What is it like for a child to visit Keystone Opportunity Center? Read on to find out. And make your year-end contribution today!
Leah sat in the lobby, focusing very hard on coloring a snowflake to hang in our office. She could see that many other children had recently done the same.
She kept her eyes on the snowflake because her surroundings were scary. The room was full of strangers. And she knew how sad her mom was these days. She didn’t want to see her to cry anymore.
A Keystone Opportunity Center case manager took Leah and her mom into a consultation room. That was kind of scary, too. It was a tiny room with a big table, lots papers on clip boards and a box of tissues.
Leah got out her snowflake and continued to color as her mom told the case manager about having been laid off from her job and that the landlord wasn’t going to give any more extensions on her rent. She said that her parents had passed away and she had no one else to turn to. She didn’t know where they could live, or how they would survive.
Leah thought about the last time she had seen her Nana. It was so long ago. She thought of the silky scarf she tied to her teddy bear. She plays with the scarf before she falls asleep every night. It was her Nana’s scarf and it’s her favorite thing in the world. It makes her think of how safe she felt when she lived at Nana’s house.
When the case manager passed a tissue across the table, Leah looked up to see that her mom was crying. “It will be okay, Mom,” Leah said. She rubbed her mom’s arm. “It will be okay.”
The case manager took Leah’s hand and led her out of the room to meet the rest of the Keystone staff, announcing joyfully: “This is Leah and she wants to color! Anyone here want to color with Leah?” A few case managers brought out the toys they keep under their desks for times like this.
Rallying the staff to play with the children is a sign. This is what happens at Keystone Opportunity Center when a case manager needs to ask a parent about abuse in the home.
The lobby of Keystone Opportunity Center is filling up with snowflakes colored by children just like Leah. Will you help us to help them?
With your tax-deductible gift, we divert families like Leah’s from homelessness or get them off the streets. We keep them from being hungry. We help parents get caught up with schooling.