Dear everyone involved with The Elizabeth Atkins Presents Fund,
I am deeply regretful that I haven't been able to send more regular updates. I know that this fund is very special to each of you, and I want you to know that I feel that as well and not many days go by when I don't think of this person named Liz, Lizzie, Elizabeth Atkins who was so loved and has somehow become a part of my life through the stories you have told me over these years. It is amazing to me that I feel so connected to someone I never had the privilege of meeting on earth. Aaron's life and the daily miracles I experience with Aaron's Presents has only solidified my belief that there is more going on than meets the eye and that our strongest, most lasting connections are at the soul level.
In any case, I am planning on sending more frequent, shorter updates this year to let you know more often how many meaningful experiences you are all making possible for other young people through your continuation of this fund.
Recently we have been given the go-ahead to start bringing kids to play with kids living in a group home for 15 foster children. The foster children are between 6-11 years old and deal with a lot of social-emotional issues from various traumas and other conditions, but they LOVE when our kids come and just give them what they crave the most: love and positive undivided attention, especially from other youth.
For some reason, while painting with them last weekend and watching a couple other groups play with them this week and bringing and receiving such joy, I kept thinking of Liz. Something kept telling me that she would have loved these afternoons and human connections made, as well as the art and creative activities that our kids are often doing with the foster kids.
For privacy reasons, we can't get many pictures in the house, but here are some pictures of the AP kids who have been doing these projects:
Lowell 7th graders Brianna, Joicy and Kayla:
Lawrence 8th graders Ashley, Brianny, Lianna, Isamer and Dariel:
I'm so proud of all of the kids who are choosing to use and give their time and energy for the good of others, and I see firsthand that they get back in return even more than they give. And they just want to keep doing more and more. They give me hope everyday in an often tough, dark world. I know these experiences help them feel something that they don't often feel, and I know that changes them and how they view their role in the world one small bit at a time.
Thank you for believing in us but more importantly, in them. They need helping feeling their own value and purpose even more than ever right now.
I hope this finds you all well. Thank you for sharing Liz with me and all of us at AP.
With love always,