I love this time of year for many reasons – one of which is definitely NOT the frigid temperatures! I love it because of the time I get to spend with my loved ones, relaxing and recharging after what is most often a busy year that’s gone by too fast. I also love it because I find this time of year to be one of the most generous times: a time when people capture the true spirit of the season – realizing it is truly better to give than to receive.
There are few things better than picking out the perfect gift for someone, volunteering your time at a local nonprofit, or opening your checkbook to help support those groups in need. I see this same generosity and spirit in FLOC’s generous gift drive when donors purchase gifts so that every single one of our students has a gift this holiday. I also see it in the generous FLOC donors who continue to donate year after year. To them, and to all of you who do the same this time of year and beyond, thank you!
At For Love of Children we’re also ready for some rest and relaxation! Our staff is busy wrapping up program before the holidays and reflecting on the successes of the year, while looking towards the year to come. A lot has happened in the world around us in the past year on local, national, and international levels. But, no matter what has happened around us, all of us at FLOC are reminded that our work is critical to the children and families of this city.
For Love of Children was founded in 1965 by a community of volunteers who heeded a call to action. They joined one another, united in a sense of hope and motivated by a common mission. Throughout FLOC’s 48-year history, we have been guided by the core values of our founders: to help children thrive and to offer them the educational opportunities they deserve. We still come together as a community united by hope, dedicated to the belief that individuals, working together, can bring about lasting and meaningful change.
Although I don’t interact with our students on a daily basis, the stories I hear inspire me to keep coming to work each day. Stories like that of Aliyah, a current 8th grader, who provides an example of what can be achieved through hard work and focus. Everyone who worked with her saw her determination and drive to really “buckle down” and work. She moved through the curriculum at an impressive rate, passing 13 lessons over the course of 6 weeks – her tutor had to work hard just to keep up with her! When the dust settled, she had made almost two years improvement in her fluency skills, and nearly three years of improvement in her general calculation abilities. Aliyah is focused on what she needs to do in order to find academic success, and FLOC is ensuring that she gets there!
Aliyah is just one of the nearly 600 students we work with each year. However, we can’t do this work alone. So, during this special season of giving, we’re asking you to join us in continuing to help students like Aliyah, and all of the students we work with at FLOC, realize their own potential all year long. If you’re interested in making a donation and joining us in our work, click here. You can also mail us a check or call Ellie Haga at 202-349-3500 to make a donation over the phone.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my thankfulness for the amazing staff and volunteers that also help to make our work possible. So, on behalf of all of the students, families, and staff at For Love of Children, we send warm wishes for the happiest of holidays and a safe and healthy New Year.
(Ellie Haga is the Operations Manager at FLOC).