It’s softball season in the Hopkins house. Two of my daughters are playing on the same team for the second year in a row. It provides a chance to see their different personalities in direct contrast on the field.
One daughter is the social butterfly, always in conversation with teammates and opponents. She is naturally athletic and can make plays with little effort. The other daughter is more of a student of the game. She watches college softball and Major League Baseball to study the way players move around the field. It takes her more time to coordinate the movements to be successful on the field
Yet one thing both have in common is their game awareness and support of their teammates. While most games this season have started with full team chants of support, before the fifth batter steps into the box there are only three or four voices coming from the field or dugout. By the time my daughters come to bat at the bottom of the lineup, there is only one other voice. It frustrates me, but what I appreciate most is that it doesn’t stop them. Their voices are loud and clear in their support of their teammates until the final out.
This level of support reminds me of the Cottage Life Coaches and residential support staff’s efforts with the youth served by Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.
It is easy when a new youth comes into care to provide full throated support. It is once the new wears off that the real need for support comes into play. Our youth have experienced so much trauma that it is natural for them to expect for the support to disappear. There have been so many broken promises in their lives that it does not make sense to them that anyone would keep those promises. Yet every day, the BGHNC staff show up and demonstrate that they are going to keep the promises, including being an advocate for the youth against all the negative in the world, even their own doubts.
So the next time you are enjoying the roar of the crowd at a sporting event, think about the men and women at BGHNC serving as the cheering section for youth in care and providing them with hope for the future.
Melissa Hopkins is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.