My heart broke this week. The pain of losing such precious children during a senseless act was almost unbearable. Anyone who has ever loved a child couldnt help but be affected. I hope everyone took the time to hug a special child to their chest and give thanks for them.
This tragedy also made me think of the children in our community who, day in and day out, slip through the cracks in so many ways. Some may not have enough to eat. Some may not have a safe home at the end of the day. Some may be heading into the winter without warm clothing. Some may be facing health challenges that a child shouldnt have to face. What can we do to hug these children tight?
Im always so pleased to see UCHS students embrace those less fortunate during the holidays. We had a tremendous outpouring for Thanksgiving baskets. Every angel on our Angel Tree was adopted. A student spending time at St. Jude Childrens Hospital continues to be remembered in multiple ways. These are wonderful ways to hug someone tight.
But what about when Christmas is over? What happens when food in the Thanksgiving basket runs out? We have students in our community who face needs every day of every week during the year. This holiday season, why not think of a way to hug a less fortunate child tight throughout 2013.
We all know families who struggle. Look hard for someone who may benefit from some extra attention during the coming year. Plan to remember them once a month with a food basket.
Children grow. Take a child shopping for winter clothes then later take them again for summer clothes then back-to-school outfits. Connect with a child who faces multiple trips to St. Jude or The Shriners Hospital. Provide them with a fun kit of activities to help them pass the time. If you truly dont know anyone, then make a donation to an organization that reaches out to help children.
Lets make this the year we hug all our children close. Lets not let one child slip into a crack and be forgotten. Lets not let one single child in our community feel unloved. Every child is a miracle and sometimes life is just too short.
Lets treat them all as if we may lose them tomorrow. Lets care for them all and hold them close. And when we do, lets pray for those suffering the most unbearable loss of all.
By: Vicky Livesay