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Help us build a brighter future for coming generations of children
The Home for Little Wanderers is pleased to announce that construction has begun on our largest-ever capital fundraising effort, the Third Century Campaign, to enlarge the campus at our Longview Farm facility in Walpole. The $23 million campaign involves the building of new residences and a state-of-the-art special education school. We have reached the halfway point in terms of fundraising - thanks to the generous support of early contributors -and construction is projected to be completed by the end of 2012.
The new campus will enable The Home to relocate our Knight Children's Center program in Jamaica Plain. The 1914 building, The Home’s oldest facility, is in disrepair and too expensive to renovate. The time to move the children - which include some of our youngest and most vulnerable - to modern, healthier surroundings has never been more urgent.
The Home owns 166 acres of beautiful land at Longview Farm, but only about one-third of the property is being utilized. Founded in 1940, Longview's rural setting provides opportunities for healthy outdoor educational and recreational activities, proven to have enormous therapeutic benefits. Whether it's learning to swim, growing fruits and vegetables, or daring to tackle the Project Adventure courses, these experiences help children to gain self-esteem, learn to take risks and acquire basic skills that they can apply for the rest of their lives.
In line with The Home's focus on providing a top-level education to the children in its care, the new school will employ the most up-to-date technology and teaching methods. The four new residences have been designed to meet the needs of the children, as well as integrate well into the existing campus setting.
In addition to these obvious benefits for the children, the consolidation of the two programs on the Longview Farm campus will also result in significant cost savings for The Home. The Third Century Campaign offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be an integral part of our legacy of caring and providing hope for future generations of children. To learn more about the campaign and how you can help, call our Director of Individual Giving at 617-927-0670 or visit www.thehome.org/thirdcentury.
One Step at a Time
The story below illustrates the positive impact of Longview Farm’s environment on children who need a place to heal.
Martin spent most of his first twelve years in a tiny 2-bedroom apartment. Both of his parents suffered from a skin disease and were uncomfortable going out in public, so he never went anywhere either, including school.
When Martin arrived at Longview Farm, he was extremely introverted. It was no wonder this boy who had rarely left his apartment was afraid to even put the harness on in Adventure Group, let alone try to climb a wall. After much encouragement, Martin strapped on the harness, took one step, but wouldn't go any higher. Over the next several weeks, each time he took one more step until he made it to the top. When he reached the platform, Martin had the biggest grin ever on his face and the kids down below were cheering him on.
That summer, the other boys taught him how to swim and ride a bike. More importantly, Martin came out of his shell and realized if he tried new things he could succeed.
Young woman served by The Home’s YARN program wins scholarship
One of the many success stories to come out of The Home’s new Young Adult Resource Network (YARN) - featured in the last issue of The Homepage - is that of Chiquana Clayton. Chiquana has overcome many struggles in her early life to get to the point where she is now: a high school graduate who is going to college in the fall.
Adopted at age 13 into a loving family, Chiquana struggled mightily in high school, but a road trip to Virginia last summer to take her sister to college turned everything around. “There were thousands of kids my age bettering themselves and being held responsible in a small community they could call home. When I returned to Boston, I was determined to become a different student.” This statement was part of Chiquana’s application to The Foundation To Be Named Later for the Peter Gammons Scholarship which makes an annual award of up to $8,000 towards tuition.
Her story, demonstrating courage, determination and a clear vision for her future, resonated with the Foundation and in June Chiquana was notified that she had won the award. With the help of her Life Coach Taryn Marino and other resources at YARN, Chiquana has made huge strides and feels “there’s not too much I can’t accomplish if I put my mind to it.” In her supporting testimonial to the Foundation, Taryn wrote “Chiquana’s future is wide open and she has the desire to fill it with success.” Congratulations Chiquana!
Children Discover the Power of Yoga
As part of The Home’s efforts to address the overall well-being of the children in our care, some of our programs have been introducing the kids to yoga. This powerful form of exercise provides the perfect combination, simultaneously addressing mental and physical health. One of the key benefits is that it helps the kids learn ways to reduce stress through relaxation techniques, from breathing exercises to meditation.
The children living at Harrington House group home took yoga classes led by several of The Home’s staff who were passionate about yoga and received special training in order to teach the classes. After the 8-week session, there were visible changes among some of the children, including fewer outbursts of anger, increased energy, and improved moods. The classes have continued with the help of a volunteer yoga instructor.
Our Children’s Community Support Collaborative program also started a yoga group last fall. At one class, they played hip-hop yoga music to get the kids moving, while at another class the instructor played acoustic guitar for singing, chanting, and meditating. It has given the kids a quiet "space" where they can experience a few minutes of peace and tranquility during their very busy days.
With the help of a wonderful organization called Yoga Reaches Out, The Home is working to expand this initiative to other programs, so that more of the children in our care can experience the many benefits of yoga.
With a Little Help From Our Friends
Teamwork and cooperation were the focus of the Columbian Lodge of Boston's 14th Annual Multi-School Basketball Tournament. More than 150 youth, including children from throughout The Home's residential programs, participated in the tournament. Several familiar faces from the community stopped by to cheer on the kids, including WHDH weather guy Chris Lambert, Patriots Cheerleaders Sara and Stephanie, Lil' Phunk, and Melissa from JAM'N 94.5.
The Home's Young Professionals Group hosted its first Summer Social, drawing a sold out crowd of 150 young professionals in their 20s and 30s. The rooftop fundraiser overlooking Boston Common was held at blu Restaurant at The Sports Club/LA. The evening featured a raffle, silent auction, and plenty of time to network with fellow young professionals from the Boston area.
A fresh coat of paint and simple improvements have brightened up the Knight Children's Center (KCC) thanks to nearly 20 volunteers from Wells Fargo. The group spent an entire day updating KCC's library and family room, in addition to tackling outdoor projects that included power-washing and painting basketball and foursquare courts. Wells Fargo generously donated new window treatments, chairs, paint and other home decorating supplies for the project.