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Once again, Southwestern Youth Services is grateful for generous community

Christmas donations rolled in for children in 2019 in expressions of caring

To the editor
Each year when I sit down to write a thank you letter from Southwestern Youth Services to our community, I have to think for several days about just how I want to convey what is in our hearts. 
Inevitably, the words “once again” come to my mind and, inevitably, I say to myself that I have to come up with a different word choice because I’ve used “once again” so many times over the years. 
Well, after days of deliberation, I’ve come to the decision that there is no other way to say it.
Once again, SYS has been the beneficiary of a community that has embraced our mission of housing, clothing and feeding, educating not only academically but also in social, life, and work skills, overseeing medical care, and counseling our students.
The majority of our boys have little concept of Christmas and even less of belonging in a community that cares deeply for their welfare.
Once again, SYS with the many Christmas 2019 monetary, food, and gift donations, we were able to provide all SYS students with shoes, warm clothes, hygiene items, underclothes, blankets, books and games. 
Even though there may be some who feel our students are undeserving due to their anti-social tendencies, inappropriate life choices, and lack of social graces, we know that they still have dreams of a future and hopes for successful lives. They are, in fact, children entrusted to us by courts or social services often through circumstances well beyond their understanding or control.  We take this trusteeship very seriously and, as is very apparent at Christmas and throughout the year, so does our community.
Once again, SYS numerous church and civic organizations, farmers and business people, elderly groups and youth groups, town and country folk, and neighbors and strangers have given us the help we need to meet the struggles experienced by these children. 
Dysfunctional families, neglected education and medical care, abuse, drugs, alcohol, and mental illness are only some of the uphill battles that many face, and we work hard to teach the coping skills that they need to meet and, hopefully, overcome these challenges. 
Once again, SYS feels very grateful for the committed partnership with our community. 
We look forward to 2020 with hopeful hearts and the assurance that our goal of educating and helping our students is generously and resolutely supported by so many people.  
Carole Naasz
Southwestern Youth Services, Magnolia

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