Today was one of “those” days; the kind of day that makes all the work and stress worth it. It was one of our “Self Esteem” Banquets. Two of our cohorts have just finished their 2nd quarter – the toughest quarter and – they are celebrating with a surprise luncheon.
Self-examination, facing your personal choices and challenges, and stepping up to change are all difficult things. They’ve been doing all of those things for the last 10 weeks. They finish this quarter by viewing a wonderful old movie: “The Miracle Worker.” It’s the really old one with Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft. If you haven’t watched it lately – or if you’ve never watched it – now would be a great time. It is gripping in every sense of the word. It is, of course, the story of Helen Keller and her life-long teacher and companion, Annie Sullivan. Besides the fact that we have it with Spanish subtitles, much of the movie has no dialogue. It’s just watching Annie try to get through to the deaf and dumb Helen Keller and to connect her to her world. Both of these women were rejects in their time; Helen because she was so impaired and Annie because she was also impaired and marginalized because of her difficult background. Together the two of them prove that trusting relationships, goals, and perseverance are the stuff of transformation. Every time we show it, we get the same responses: “I give up too easily on my children.” “I want to have that kind of perseverance with my kids.” “I was so inspired!” “They both overcame so much!”
But it is also inspiring to watch them walk out of the room where they were watching that movie into another room where a beautiful table is set, wonderful food is prepared, and they are surprised with a celebration of THEM. It’s truly a milestone moment that is always emotional. To hear them compare their own stories and garner strength for their own struggles as they work together and face the future with confidence is so energizing to me. They toast each other, share the “best and worst” of SFI so far, talk about the movie and get excited about their final quarter. Always chokes me up. I hope you’ll watch the movie.
But more than that, I hope you’ll consider helping them on their journey. They need your prayers and they need your financial support. You can put a woman through SFI for $85 a month – that’s $2.75 a day! It will be one of the best investments you ever make! I hope you will.