On November 15th, the 8 billionth person on Earth was born. Eight billion. This milestone should make us pause to think not just about the quantity of people who are here but of how we treat each other and the land we ask to support us.
We don’t always succeed at doing what’s best. We don’t always give each other the support and grace needed to live a happy and rewarding life. We can do better.
There are countless examples of where better is needed across the globe, but one such example is youth in foster care in the United States. While best efforts are made to keep children safe and protect them, the system so often falls short. Young people can move from placement to placement and as a result school to school, support network to support network. They may not have the opportunity to feel steady, let alone safe. Once they age out of the system, all too often these young people are on their own. There are not a lot of safety nets in place to catch them.
At the R.J. Leonard Foundation, we strive to do better, to be one of those safety nets, but we also know that there is always room for improvement, especially with 8 billion people on Earth. As we look toward 2023, we commit to continuing to do what we can and to do better for ourselves, our communities, and our 8 billion neighbors.