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The Power of a (Helping) Hand

I was only five years old, and I was so anxious, worried and scared – separated from the only family I’d ever known. I couldn’t sleep after being moved into my new home, with my new foster family.

My foster mother had done her best. She pulled a fold-out cot from the closet, made it up with fresh, clean sheets and blankets, pulled it up close beside her bedside, and tucked me in.

But even being that close to her was not enough. After lying there in the quiet darkness, I said to my new mom, “Would you hold my hand?” She didn’t say a word, she just reached out and held my hand. And she held my hand every night until I fell asleep. I cannot remember how many nights, and I can’t explain why her holding my hand was enough, but it was.

Looking back, I am not sure who was more scared…me, as a five-year old little boy who had lost his dad, his mom and his sister during the previous year…or this young woman and her husband, who now found themselves as first-time parents and were probably feeling very unsure of themselves that night. Maybe even wondering what they had gotten themselves into!

And I am not sure which is more difficult…trying to explain the pain of losing your family as a young child…or trying to explain the power of the second chance provided by a new mother and family.

Sadly, thousands of children across our country need a hand-held by a loving and courageous foster or adoptive mom or dad. And thousands of moms and dads need a hand up so they can overcome challenges and provide a safe, stable home for their children.

Thank you for your support for our mission. Your generosity will help ensure that every Eckerd Connects child and family has an opportunity to have a safe, strong and successful life!

-David Dennis

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