The season of gratitude is upon us – a time for family, the warmth of home and counting blessings.
Harvard psychologists recently released research that shows giving thanks can actually make you happier. And in the spirit of spreading cheer as we head into the holidays, I welcome you to join me in saying ‘thank you’ to the often unsung heroes in the Big Bend.
When I count blessings in our community, the heroes at Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) rise to the top of the list.
Led by a commitment to do good, dedicated CHS team members work behind the scenes to strengthen Tallahassee – and the state – with each family and every child they serve.
Even in the shadow of the pandemic, CHS’ frontline workforce never faltered in their commitment to help families overcome their darkest days to find and pursue opportunities for success and happiness.
If you’re not familiar with CHS, you should be. Their century-strong legacy of service to Florida’s children is unmatched.
Way before laws surrounding compulsory education and child labor were established and common-place, Children’s Home Society of Florida was there—on the ground assisting vulnerable children.
In fact, CHS was instrumental in creating these laws.
Founded in 1902 as an orphanage, today CHS has evolved to meet children and families at the right time with the right services – no matter where they are in life — so more families are safe, strong and together.
This is not light work.
CHS’ Child Protection Team and Children’s Advocacy Center work around the clock to treat young abuse survivors, to help them cope with and overcome the trauma of their experiences, and to educate the community about child abuse and neglect prevention.
Last year alone, 824 children and their families received care from services provided at the CHS Children’s Advocacy Center, including thousands of hours of therapy sessions, countless breakthroughs and shining moments of hope that build the foundation for a stronger tomorrow.
Yet, these foundations are built throughout CHS’ reach and influence in the community.
Children’s Home Society of Florida’s advocacy and leadership brought the innovative Community Partnership School to Leon County at Sabal Palm Elementary and, together with its founding and strategic partner the University of Central Florida, continues to support the model’s expansion in its 26 schools statewide.
Again in 2022, CHS is leading the charge asking the Legislature to provide continued funding to sustain existing schools – including at Sabal Palm – and to expand the model to serve more children.
The compassion and heart of these heroes cannot be overstated. To each one, I say thank you. Thank you for all the good you do. Thank you for helping children find joy and for reminding us all of the good that prevails.