This week, an F-5 tornado demolished part of Moore, OK, and killed 24 people, including 9 children. Here in Minnesota, we lost children, too.
|Zach Sobiech (Credit: People.com)|
A fourth grade class from a western suburb of the Twin Cities went on a fun field trip to a park across the Mississippi from southwest St. Paul. The Twin Cities have left most of the river's shoreline as wilderness areas or parks for residents to hike and explore. This fourth grade class' field trip assignment was to search for fossils. Heavy rains had saturated the ground, and the soft clay at the edge of a bluff gave way when four of the children walked on it, and swept them down with it to the bottom, burying two of the kids. A tragic accident that tore up many of the adult rescuers from the St. Paul Fire Department. Two of the children survived, two did not. We do everything possible to protect our kids when they go out into the world on their own. But there are unforeseen circumstances and dangers. Crazy adults. The rest of that fourth grade class needs adult comfort and support. They need to know they are safe. But they also need realistic comfort and support not the sugar-coated kind.
I was feeling down yesterday after the sad events of this week. Then I received an e-mail from Don McPherson, the President of Modern Survey. Don and I worked at American Express Financial Advisors (now Ameriprise Financial) at the same time in the late 1990's. When he left, he started Modern Survey with a colleague. The e-mail's subject was "A Very Special Anniversary" and encouraged me to read Don's blog entry about his experiences as a Big Brother. As I read this essay, I was moved by these two people, one an adult, the other a kid, unrelated and yet connected in a most profound way by trust and respect and love. Here also was a guy who had decided to support a child, to be a mentor and champion. By the end, I was crying. In an ideal world, every village/town/city would raise its children together no matter where they lived or what their circumstances. But it's not an ideal world. Big Brother/Big Sister tries to fill the empty spaces with caring mentors. If you want to read Don's blog post, it's here. If you want to know more about Big Brother/Big Sister, check out their website.
Let's support children....