Project Touch and the value of a caring family

Posted on February 6, 2008. Filed under: Local news | Tags: , , , |

By Joy A. Kennelly

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting our local Rotary Club‘s luncheon. Growing up in the South Bay, I never was involved in any service organizations because I was very involved with my local church (which probably kept me out of trouble!)

As a result, all these community service organizations are completely new to me and very interesting. The guest speaker was Carol Shakely (sp?) who participates with Project Touch.

Here’s some information on the organization taken from the Manhattan Beach City web site (since I can’t seem to find a website for the organization which may explain why more people don’t know about it!):

“Project Touch
710 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Fax: (310) 379-9267

Non-profit agency providing long term social and educational enrichment, group and individual counseling for high risk teens, preteens and their families. Teenage parent “options” counseling, includes home visits by licensed counselors. Wilderness challenge events and tutoring are add-on services for any client, most of whom are referred by school and peers. A year ’round program, stepteen and stepfamily issues are unique to this program.

Volunteer Opportunities Available:

We have a great need for people, restaurants, organizations, any help we can get to provide food for our weekly meetings (Wed.) at the Hermosa Community Center . We also have opportunities for tutors.”

It was heartbreaking to hear how many of our local youth are affected by drinking, drugs, and now stealing cars and home burglary. Now in major city, the numbers are small, but for our community in my mind at least, the numbers are kind of high and run very young – ages 9-16. Very sad to me.

Many come into this program as court-mandates or police recommendations and Project Touch is one place to find support and love at least once a week. How heartbreaking is that?

At-risk youth, as defined by Carol, are those who spend an exorbitant amount of time unsupervised for whatever reason – their parent’s don’t care or are alcoholics, drug users themselves, single parents working multiple jobs to keep a roof over their heads, or work-a-holics who shouldn’t have kids to begin with. Who knows?

All I know is that I was reminded yet again how happy I am that my son is living in a two-parent family with godparents who really care about his well-being. Whatever goes on between us as adults, I know that my son is loved by his adoptive parents and that’s the bottom line for me.

If you’re at all interested in supporting this worthy charity, I would like to invite you to consider participating in the 56th Annual Hermosa Beach Sand & Strand Run/Walk Fundraiser taking place on Sunday, February 24, 2008. One runner’s registration fee pays for 8 meals. How cool is that?

For more information, call 310 379-5206. Registration is due by 2/15, but on-site registration is also available. It sounds like a lot of fun and is one of the few races that involves the beach/sand! Apparently the course is 55% Sand and %45 Strand.

“Novice to experienced level runners/walkers will enjoy this race with two distances to choose from 2.5 mile (single loop) or 5 mile (double loop.)” according to their brochure.

And for those who are curious why I don’t blog more about my adoption, it’s a part of my life, but not how I choose to define myself. It’s one aspect of my life and will always play a part in who I am as a woman and as a mother, but I feel content with my decision which means I don’t dwell on it as much as you might think.

I do pray for my son on a regular basis and think of him almost every day, but otherwise, he is where he is. I am where I am. And God is good.

Have a great day!

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