‘T is The Season ….

Happy Monday, All!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am all amped up to give thanks for the rest of my life! Sounds corny?! Well, in thinking of these past few days, including sharing Thanksgiving Dinner with my sister and her family in Port St. Lucie, FL, all I can do is count my blessings! I don’t even have time to acknowledge any complaints I MIGHT have had about ANYTHING! Perhaps, it is maturity and appreciation for this present I have been bestowed with called “life”!

Yes, this is the last week of November 2011 and I can say that over the years, I have witnessed and experienced “the good, the bad and the ugly” things in life. Just watching “60 Minutes” last night brought home some realities even I’ve had to face. There was a segment that focused on “Homeless Students” in FLORIDA! That’s right, I believe the statistics revealed that this state has more homeless school children than any other state in the United States of America! As they interviewed some of the children, there was a wide array of emotions and sentiments that they expressed from having to live in cars, and one single parent male headed family had his two children living in a truck with him. The maturity level of those two kids compared to the broken heartedness of some of the other less fortunate ones was astonishing.

One family of five had left Washington, DC to come here and start a new life …. and ended up homeless and living out of a car. The stories continued on and on … Peace be still. Yet, there is a woman who has started an organization to assist these families with school aged children in acquiring relief through monies, food, clothes, hotels and some training for the adults responsible for caring for the children to make the adults more employable. One young yet mature girl commented, “It makes me sad when I see kids arguing and disrespecting their parents in stores and public places because they don’t appreciate what they have . . . and they don’t realize that tomorrow, they might not have it!”

I received (and sent) many notes regarding Thanksgiving, messages on my cell phone, e-mails and was elated to see former students with their families on Facebook enjoying Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas. One young man, the son of a friend from White Plains, had just closed on a house! I received some memorable e-mails from friends who are part of this e-mail family, and I thank you! I hope he doesn’t mind me mentioning but I even got an e-mail from my former roommate at Princeton, Armond Hill, assistant coach for the Boston Celtics! Now that NBA basketball stands a better chance at beginning Christmas Day, my hopes of seeing him again have risen.

I am thankful for the humanizing effects of my relationships with the many many “wonderful” people I have been fortunate enough to meet along this journey!

Love and Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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