August brings about the closeout of summer. August is typically reminiscent of final summer vacations, getting ready for the start of school, and preparing to welcome Fall. Summer of 2021 began with glimmers of hope. Life started to resemble "normal" again. Face masks came off and we got to see each other smile again. However, it is safe to say that this summer is ending in a much different way than it began. The headlines are filled with COVID cases rising and the Delta variant spreading throughout the country. Thoughts of fear and uncertainty are starting to cloud our minds once again triggering feelings reminiscent of those that occurred in mid March of 2020.
As a person who has struggled with their fair share of anxiety, I have to constantly assess my own feelings and sometimes ask myself, "how am I doing?" And yes, like many of you, I am struggling. The constant news reports that we are bombarded with multiple times a day do not paint a very positive picture right now. But in the same breath, I have to acknowledge a sense of peace and gratefulness I have for those relationships that are most important in my life right now. These serve as an anchor for me as the ground starts to shake once again and reminds me that, while things are scary, I am not alone.
This is one thing I have found so genuine about BEST Kids since I stepped into our office for the first time. Our youth have to endure the constant transitions of the child welfare system and face uncertainties that many adults will never know. We at BEST Kids, unfortunately, are unable and can't promise to make life less scary for our youth. However, what we can do is come alongside our young people with a loving and caring long-lasting relationship through that of a mentor - someone who shows commitment and consistency through whatever life has to offer and reassure our youth that they are not alone. Through disappointments, setbacks, uncertainty, and even pandemics, you are not alone.
I have had the privilege of seeing this in action for the past six years, especially since March of 2020. Mentors would show up to mentees' homes when phone numbers stopped working just to maintain connection. They came to our office to pick up care packages for their mentees and they kept their relationships moving forward even through virtual communication. Words cannot express the kind of selflessness and dedication our mentors bring to BEST Kids. We encourage anyone reading this newsletter to come join this amazing community of people as we continue to cultivate relationships and provide a peaceful presence to our young people.
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