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Holidays can be a difficult time for some of the children and families we serve. For some, there are opportunities to visit one another; however for others, and the reasons vary, this may not be possible.

Recognizing this our staff go to great lengths to make sure holidays are fun and memorable. Visiting our seven units over Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help noticing staff were joyous and engaging students in the spirit of the day, giving thanks for their blessings no matter how difficult life seemed. There were smiles on the childrens and adults faces as they prepared all manner of food for the afternoon meal. There was joy as they went about routines and activities. The mood was light and one could really sense the commitment to our mission put forth by the staff, some of them undoubtedly sacrificing time with their own families in order to do so.

While there was a lot of discussion in the media about which companies were courageous for closing their doors on Thanksgiving, here at AK Child & Family that’s just not an option in our Residential Program which remains open 24/7, 365 days a year. Yet our staff willingly and gladly came to work in order to care for our children. There’s precious little song and dance on the national media stage for those who go about such work quietly, with meaning conviction and compassion, but their efforts don’t go unnoticed. We are thankful for the difference our staff makes in the lives of children and families. At times it isn’t easy work, but it sure makes a difference and is incredibly rewarding.