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News from Friends of Joshua House

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by Friends of Joshua House | Dec 17, 2013

Dear Friends of Joshua House

The New Year and Christmas holidays are fast approaching. As each day speeds by I cannot help but think how fortunate we are that so many of you have reached out to help one or more of our children this season. Joshua House continues to face many challenges, especially with the loss of our beloved founders Olin Mott and Dottie Berger MacKinnon. Their absence is sorely felt. Funding is an ongoing and complicated issue for foster care providers and it is no surprise that Joshua House operates on a deficit budget. Every provider does. Adding to that issue are children and teens coming from increasingly violent homes, sexual and human trafficking, and serious neglect, it feels as if it will never end. Yet, the Tampa Bay community continues to be this wonderful place where its citizens nurture philanthropy and support for those in need. I am so proud to call this place home. I hope you will continue to keep Joshua House foremost in your mind and hearts this season. We still have much to do to make Christmas a bright and memorable day for our children and teens. This is the only time of the year that we do gift drives, what we collect will carry us through next Christmas. We want every child that arrives at Joshua House to be welcomed with joy and acceptance.

Follow the links to make a donation to
support Joshua House and help us to make
it a warm and loving home for the children
and teens.  Please know that your gift     
whether it is monetary or time, is needed
and appreciated greatly. 
Bless you for being our friends.   

I would be remiss if I did not share that I am extremely grateful to the Friends of Joshua House Foundation Board of Directors and Officers, to the dedicated staff at the Children's Home Society of Florida's Gulf Coast Region, to all our donors, volunteers, and the wonderful Founders of Joshua House. You are the light that guides these children towards a better future.  ~DeDe Grundel, Executive Director

A Joshua House Story

 When 11 year old Chase arrived at Joshua  House this summer he had very little. A few  items of clothes, mismatched shoes, and  certainly no toys or games he could call his  own. Removed from his parents due to  abuse, he was quiet and reluctant to interact.  Who can blame him? No child wants to call  Joshua House home. Not because it is a  terrible place to live. On the contrary, it is quite beautiful. With the houses set in a park like setting, a large play area shaded by oak trees, meals served at dining room tables like a family would dine. Even concerned staff that take the time to listen to each child, whether they are sharing their joys or woes. Somebody is listening, caring, and loving them...it simply is not home. Not a home like we know and expect. Certainly not a home like Chase wishes for. After six months, Chase is doing better, but not wonderful. That is because he knows in his heart the one true wish he had for Christmas simply will not come true. He wants to go home. He can't undo what his father has done; he can't make his mother more responsible.  He can only breathe deep and cope the best way possible. And he can hope and wish. 

We provide you, our supporters, with our children's Christmas Wish List for a reason. We want to see their joy on Christmas morning when their wishes are granted. It warms our hearts and we appreciate all you do to make this happen. The holidays are always a difficult time for abused, abandoned, and neglected children like Chase. They key word is abandonment. No matter the reason they are in foster care, no matter that they are safe and not being hurt anymore; they feel abandoned, and they feel their loneliness more profoundly. We truly wish we could make ALL of Chase's wishes for the holidays come true. All we can do is strive to fill as many wishes as we can, and try to make Christmas brighter and more memorable than Chase has ever experienced. And then we go on to make the next day a good one as well, and then the next one after that. 

We hope you will join us with a donation that will make the Holidays and every day a better day for children like Chase. We also hope you understand that the wish list on our website is real, just like our children. But we changed Chase's name to protect his identity.

Our Wish for You 

We are humbled by the devotion and support of longtime friends, and we have been honored as supporters have gifted everything from a precious childhood toy to a transformative gift to help restore one of our houses. If you plan to share a gift with us or have already shared your abundance with us in 2013, we sincerely thank you. You have made a profound and lasting impact on the children who call Joshua House home.


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