• Father Lance W. Harlow

Cold winds

November in Vermont is cold and where I live on Lake Champlain it is both cold and windy. It's the season of breaking out the winter coats, boots, hats and scarves. But there is another kind of coldness that is different from the wind. It's the coldness of being judged by other people for being poor.

As children get older, they become more and more self-conscious of being poor. They feel self-conscious about what their house looks like, the junk cars in the yard, and what kind of clothes they are wearing. They hear people talking about them and their families. Sometimes the police are at their house because of domestic assaults and the neighbors are all watching. They are embarrassed by so many things.

One of the blessings of the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children is that it is a warm environment. And by that, I am not speaking in terms of degrees Fahrenheit. I am talking about the care that each boy and girl receives, without judgment of social background, from the house parents, teachers and counselors. Because all the kids are living in the same environment, there is no icy judgment about clothes, neighborhoods, cars or family members. For an adult, not ridiculing someone about his or her economic status is basic good manners. But not all children have learned good manners and can be cruel to each other. For a child, to fit in and not to be be an "outcast," makes all the difference in their self-esteem.

The St. Nicholas Project supports the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children because it's warm there. They all fit in. No child is treated as an outcast because of socio-economic status. Our donors to the St. Nicholas Project recognize that, too. Thank you to our amazing donors who keep the place warm. Warm with love. Warm with belonging. Warm with acceptance for what kids have and what they don't have.

If you would like to join us in our mission of keeping the Homes "warm" for these boys and girls, please make a donation today. God bless you!


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