Written by Phyllis Stephenson, Executive Director

Recently during my travels, I met a wonderful woman and mother. As we were walking through their home there was a framed pillowcase that had been divided into sections for each member of their family to create a visual that represented them individually and their family values. This project later led to the creation of a ring with the core values of the family engraved and presented to each child as they turned 16. This ring was to remind them of their connection, value, endless love and family values during their journey of life.

As I reflected on these wonderful traditions, I questioned how had I as a parent imprinted values and love with my children and all of those children who found refuge in our home. Then I recalled the decision over 25 years ago that each holiday season we would host a family meal for all the friends of our children. It would have the full array of turkey, ham, vegetables, desserts, and many memories. Now as many of these children are adults, I am touched when one shows up on Mother’s Day or Christmas to stay connected to our family and home. This lets me know that when they were young they felt valued and now as adults, they are passing it on. I encourage you to take time to reflect on the values, mission, and vision for your unique family. The holiday season is a great opportunity to focus on new traditions that bring your family values to life. May you make cherished memories and imprint your love and values!