A Sense of Well-Being: How can we help children today?

Dear friends,

When Cynthia and her colleagues founded LifeWays 20 years ago,  they never imagined how this work would evolve and grow. As we witness how the support of parents and caregivers directly impacts children, we are convinced that the LifeWays mission is still important.

Twice a year we will pause the Living Arts Weekly blog posts to ask for your support. Why does LifeWays North America need donations, you might ask? If you read Cynthia’s letter below, you’ll see some of the meaningful and life-changing ways LifeWays North America supports parents, teachers and caregivers with your donations.

If you’ve been impacted by LifeWays North America’s work, please consider donating. Even a few dollars makes a big difference!

We are committed to keeping the Living Arts Weekly blog posts free, as well as offering other free resources like our dynamic quarterly newsletter and our upcoming December Visioning online mini-retreat. As our in-person and online LifeWays community grows, both our joy and our expenses increase. Your donations fund scholarships and the creation of more free resources that bring this critical work to life in new ways.

Take a moment to read Cynthia’s letter below about how you can help. Next Sunday, the Living Arts Weekly blog posts will resume with the topic of Waiting. And speaking of “waiting”, a blessed Advent to all who celebrate it. Advent is the season of waiting, and next week we will explore what it means to wait and how to do it joyfully!

Together let’s continue protecting children’s sense of well-being.

Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog editor

A Letter From LifeWays North America’s Founder and Executive Director, Cynthia Aldinger

Dear Friends,

Sitting here in the coffee shop working, I’m watching a precious pup anticipating the return of his owner who has entered the shop.  The trust in his eyes reminds me of how my grandchildren look at their parents, grandparents and other loving adults.  It is clear that this dear animal is well-loved, even treasured, which has just been confirmed as his owner returns with his coffee and, alas, a cup of whipped cream for you-know-who!

My eyes moisten when I consider how many children for whom their inherent trust has been betrayed.   While sometimes the betrayal has been intentional and misguided, in other situations it may be the result of overwhelmed parents and caregivers who feel at a loss to provide children what they need above all else – a sense of well-being.  Perhaps we would call it cultural betrayal.

Yet there are stories.  Beautiful ones.  I’m thinking of a LifeWays graduate who, while in the process of foster adopting, found herself supporting the overwhelmed birth mother in such a way that she could re-unite with her child; my friend and her family becoming like an extended family to mother and child.  Also within our LifeWays family come stories of physical and financial support going to families who lost everything in devastating fires in 2018.  And, of course, you have your own stories of people you know who have heroically cared for children and families.

Through our LifeWays Scholarship fund we are able to support students who fall on hard times while they are in their LifeWays training.  In another vein, we have been surprised at how our newly-developed online courses are supporting the growth and development of parents, caregivers and teachers of young children and their families around the world!   We have a FREE mini-retreat being offered next weekend!  A very recent project we are hoping to support this month is a five-day LifeWays course for a group of thirty childcare providers in the Compton-Watts community near L.A.

We understand your big-hearted and generous nature and can only imagine that many organizations are calling upon you for help.  We hope you will once again consider LifeWays as worthy of your support.  All of our employees have chosen to take pay cuts or refuse raises this year in our personal efforts to continue our generosity in the field of early care of families.  Please join us in these efforts. We promise to use your warmth-imbued donations to do all we can to protect the sense of well-being of young children today.

Click here to donate today.

In love and gratitude,

Cynthia Aldinger

For LifeWays North America Board of Trustees