The Hope Effect values education, self-discipline, work ethic, and service to others as essential foundations for kids to succeed in life. I was fortunate to be part of a large family growing up. There were 6 children—5 girls and me. My parents worked tirelessly to provide for us a roof over our heads, in a quiet neighborhood, with a good school just over the back fence. We were involved in sports, pushed to excel in school, raised to be independent, encouraged to work hard and contribute to our local community. As I reflect on my childhood it is easy to be amazed at what my parents accomplished. Each of us was so different and yet my parents ensured each child was treated as if we were the only one. In my younger years, I was pigeon toed. Instead of my feet facing perpendicular to my legs, they turned in causing me to walk funny and limiting my mobility. As a child, I remember the long drive to the specialty doctor and shoe store to get me outfitted with braces and undergo treatment. I never heard him complain about the cost or the time it took away from his day. Instead, he would tell me as I geared up that I could do anything I set my mind to. In so doing, he turned those negative circumstances into positive teaching opportunities. My dad is not one for sharing emotions, so I can’t know for sure. But I often wonder how he felt when I signed the papers accepting my Division 1 scholarship for cross country. I might have been born pigeon toed, but my parents must have known I was born to run. Without their efforts, who knows what my life would be like today. Like many of us, I took for granted most of what was afforded me as a child: parents, family, nutritious food to strengthen my growing body, a quality education, and access to health care and physical therapy. We often overlook the significance of these blessings—especially when they have been ours since birth. But if you are a parent, you know the sacrifices and the intentional choices you make every day to mold, develop, and steer your children into the best possible future. When a child is orphaned, often times, this part of parenting is lost. If an orphaned child is lucky, their basic needs will be met. But very few will reap the benefits that come from being in a family with parents who are doing everything they can to prepare them for the best possible future. That’s why, at The Hope Effect, one of our top values is to structure our care like a family. We are seeking to lovingly prepare children who enter our care with the same amount of effort each of us take with our own children. We seek to provide the best education possible, instill self discipline and a strong work ethic, secure the right healthcare each individual needs, and model the importance of living life in service to others. These are the foundational blessings needed to thrive in the future. And we seek to provide all of them for every child.