by Lindsay Craven, Therapeutic Childcare Specialist
I wanted to share about a child we cared for recently in our Emergency Sanctuary Program. His words about our Sanctuary really touched me and, I think, are a simple and powerful statement about our work.
This young man, and his brothers, who entered our care together had a strong bond. They looked out for each other, and were very smart, kind, funny, and creative. While with us, this kiddo invented a game he called “Puzzle Poker” which was a sophisticated gambling and guessing game that eventually led to a finished puzzle. He wrote out the rules so that future kids who come to Sanctuary can play it too!
This boy really appreciated knowing exactly what was going to happen next and how it was all going to work. He wanted every detail of what was going on and liked to write out lists and pieces of information to keep track and stay organized.
On his last night at the Sanctuary, he and I made a list of every single staff and volunteer he had met while at Sanctuary, going over the staff schedule to make sure he didn’t miss anyone. He took the list with him, not wanting to forget any of us.
While sitting in his bedroom helping him calm his thoughts during his last bedtime at the Sanctuary he wondered what court would say about where he was going next. He and I talked about how it was okay to be nervous. He told me he had been nervous when he was called to the school office and the social worker was there and told him he would be coming here. Then he said, “I was nervous, but as soon as I stepped through the front door [of the Sanctuary] the nervousness went away.” I told him I knew it was hard for him to be here away from his family, as he had told me, but I was glad we had helped him feel safe. He said, “You’re really doing a good job.”
We couldn’t really have a better testament to our work at the Sanctuaries!
Also, check out the amazing tower he built: planning carefully so that he used EVERY SINGLE Lincoln Log we have!
If you are interested in volunteering at our Emergency Sanctuaries in Seattle or Tacoma please contact volunteers@AmaraPutsKidsFirst.org or check out more info on on the Volunteer Page.