Hearts bond through stories. Stories of experiences we share with others. Narratives committed to the pages of books that become the stories travelers read on airplanes. Most importantly the stories we tell our children.
When a parent is separated from his/her children for whatever reason those bonds do not receive the nurturing that connection requires. There is no regular daily routine of home, school, work, play and faith. There is emptiness that stretches onward—frequently measured in years rather than in days and months.
As we look forward to Valentine’s Day with our loved ones, Companions Journeying Together believes it is a wonderful time for children to create their own works of art to send to their parents who are living in one of the correctional facilities located across Illinois. It is also a time to build new bridges with parents who want to share their voices of love and assurance as they read a book they choose for each of their children.
This is a moment in the year between the festivities of December and the arrival of spring to celebrate essential human connection. The idea of a special Valentine is fostered by a combination of Roman and Christian traditions and originally linked by Chaucer to the ideas of romance that society now embraces through the sharing of cards, candy, gifts or flowers.
This February moment provides an opportunity for respite and reflection—a golden, sweet moment for Companions Journeying Together to strengthen its active outreach with the friends and donors to Aunt Mary’s Storybook. So, enjoy browsing the card racks for that perfect sentiment and the trip to the chocolaty-scented retailer who stocks your Valentine’s favorite confection.
Then take a few minutes to share with CJT’s families the essence of the season: your own experiences about the bonding of hearts. Please create a Valentine’s Day post on our Facebook page, share your anecdote back to your network and, last but not last, join this mission, now, by making a gift that allows the stories to continue.
Thank you so much for your help!
This post was written by Scott C. McWilliams, Executive Director & Jana Minor, Founding Director, both of Companions Journeying Together. Photo credit: Public Domain Pictures. Used under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication.