I write this letter on the heels of the tragic event in Connecticut, USA. It is impossible to hear of this tragedy and not be gripped by the horror and senseless loss of precious life. We, like you, join our hearts in prayer and condolences for those who have lost so much. For many, the laughter-filled days of joyous Christmas memories now contain a sense of irreplaceable sadness.
Many are asking where do we go from here? What is happening in a society that brings out these horrific actions? In response, I will say that although we certainly do not have all the answers, what is obvious is that it takes a village to raise a child. And when the village is involved, from the parents to neighbours to schools to peers, the members of our community, especially our youth, stand a much greater chance of developing purpose. They will not feel invisible, needing to do something tragic to be remembered. As humans we have an innate desire to believe that we somehow are designed and created for a special purpose, that we can bring meaning to this world. It is in the discovery and practice of this meaning that our sense of significance grows and we become empowered to be instruments of light to those around us.
So I thank all of you who have supported Impact Society and the thousands of youth we work with, through financial support, volunteering, encouraging words, thoughts and prayers. We couldn’t make it without you. But more than that, there would be thousands of youth who would not have developed their sense of purpose, significance and empowerment made possible through our HEROES® programs, whether in school or community programs, or with parents who have participated in HEREOS® AT HOME. Just this week a recent HEROES® graduate, who at the beginning of the program was very silent, expressed in his journal that he felt fat, ugly, useless and good for nothing. The instructor of that classroom spoke about the dramatic change in this child – that although he was never a boisterous person, he began to believe he had personal gifts and abilities. He began to think differently about himself, and then took many steps to become a positive, contributing member of the class. At the conclusion of HEROES® this young man handed his instructor a card that read, “Thank you for giving me taproots and a new outlook on life. Now I know that I’m great. Thank you for helping me through problems I could not face alone. All I can say is… thank you.”
As you enter this holiday season, remember this, you have forever altered thousands of lives. You have assisted in youth from all cultures and walks of life to develop or strengthen purpose in their lives. Our Christmas gift to you is the knowledge that young people’s lives are dramatically changed because of you. If you would like to make a financial gift to Impact Society, your donation will have its value increased thanks to a matching donation pledged of up to $55,000 by two of our supporters, Regan Davis and Mac Van Wielingen. Donate today to truly make an impact this holiday season, and thank you for being instrumental in helping us impact thousands of youth each year.
Thank you and a very merry Christmas,
Jack Toth, Founder & CEO