Dearest Friends and Family...
Most of you are aware that I have the pleasure of working for what I consider to be one of the best companies in the world. Founded in 1986, Bright Horizons Family Solutions is the world's leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education, and work/life solutions. Conducting business in the United States, Europe, and Canada, this amazing company has created employer-sponsored child care and early education programs for more than 700 clients, including more than 90 of the Fortune 500.
I am fortunate enough to work, more specifically, for the non-profit sector, The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of children and families who are in distress. We are committed to improving the quality of life for at-risk children in the communities where Bright Horizons Family Solutions employees live and work. One of the ways we do this is through our signature program, Bright Spaces.
Imagine if you can, a place that is unfamiliar, scary, and filled with strangers. Your Mom tells you that this is where you will be staying for a while. You're not sure why, but you can tell she doesn't want to be there either. You've left your home suddenly, with just a small bag of clothes, and you're not sure if you're ever going back. You wonder about your toys and realize you may never see them again either.
Sadly, this is the reality for too many little ones and their families. Currently, there are over 1.3 million homeless children in the United States alone. 1.3 million! Many shack up with family members, others may call a car their home. For most, they will enter into the world of shelter living. Most shelters exist to do just that-give shelter. And while many agencies receive government grants to fund programs within the shelters, most of that goes towards continuing education or job training for the adults. While living in the shelter, these children usually have no where to escape the stress that hovers over them constantly. They have no where to go and read a book, play a game or build with blocks. They have no place to go and just be a kid and they are losing valuable time.
Many studies have shown that children who are exposed to early education, books, music, and developmentally appropriate toys and games, are far more likely to succeed in life than those who do not have access to educational opportunities.
The reality for the millions of children experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, or other trauma is that there are fewer opportunities for them to develop the social, cognitive, language, and gross motor skills that are important for academic success.This has serious and long-lasting developmental outcomes, which often contribute to a cycle of instability that is difficult to break.
Bright Spaces, the signature program of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, creates warm, enriching playrooms in community agencies that give children and families in crisis a special place to learn and have fun. Through innovative partnerships with Bright Horizons clients, local shelters, and community organizations, we build stimulating spaces equipped with overflowing bookshelves, games, toys, art supplies, computers, and more for children of all ages. With cozy nooks and comfortable furniture, Bright Spaces are designed to be engaging, comfortable places for children and families to play - a place to experience the joy of simply being a child or parent. I am proud to say that we now have opened over 200 Bright Spaces serving more than 7,000 homeless children every month.
On September 26, I will be participating in a "Walk-On" to help raise money for The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. Would you consider making a donation for this event? I understand that times are tough right now. I know that many will be able to contribute and others will not. Even something as simple as five dollars will make a difference. You may donate one of two ways. You can visit our Walk On page at http://www.brighthorizonsfoundation.org/Fundraising/walkonnashville.aspx.
Or I can take your donations directly. Please make checks out to The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. Your contribution will go towards various Bright Space projects serving children in all areas of the country.
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about something that is very dear to my heart! Please feel free to get in touch with me directly if you have any questions!
Love to all!