From Hurt to Healing, to Hope

It all began with an unassuming trip to visit a beloved non-profit supported by her church, Christ Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, FL. Sylvia and her husband were driving through Thornwell’s campus when a school bus prompted them to stop. A young girl with a beautiful big bow rushed off the bus and crossed in front of their vehicle. They proceeded once it was safe, and, moments later, Sylvia began to sob uncontrollably. There was something deep rising within her. It wasn’t long before she realized it was her own childhood grief that caused these raw emotions to surface at the sight of this young girl–a girl who was so well cared for. A girl who had someone who loved her enough to put a bow in her hair. Things she didn’t have as a child. A love she had not known from the foster family she grew up with. As she began to explore Thornwell and herself, it became clear to her that God was vividly present, and this place represented a love far greater than anything she’d ever experienced in the foster family she grew up in. It was in those moments the Lord called her to a ministry of service at Thornwell. Her life’s pain had suddenly been given purpose–her mess a ministry.
It was in those moments the Lord called her to a ministry of service at Thornwell.
Nothing is wasted, dear friend. Today, Sylvia serves as a Thornwell Board of Trustee and faithful child advocate. Sylvia shared, “I love Thornwell because Thornwell loves children, and they’ve done so since 1875 through their residential and education programs and now through a number of community-based programs like foster care. It’s so much bigger than a single-campus operation nowadays. Thornwell is an innovator, a real pioneer in child welfare, serving children and families across FL, GA, and SC.I grew up in foster care from the time I was four years old until I was a sophomore in high school. The foster care home I grew up in was not the same quality as we’re seeing today.You make this possible! Whether providing the safety and security of a place to call home, reuniting shattered families after a crisis, or finding a loving family for a child who has no one to care for them, Thornwell has kept the faith with its mission of healing and wholeness.  Sylvia continued, “The legacy of care makes Thornwell uniquely qualified to train up and support a community of foster parents so that more children and families can find healing and wholeness. Our foster care program, for example, provides new resources and training, along with critical support and expert guidance, to stand by foster families every step of the journey.
The legacy of care makes Thornwell uniquely qualified to train up and support a community of foster parents so that more children and families can find healing and wholeness.
Thank you for believing that every child deserves a loving home! Your loving heart makes it possible for more children to experience the same love the little girl with the big beautiful bow experienced. You’re a brave advocate. Thank you!

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