Aiden’s childhood had been marked by tragedy from the very start. Aiden’s mother gave birth to him while in prison, and she is still incarcerated and serving her sentence today. His Grandmother stepped in, caring for him as an infant all the way to his pre-teen years to the best of her ability. However, she was already in declining health and elderly at the time of Aiden’s birth, so as the years went on her ability to care for Aiden deteriorated as well.
This will be Aiden’s first Christmas at Epworth, and his cottage staff are prepared to help him navigate any feelings of sadness or homesickness that could arise. Christmas for Aiden before Epworth had always been a quiet holiday, just him and his Grandmother, exchanging a couple of small gifts. So when we sat down with him to ask what was on his wish list, our staff was surprised to find him upbeat and optimistic about the holiday, his first away from family. When asked why, Aiden said “I never had a brother or family to open gifts with, or watch me open mine. Christmas was always a little lonely for me, and I always dreamed about a big family sitting around the tree and opening presents together. So this year, I can’t wait to wake up on Christmas morning and open presents with my cottage family.”
While Aiden’s history is heartbreaking, his future is bright. Whether it is on Christmas morning, or any of the other 364 days of the year, Aiden will get the support he needs to transform his life. Aiden’s care at Epworth is enabling him to break the destructive cycle of a fractured family system and replace it with self-worth, dignity and productivity. On Christmas morning, he will finally experience the joy of opening a special gift, surrounded by his cottage mates and the staff that care for him each day – his “family.” Aiden’s story, like all of our children’s stories, is made possible by the generous support of people like you.
During this season of giving, I ask you to provide for the children at Epworth with a financial gift. Every dollar ensures the children at Epworth receive every opportunity they need to turn their story into a success. Please remember the children at Epworth this Christmas, children like Aiden.
Best Wishes during this Season of Joy,
Rev. John E. Holler, Jr.
President and CEO, Epworth Children’s Home