International Day of Peace (September 21) is a wonderful reminder of how our Village Model of Care at SOS Illinois leads to a more peaceful world for us all. Our commitment to providing safe, stable, and loving homes where children in foster care are able to thrive while remaining with their siblings creates an environment that promotes peaceful childhoods, and that is just the beginning in creating a peaceful world.
Forging the Next Generation of Peacemakers
Creating and upholding the environment needed for children in foster care to not only heal but to flourish is truly a team effort at SOS Illinois. Our full-time Foster Parents, Case Management team, and Clinical Therapists work closely together to provide an environment of peace for the youth in our care. The work they do helps to decrease the impact of trauma and promotes healing, offering bright futures to children in foster care and ushering in the next generation of peacemakers.
Additionally, our corporate and foundation partners and volunteers frequently offer thoughtful workshops, programming, and activities geared towards the mental and physical wellness of the youth in our care. These programs, including music classes, culinary classes, harvest days, floral design workshops, and sailing adventures, help the youth in our care channel energy into productive activities, teaching them new ways to soothe in times of high stress.
Peaceful Children in Foster Care Create Peaceful Villages
Peace isn’t just reserved for inside the homes of our Foster Parents and the children in their care. Rather, the peaceful environments created inside these loving homes spreads outside and impacts the entirety of our Villages. Spend any amount of time at our three Villages, and you’ll discover that the peace forged in the hearts of our children in foster care creates harmony, hospitality, and a beautiful desire to create a more peaceful world. Additionally, harmonious children and homes in our Villages impacts the rest of our Village and Administrative staff, allowing positive energy to spread throughout all areas of our agency, including our relationships with our volunteers, partners, and supporters.
Bringing Peace into Our Communities
“And when great souls die,– From Maya Angelou’s “When Great Trees Fall”
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”
Much like a tree begins as a tiny seed, so too does a peaceful world begin with a small group who inspires change. The peaceful feelings created in our homes and Villages spreads into our communities through the children in foster care at SOS Illinois, our full-time Foster Parents, our staff, our volunteers, and our dedicated partners. As they are active outside of our Villages in their schools, workplaces, social circles, and extended families, their hopes, dreams, and peaceful lives create inspiration for change for others. As one of our friends, you help spread the “good news” of our community outward, keeping the peace flowing!
Projecting Peace Into the World
While our primary focus at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is to create an environment where children in foster care can heal, rebuild trust, gain confidence, and thrive, we can’t help but notice the positive impact our work has on the outside world. We are proud to know that through our work and the youth in our care, our communities are becoming more peaceful, and that peace is extending outward, projecting through our larger world.
If you’d like to be a part of creating a more peaceful world, we invite you to attend our 2019 Evening of Hope. Join us as we look towards ways to continue making a positive difference in the lives of children in foster care and the surrounding communities, cultivating peace both near and far.