I had a Starfish Moment

Do you know that story? The one about the starfish? I’ll give you a recap. A man is walking on the beach and sees a boy throwing starfish back into the ocean. They are stuck on the beach and if they don’t get back in the water they will die. There are hundreds of starfish spread across miles of beach. The man tells the boy that he can’t possibly make any difference. The boy just listens to the man and smiles and picks up another and says, “I made a difference to that one.”

Let’s go back to the man. He is overwhelmed by the amount of starfish to save and decides not to act. He feels like he is just one man and couldn’t possibly make a difference. Do you ever feel like that? Like there is just too much and it’s too hard? I think we all do sometimes. It sometimes seems impossible to make a dent in the amount of hardships in this world. It’s so easy to get caught up in the vastness of the problem and not see what difference you can make.

young boyThen there are days when you get to bear witness. You get to witness the joy of one of those saved starfish. We have moments like that all the time at LSS, but not everyone gets to hear about them. So here is an LSS starfish moment that I witnessed and wanted to share with you.

Last month I overhear a little boy in our conference room. This little guy took in a deep breath and said, “Hi Daddy!” It was adorable. It wasn’t until later that I learned the story of what was happening in our conference room. There was a dad at the other end of a video conference call who was part of our Fatherhood and Families program at Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield. The video conference call was set up as part of a pilot program for the Department of Corrections. An LSS case manager was with the dad, while his son was in our office to use our video conference equipment. This was the first time in nine months this boy had an opportunity to see or talk to his dad. That adorable voice telling his daddy hello takes on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

Fatherhood and Families…. You made a difference to that one little boy.

Jessica Lillebo, Western Regional Director, Development & Foundation

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