…and for all those who made her life joyful.
Barbara's sister Kathy, who is intellectually challenged, has found a loving home in a place called Harbor House in Jacksonville, Florida. This is Barbara's letter to her family on this Thanksgiving eve, thanking them for all they have done to make Kathy's life rewarding and beautiful.
My dearest family,Every year we’re reminded by this wonderful holiday that we should thank God for all of our blessings. This year I’m particularly thankful for Harbor House, the wonderful people who are there to make Kathy’s life healthy, rewarding and joyful, and the generous people who make it all possible.I talked again with Kathy yesterday and she sounded as contended and happy as ever, reminding me yet again of God’s love for the innocent among us. What He has withheld from Cathy, He has more than made up in gladness—and in the inspiration she inspires in all who love her to do good.I also talked with Lorie and Sharon on the staff about her and discovered how healthy Kathy is: “She has the best blood” in the house, I was told.Sadly, though, I learned about how their funding has been cut and of the greater competition among the many charities that are vying for the available grants, charitable giving and other sources of funds. Among the things that they have had to cut is the “apartment,” which is a respite for the in-home staff who need a brief respite away from their duties—something that we can all certainly appreciate.Their fiscal year budget is $1.3 million, of which they now have to raise $500,000. From last year, they lost about $123,000 of their funding. Lorie, the development director, was especially grateful for all of the efforts and money that the Vallencourt family has put into the program.She particularly mentioned the spaghetti dinner that Kathy conceived and hosted and which Mike underwrote. Besides raising netting some $24,000, the dinner was a remarkably uplifting and cheerful event.I just wanted to tell everyone, God bless you all for your love and your giving. I don’t know where Kathy would have been without it.Love,Barbara