This Community is Our Home…and in Our House No Child Shall Go Unserved
It is the time of year when I pause to reflect on what has been and all that may be in the year ahead. I am filled with gratitude for so much – four magical grandchildren, a loving family, good health – and the opportunity to join the Young & Healthy team as the new Executive Director. Young & Healthy staff members are not “just” excellent at their jobs; they are also knowledgeable, persistent, and kind-hearted. It should be no surprise that last year, despite myriad challenges, Young & Healthy helped over 2,500 lower income, underserved children and their families to access essential health care services at their time of greatest need. Staff delivered insurance enrollment and advocacy services over 1,300 times and trained over 2,300 people to mitigate the impact of trauma on a child’s brain through trauma informed care.
These numbers only tell part of our story. We have a volunteer corps that last year gave us nearly 16,500 hours of service! Thanks to them over 1,000 first graders learned about good dental hygiene. Our network of 349 professional volunteers donated nearly 2,400 health appointments to our clients, valued at nearly $2.5 million. It is truly overwhelming to see the kindness of these volunteers who take the time to make sure that every child in Pasadena can thrive.
I recently learned about Ida Puliwa from two of Young & Healthy’s founders, Lorna Miller and Don Thomas. Ms. Puliwa grew up in a Malawi village that did not support the education of its girls. A fortuitous meeting with a Virginia Tech professor visiting her village led to the professor’s offer to pay for Ms. Puliwa’s education. She asked only that someday she “pay it forward.” Ms. Puliwa eventually earned her Ph.D. in the U.S. and today spreads the word that through the kindness of strangers we can make a difference.
Isn’t that really what it’s about? Every day, our staff delivers life-enhancing services that are largely made possible because of you – veritable strangers who understand how important it is to invest in the health and well-being of children who come from under-resourced and under-privileged homes throughout our region. While you may never have the chance to meet any of these beautiful children and their loving families, your gift will make a tangible difference in their lives.
Thank you for the kindness you bring into the world. Please join us with a financial contribution to help us realize our vision that all children in our community have a “village” that cares about them and an equal opportunity for a healthy life.