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Cards on the table, I’m going through an awful time right now.

Not to go too far down the rabbit hole but there are significant family health concerns and housing issues on top of work and general life stresses for a married mother of three teenage girls working full time during a time of rapid transition. (Graduation, softball, and boyfriends – oh my!)

I know my burdens pale in comparison to the experiences of the children, youth, and families in the care and services of Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina. They are dealing with some of the most distressing situations imaginable while navigating a challenging system of well-intentioned strangers.

Yet, as with all the hard times, there are opportunities to look for the “awe-full” experiences all around. Like those quiet moments in nature after a storm when the rainbow appears. Or when that random trip to the store provides an opportunity to get a much needed pep talk from a friend. Or when that moment of honest vulnerability by a youth in a therapeutic environment results in the needed break through to begin true healing.

These “awe-full” moments can only be appreciated when there is an openness to them. While I work hard to keep things in perspective, those in BGHNC’s care have the advantage of having a team of supporters who can provide reminders on a daily basis. A team that includes the Cottage Life Coaches, case workers, clinicians, therapists, teachers, and general staff who come in contact with the youth every day. The incorporation of the Waccamaw Way means that every interaction is intentional and personalized to what the youth needs in that moment. And, sometimes, that unexpected moment of “awe-fullness” is exactly what turns the day around to build hope for the future.

Melissa Hopkins is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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