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Eminence Independent Schools Holiday Assistance Program

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By The Staff

Happy Holidays!

My name is Debbie Mitchell Hartford and I am the Coordinator for the Family Resource & Youth Services Center (FRYSC) at Eminence Independent Schools. It’s hard to believe that another year has passed so quickly! To date, we have approximately 120 kids referred to our office for Christmas assistance. We have contacted local businesses seeking donations and/or sponsorship for these children but wanted to take this opportunity to speak to you, the citizens of Eminence and Henry County, too. In my letter to those businesses and in an attempt to find the best words to express our gratitude for all they do, I reflected on a book, and movie of the same name, Pay It Forward, written by Catherine Ryan Hyde. For those of you unfamiliar, this story and the “pay it forward” theory develop through the eyes of a 12-year old boy, Trevor, growing up in a house filled with alcoholism and abuse. Trevor, not unlike many of those who have been referred to us for assistance, was given an extra-credit project from his Social Studies teacher. The assignment: “Think of an idea for world change, and put it into action.” Trevor decided to do something good for 3 people but instead of asking them to pay him back, he would ask them to ‘pay it forward’ by doing a favor for 3 more people. What a profound and contagious vision - the vision of a 12-year old boy! Sometimes kids really are the best teachers! This story reminds us that by giving, you are passing goodness and kindness to others and I, personally, don’t think you can pass goodness and kindness forward without creating a positive change. More people should believe “in the goodness of human nature” and “be determined to change the world for the better.” The Eminence Family Resource and Youth Services Center believes in these children, their families and you, the residents of Henry County! Many people find it necessary, although difficult and often humbling, to come to this office for some form of assistance. Of those that come, it is the desire of most, to not take just to be taking but to be able to eventually give back (i.e. “pay it forward”). This year, in fact, we do have families whose children were previously recipients of our holiday assistance programs that now, due to a positive change in their lives, can and are “paying it forward” by being a sponsor. If, through this article or simply through the joy of giving, you decide to “pay it forward”, I hope that you will include the students and families in Eminence Independent Schools on your list. One day, the one you sponsor, because you sponsored, may be a sponsor to others! Best wishes to you and your families for a safe and happy holiday season! Debbie Mitchell Hartford, Eminence Independent Schools 502-845-5427 x-2256