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Stories with Friends: Part 7

No, You’re Not a Bad Kid

Seamus lived a life of isolation before joining Friends. He’s also really socially aware and worries that others see him as an “outcast”.

Because of this he’s also incredibly hungry to be around his peers. He always wants to go back to the clubhouse during his outings with Joe so he can spend time around other children.

Recently Joe took Seamus and Jacob on an outing to a local restaurant. During their meal Seamus started getting hyper and standing in the booth before saying, “I’m a bad kid”.

Almost immediately Jacob jumped in and said, “No, you’re not a bad kid, we all make mistakes”.

After their meal the boys went back to the clubhouse with Joe to play board games. On their way home, Seamus mentioned how much he’d like to hang out with Jacob again the following week. It has all the makings of a great friendship for both boys.

They say we need to hear seven positive statements about ourselves to outweigh just one negative. Thanks Daniel and Seamus for being a positive part of each other’s lives as you strive to outweigh the negatives in this world with lots of positives!

Andrew, Corey Will Be There Next Time

The Friends took some much needed time off to recharge their batteries and spend time with their families over the holidays.

While it's really important, self-care and rest are key in this type of work, it also means many of our children went a week or two without seeing their Friend.

When Corey came back from vacation, he strived to see all his kids as much as possible. Andrew, however, was a bit more difficult to see--he’s currently temporarily housed in Portland due to medical reasons.

Corey, of course, made the time to drive up and see him, but hit an unfortunate snag. He got a flat tire about 100 miles from Portland.

Corey went through the process of replacing the tire with a spare, but quickly realized he couldn’t drive over the mountain without four full-size tires. He was going to miss his visit.

To make matters worse, Corey wasn’t just missing an outing with Andrew, he was missing his birthday, too. Corey was heartbroken as he made the call to Portland--worried Andrew would take his absence to heart or that he was letting him down.

When Corey called Andrew he was relieved to hear Andrew’s substitute Portland Friend was visiting with him. Corey explained his situation with his car and how disappointed he was that he couldn’t see Andrew on his birthday. To Corey’s surprise, Andrew assured him that it would be okay and not to worry. After getting off the phone, Corey felt a sense of comfort from Andrew's words. It was a special moment where the mentee helped the mentor get through a tough time.

One of the reasons we love this story is because it’s a reminder that real, deep relationship is never one way. Andrew was there to comfort Corey and let him know he was okay when Corey needed it. It’s also an amazing example of Andrew’s confidence in his relationship with Corey. He knew Corey cared and would be there if he could, so he didn’t have to take it personally that Corey had to cancel.

Later we found out that, as he was leaving, Andrew told his Portland Friend, “Bring Corey next time”.

Andrew, Corey will be there next time!

This is How I Feel

With her children out of school near the end of their Christmas holiday, Sarah was able to take many of them on extended outings.

One such outing included taking Paige and Grace out for bowling together. Throughout their time together Sarah noticed Paige was hiding--bowling when it was her turn and then backing away from the rest of the group.

Sarah connected with her about it and Paige started crying--she was missing her aunt. She was upset and mad because they were supposed to have a playdate before her aunt moved away and it didn’t happen.

When they were back in the car, Sarah gave her paper and pens and suggested she draw a picture of how she was feeling. After a few minutes Paige asked, “how do you spell mad?” Grace helped her sound out “mad” and “sad”. “This is how I feel”, she said as she held up the drawing. Back at the clubhouse (her favorite place to go), Paige was able to express to Kim how she felt about her aunt, and really came alive as she played with Sarah and the other children.

Later, with the rest of the staff, Sarah talked about how clear it is that our children thrive when they visit the clubhouse. Few things make us prouder than being able to provide a safe place for our kids to visit. Because all children deserve a place where they can come alive.