By Melissa Hendricks

    LOVE – yes, we heard that word often during the month of February with the celebration and commercialization of Valentine’s Day.

    As you know, Vera Lloyd’s mission is to “share Christ’s healing love with children, youth and families in crisis.” In preparation for our new strategic plan, the word LOVE is ever present. For example, in a recent staff retreat we discussed the core values of Vera Lloyd and at the top of that list was LOVE.

    Our staff and volunteers show LOVE to our youth in so many ways, whether it is taking them on an outing, teaching them a new skill, making sure they have school supplies, listening to their concerns or saying “I LOVE you,” before they go to bed at night.

    Have you ever thought of food as LOVE? I haven’t, since I’ve been blessed to have never known food insecurity. However, our Program Director Betsy Anderson recently wrote about our children and youth who have emotional issues attached to food. This comes from the fact that some of our children have literally starved, some have lived in homes where food was used as a form of manipulation and control and some have had food provided inconsistently – ate like kings when money came in, then starved or had to steal the rest of the month. Because food nourishes our body and helps us maintain stability in so many ways, having a twisted relationship with food can lead to twisted behaviors. These behaviors may require an extra dose of healing LOVE on the part of our staff. It is sometimes not enough to just provide them with consistent meals and healthy “anytime” snacks, we must also help them modify their behavior and develop a healthy relationship with food.

    Thank you for the many ways you show Christ’s healing LOVE to our youth by supporting us with your time, talents and treasures. We LOVE you for it!

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