“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~Albert Schweitzer
Messages of Thanks
At this time of year, we are reminded of the importance of appreciating the good in our lives. Over the years, many whose lives have been touched by Kurn Hattin Homes for Children have reached out to express thanks, each in his or her own way. Whether they come back to visit campus, send a letter to a former teacher, make a donation, or post a comment on Facebook, the message is always delivered with the same deeply heartfelt gratitude.
The following are just a handful of recent messages of thanks from the Voices of Kurn Hattin.
We who were lucky to belong to the KH family have so much to be thankful for. We had wonderful mentors who helped all of us to have happy productive lives.
Thanks for so much in my life. Thank you, Kurn Hattin, for loving support when I needed it most. Thanks to the staff that always puts the kids and their families first. Thanks for the benefactors who keep the Homes and the vision viable. Thanks to good leadership. Thanks to all my brothers and sisters who had the wonderful privilege of experiencing the care and guidance of the Homes.
I am so thankful for everything Kurn Hattin has done for me and in my heart is still doing for me. I went from running the cross country races (1 mile when I ran it). It was a 16 minute mile in 6th grade and now I run it every week. Today I ran it and got a flat 9 minutes!! I am thankful for all the teachers and staff helping me and being there for me. Kristie Lisai, thank u for being the best English teacher ever and being so easy to talk to and teaching me how to be such a good writer! Richard M. Long, thank u for never giving up on me when I would do so bad in social studies. Donna Fahner, thank u for pushing me in my gym classes and making me do things when I didn’t want to. And to all the other teachers and staff just thank u for being my AWESOME TEACHERS.
It is nearly impossible I think for any one of us to describe the feelings we have towards Kurn Hattin. As the years have grown greater in length since those days of our youth, it seems that for most of us, we are drawn ever closer to this “place that we call home”, as our alma mater says. We who were lucky enough to have lived and learned here are amongst an elite group of people, dare I say worldwide, who can say, “I am what Kurn Hattin represents; I am a part of Kurn Hattin; I AM Kurn Hattin!”
Congratulations to Lyssa Jackson, who recently accepted the 2012 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award, for a fundraising project she organized for Kurn Hattin. Lyssa, a 2008 Kurn Hattin graduate, is an inspiring example of a young person whose profound gratitude prompted her to do something to give back to Kurn Hattin, the place she felt gave her a start in life. She received a $5,000 scholarship check toward her studies at Skidmore College, where she is currently a freshman. Watch a video of Lyssa’s acceptance speech below.
During her early childhood, Lyssa already faced her share of adult-sized challenges – a family struggling with poverty, the unexpected death of her father, and caring for her mother who suffered from mental illness. At the age of eight, when her mother’s situation worsened, Lyssa herself began looking for an alternative. She had heard of Kurn Hattin from a neighbor and researched the school online. “I swear I was on that website every day,” she says. “I would go through the photos in the photo albums, and I was always drawing pictures of the place.” When Lyssa was placed in the care of her grandmother at age 10, she spoke of her dream of attending Kurn Hattin, and the two made the decision to enroll Lyssa. “I was so thankful just to finally be there,” she reflects.
After four years, Lyssa graduated from Kurn Hattin and received a full scholarship to attend the nearby Putney School for high school. It was there that she saw an opportunity to show her appreciation. Last year, while a senior, Lyssa mobilized her fellow students to raise funds for Kurn Hattin as part of The Putney School’s 2nd Annual Community Workday. The students performed manual labor tasks for residents in the community, with the proceeds going to a selected charity. Putney School students chose Kurn Hattin Homes for Children after a heartfelt presentation from Lyssa. She told of her childhood hardship and how the people at Kurn Hattin, a school just down the road, helped her become who she is today. “I can never fully repay Kurn Hattin for what they gave me, because what they gave me goes beyond value,” Lyssa said, “Kurn Hattin didn’t turn me into the person I am, but it allowed me to become the person I knew I could be. Her classmates voted in her favor to not only support Kurn Hattin but also to support Lyssa, their friend and classmate. At the end of just one full day of hard work in the community, the group had raised $5,316 for Kurn Hattin.
Congratulations Lyssa, and thank you!
CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON TO VIEW LYSSA’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH VIDEO
A Thanksgiving Poem by John Hurd, Kurn Hattin Class of 1919
John Laurence Hurd was a student at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children between 1913 and 1919. His literary accomplishments include the memoir entitled, Kurn Hattin, The Story of Home and the following poem, “written many years ago in celebration of his friends and family at Thanksgiving”.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of the sunshine, God of the rain,
God of the harvest on hill and plain,
Be with us now as, gathered here,
We count the blessings of the year.
Bless this feast, this board of cheer.
Bless the family gathered here.
Bless eager youth and elders grey.
Bless absent ones far away.
Accept our thanks for blessings past,
The solid things, the things that last.
For summer’s sun and winter’s snows,
For laughter of children, the bloom of a rose.
For profit to man from sweat and toil,
For the miracle bounty of the soil.
For the beauty of nature across the land,
For the friendly grip of a neighbor’s hand.
For hidden blessings we cannot see,
For these we give our thanks to thee.
God of the harvest, be with us when
We raise our voices in glad Amen.