"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
~ Melody Beattie
With the holiday season upon us, the spirit of giving and of thanksgiving provides an opportunity not only to be grateful for the good things here and now, but also to reflect on the events of the past, the decisions and actions of others before us, and the serendipitous twists of fate that have led us here to the present.
For the children living and attending school here at Kurn Hattin Homes in Vermont, a parent or a relative may have made the often difficult choice to place them here during a time of turmoil at home. Or perhaps a concerned teacher, neighbor, or friend suggested Kurn Hattin as one option to help a child reach his or her full potential. Whatever the circumstances that have led them here, all of the children–both past and present–arrive to find a loving, caring community of adults and peers, and a place where they can learn, grow, heal, and experience the joy of childhood.
Earlier this year, we took the opportunity to reflect on Kurn Hattin's history and path to the present as we combed our extensive archives compiling photos, documents, and records dating back to the late 1800's, in order to create a traveling historical exhibit, entitled A Legacy of Caring: Adapting to the Changing Needs of Children and Families
Completed last summer to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Homes' founding, the exhibit highlights the important trends, events, and milestones that have shaped Kurn Hattin's approach to child care and alternative education, and introduces the key characters whose vision to better the lives of young children in need and their families serves as our main mission in the present day.
The following are excerpts from the exhibit, which introduce Kurn Hattin's founder, Reverend Charles Dickinson, a man whose gifts of kindness, selflessness, dedication, and perseverance paved the way for the work we do today and are a legacy of caring for which all of us here at Kurn Hattin Homes are very grateful.
Click the images for a larger view
Click HERE to watch the video presentation about Reverend Dickinson