A Reason to be Thankful

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Dear JSRF Friends, 

It has been two months since we had our first-ever ‘Experience Hope 5K Run/Walk’. For those of you who missed the opportunity to participate, let me give you a quick synopsis.

We woke up early Sunday morning, September 15th, to dark, rainy skies. My first thought was “How could the heavens be so cruel?” 

I held onto the hope that the rain would cease by race time. However, much to my surprise, the rain not only continued, but it intensified.  Still, We packed our cars and accepted that once again we had no control over life and it’s continuous challenges. 

As we waited for the park gates to open we couldn’t believe our eyes.  One by one our loyal and fearless volunteers lined up behind us (32 in total) each one charged with Great Spirit and ready to make the 5K a successful event. The runners and walkers were soon to follow, also charged with the same beautiful energy!

In the end we had a total of 72 registered participants, with 58 finishers.  JSRF raised over $2,700 (through sponsorship, registration and donations). We couldn’t have done this without you. Once again we are reminded that good things still do happen.

We take this time not only to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, but to also wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  

Peace, Love, & Gratitude,

Ciri, Scott & Sayra Stom

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”   ~ John F. Kennedy 

A reason to be thankful… 

Following is a letter to JSRF from a 16 year old boy who “experienced hope” at Camp Pinewood in Michigan this past summer:

“My experience at Camp Pinewood was unreal!!

At first I thought that this camp would not be fun. I thought it would be boring and I wouldn’t make any friends. I thought this was going to be my worst summer.

But on the other hand Camp Pinewood was just a refreshing and fun experience I couldn’t ask for a better camp. Everyone there was unbelievably nice and kind. I loved the songs and especially the food. The activities were great, I have never done them before and I got to experience it. 

I will never forget this life changing experience. I would like to be a counselor in training next year. I want to go back every year and help others. Before this camp I was into my clique of friends and there I was able to break that habit of just surrounding myself with people I know. A lot of teens need to go to Camp, the activities and the staffs there speak louder than words.

There is more to life than drugs and electronics and Camp is a good example, the well-planned activities helped me a lot. Because I got the chance to go I want to give back, I want to help another kid just like me.

At the end I was sad to leave because the people around just feel like they have been your friends forever. Camp Pinewood overall was a really amazing. I thank you for giving me the chance to go. I will never be the same person I was before attending camp. Please continue to help other teens. Thank you.” 

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