Thanksgiving is the time of year when we are reminded to be grateful. But in truth, at the R.J. Leonard Foundation, we don’t need a holiday to remind us. Every day, our community, our Fellows, our Mentors, our Board give us the opportunity to be thankful for them and for all they do. Today is no different.
Thank you for allowing us to have 365 days filled with gratitude! Happy Thanksgiving!
Change is hard, and we at RJLF are in the middle of some pretty big changes. Our Executive Director for the past three years - Joelle Pitts - has stepped down to pursue other opportunities. We are so happy for her and thrilled that she will remain on the board of RJLF despite no longer being our executive director. Anyone who has worked with Joelle knows what an asset she is to the Foundation and all of our Fellows. She will be sorely missed but not gone.
Program Director Sue Coyle will be stepping into Joelle’s shoes as interim executive director and we’ll be working to hire a new program director in the meantime. Through it all, our Fellows will still need to have their needs met, to have holiday meals and gifts delivered and to feel supported despite the transitions in action.
We know that we can do it. We are committed to doing it. We know you are too. We want to thank you in advance for your continued support through our transition and for, as always, believing in the Foundation and the success of our Fellows!
It’s hard to know what you’re going to do with your life when you’re 18 or 21 (or, let’s be honest, at any age). Yet that’s exactly what we ask teenagers to do when they apply and commit to colleges. Choose a major. Choose a direction. Choose the rest of your life.
Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic. Majors can change, after all, and there’s no end to stories about second and third careers. However, that weightiness is exactly how it feels when you’re 18. It’s heavy, even more so when you are a young person without support, without a network to fall back on when you’ve realized an error or are just feeling unsure. Taking a risk, particularly one as expensive as college, can seem like too much of a leap.
At the R.J. Leonard Foundation, we try to help young people without the traditional foundation of support think through such big decisions so that college doesn’t feel like a risk too big too take. Rather it’s an opportunity to venture down a path filled with multiple possibilities and achieve the success that is dreamed of. If you would like to be a part of helping the R.J. Leonard Foundation, visit us at www.rjleonardfoundation.org.
And as a reminder: College application deadlines are looming. Be kind to your seniors.
October has ended. The cobwebs are coming down and the wreaths are going up. That may not be the case in your house just yet, but the truth is the holidays are right around the corner. We are currently collecting gift lists and organizing our holiday party at RJLF. That means, pretty soon, we’re going to need you. Year after year you help us fulfill the wishes of our Fellows and their children so that they, too, can have a holiday season of wonder!
Buying one or two or three gifts may not seem like a lot to you, but to our Fellows, it’s the world. Just last year, one of our Fellows told us that she had not gotten a Christmas gift since leaving foster care. She’s currently 27 years old. You make a difference. This makes a difference.
Keep your eyes out for Amazon wishlists and other ways to help as we wind down 2022 with festivity and good cheer!