A March Thank You 2017

 

Can you imagine what it would feel like to be eight years old and told you're going to counseling for the first time?  Most likely, a little scary...to go to some place you've never been and talk to someone you've never met about things you've potentially never said out loud.  Can you imagine being 15?  You would likely still be just as scared, but it would probably come out more as angry.

This happens often for the kids who come to Daystar.  Whichever counselor they meet with walks down to the lobby to greet them for the first time, and we can immediately tell.  They look up timidly and are reluctant to leave their parents for a tour of Daystar, which we do with every child on their initial appointment.  Or, we walk down and the child looks quietly furious.  The counselor will say, "Let's head back this way and I'll show you around."  The boy or girl reluctantly stands up, and shoots a few glares at whichever parent is nearest.  (Melissa has taught all of us never to say, "Do you want to take a tour of Daystar?"  It gives them too much power to say no.  We smile and say, "Come with me."  Just one example of our Director's "back door" brilliance in working with kids). 

Every once in a while, however, a child or teenager won't get out of the car.  Their parents will drive them to the office, but just can't get them to walk inside the building.  Again, it may be fear—or anger—or both.  But every counselor on staff has had at least one session begin with a trip to the car to coax a child or teenager into the building.

Just last week, we had a car sitter come for his first appointment.  Melissa was just finishing an assessment with another boy who was at Daystar for the first time.  The first boy (who we'll call Charlie) had been nervous to come, but warmed up pretty quickly as he spent time with Melissa and her Old English Sheeppuppy, Blueberry. 

When the parents of the second boy said they couldn't get their son to come in, one of our other staff members stepped in.  He had helped Melissa with Charlie's assessment, and knew that Charlie could make all the difference.  He immediately turned to Charlie and said, "Why don't you come with me?"  Charlie agreed and they went out to talk to the newer boy at his car.  He reluctantly rolled down the window, and the staff member introduced himself and then Charlie.  Charlie quickly spoke, "Hey, today's my first time, too.  I wasn't sure I wanted to come.  But it's not so bad.  I really liked it and liked talking.  I think you will, too."

Daystar's tagline has always been "One life touching another."  We say often that kids impact kids, more than we do as adults.  Their voices are powerful in each other's lives.  Charlie lived out this truth, as well as the mission of Daystar.  And not only was the boy in the car impacted by it, but Charlie's was, too.  He left Daystar having made a difference.  One life touching another somehow changes both lives involved. 

Thank you for your belief in our mission.  Thank you for touching so many children and families through your graciousness to Daystar.  You make a profound difference—to us and to them.