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The Gift of 2,000 Days

If you ask my 5-year old son how quickly 2,000 days go by, he will tell you it sounds like FOREVER and that it would pass by slowly. He might even say it sounds like an infinity--his new favorite word.

But as you and I know all too well, 2,000 days go by in a blink, especially when those 2,000 days equate roughly to the amount of time between a child's birth and the day they enter Kindergarten.

As I sent Caz off to Kindergarten this year, a flurry of images passed through my mind. Days that were full of light, laughter and happiness. Trips to the lake, to grandma and papa's, to our favorite parks and the zoo. There were holidays, and first steps, and birthdays. There were nights snuggled up with books and blankets, and even a baby sister!

And there were challenging days. Two moves in his short life--one from his birth city (Chicago) and one from a rental to our "forever home". Job changes for my husband and I, the loss of our beloved family pet, and days that tested us in ways difficult to describe.

Those first 2,000 days--both joyous and challenging--are instrumental and form the foundation for all that lies ahead. And I am thankful for every last one of them.

This week, I am also particularly thankful for the many supportive, loving and talented early childhood educators that have worked in partnership with my husband and I to ensure our children are developing the social, emotional, and cognitive skills they need to be prepared for Kindergarten and beyond.

I am thankful to have recently joined Action for Children as the new Director of Organizational Advancement. It is an honor to work side-by-side with such a dedicated and talented team of professionals. And my favorite part? Collaborating with you, our many donors, supporters, and partners who make our efforts possible.

I am thankful for the safety of our home, for the food on our table, and for the friends and family with whom we will celebrate this holiday season (provided we don't talk about politics).

And yet I am aware, as you are, that the need is great for far too many children and families in our community. Families who struggle to find or access high quality child care and to make ends meet. Teachers who work tirelessly to attend to all the needs their students present while also getting them ready and inspired to learn. Moms and Dads who want to do everything they can for their children, but need fresh perspective and support while coping with their own relationship challenges. There is much work to do, and it is Action for Children's focus each and every day.

This Thanksgiving, as you celebrate with your loved ones, know that we are also grateful for you. For your generous support, for your enduring partnership, and for sharing our mission: to transform the lives of children in our community by supporting, empowering, and advocating for the adults who make the biggest impact on their lives--their parents, caregivers, and teachers.

But when the turkey is gone, the pie is through, and the shopping is complete, I invite you to join me and our 2,000 Days Campaign on #GivingTuesday, November 29th. By taking Action for Children, you can ensure that more children in Central Ohio access high quality child care; that more parents feel prepared to find better balance and empowered to create the loving and sustaining families we all want and deserve; and that more early childhood educators are ready to help their students to learn, to grow, and to thrive in school and beyond.

On behalf of the entire team at Action for Children, thank you for helping us to create brighter tomorrows for all children in Central Ohio, and Happy Thanksgiving!

With gratitude,

Jen Patterson
Action for Children
Director, Organizational Advancement

Jen (Day 14,962) &
Caz (Day 2,037)
There are only 2,000 days between birth and the day a child enters Kindergarten. Every moment, every experience matters.
Copyright © 2016 Action for Children, All rights reserved.

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