I recently had an opportunity to participate in the Kawartha Haliburton Children’s Aid Society’s (KHCAS) Annual Meeting. Through a series of unexpected conversations and ultimately a decision, I have begun a three-year term as a KHCAS Board member. This event was my formal introduction to the organization and it was a positive and inspiring one.
KHCAS’ mission is to engage families and the community to protect children, youth and young adults. It was an honour to be present as 28 youth in care or formally in the care of KHCAS were recognized for scholastic achievements this past year. Three of the young people present acknowledged the KHCAS staff who were at the event, and many others including foster families who had provided them with support and guidance. “Life always has its struggles and sometimes we need a hook to pull us up again. KHCAS has been my little hook,” one of the students shared. Her words drew me in. Each of the stories shared were delivered with heart, honesty and an intention to acknowledge the many individuals who have helped them successfully move towards adulthood. This was a great testament to what is possible when you are surrounded by a supportive, caring network of people who want to see you succeed.
The KHCAS Executive Director also shared her previous experience as a case worker. She talked about being unexpectedly stopped in a street by an adult woman who had been under her care many years earlier. This woman thanked her for her support and told her she made a difference in her life.
As I drove away from that event back to my office feeling moved and inspired, I thought about the many individuals and teams who have been my hooks, bringing me up and providing support every step of the way. I am blessed with a great family and network. Surprisingly, I am equally blessed with a great herd of horses. A few years ago, I knew very little about horses. But getting to know each one of them and taking it one step at a time, they’ve taught me to live in the moment, appreciating each day and learning from it as I continue moving forward. I was grateful to be part of the moments shared at the KHCAS annual meeting. By working with my horses, I’ve also learned that the world is full of possibility and when you are open to it – unexpected opportunities emerge. The graduates of KHCAS are a great example of what’s possible. Serving on the KHCAS was an unexpected opportunity and I’m looking forward to learning more about what’s possible as I embark on this new journey, supporting their vision of families and communities that thrive.