A Beautiful Day in Our Neighborhood!
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILER ALERTS!
Every year at this time, we send out an email recapping the highlights of the past year at NBCF. Holly has been after me for weeks to write it, but honestly, I was struggling to put pen to paper. No doubt, we have a lot to be proud of and so much to be grateful for; and still, as I started to write about our Spring Break trip to Carson City, and the young adults who got their first jobs working with us this year, I couldn’t help but think about the young man who is three grade levels behind in his reading and the 20 kiddos on a waitlist for our preschool to open… how meaningful is our list of accomplishments to them?
So, I did what most people do – I procrastinated and headed into the Thanksgiving weekend with a heavy heart and this article looming. Thanksgiving was just like any other… we stuffed our faces with turkey and sides and then we headed out to the movies to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the new movie starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers.
I grew up with Mr. Rogers and couldn’t wait to take my kids to this movie and introduce them to my childhood hero and his cast of characters… King Friday XIII, Daniel Tiger, X the Owl, and all the rest – the movie did not disappoint. They captured the essence of his show by incorporating his little neighborhood model in scene transitions, using his same slow and deliberate pacing and that signature direct communication Mr. Rogers had with the TV audience that made you feel like he was talking directly to you. The movie wasn’t exactly what I expected – Mr. Rogers plays more of a supporting character focused on “fixing” the main character – a “broken” journalist, sent to interview Mr. Rogers. Of course, Tom Hanks delivered a flawless performance with “all the feels.” Which is where my spoiler alert comes in.
Halfway through the movie, Mr. Rogers (spoiler alert) looks directly into the camera and asks the main character and the entire audience to “Take a minute of silence to consider the people who’ve loved you into being.” Honestly, the moment was uncomfortable for me… Tom Hank/Mr. Rogers, staring at me from the screen… It was all I could do to keep my nervous laugh deep inside where nobody could hear it. But that nervousness quickly subsided and I started to think about what he said and how it applied, not just to me, but to Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation.
You see, the work we do here is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. In my short five years at NBCF I have seen kiddos who were deemed unteachable and unable to graduate school go from three years behind grade level to a year ahead, I’ve seen little ones who would not eat solid food take their first bites.. and their seconds… until soon we were eating lunch together. I’ve seen young adults tackle their first job, I’ve even seen a few of them fall in love… but that’s a whole other story. Point is, without NBCF, I don’t know what would have happened or where families would have turned for support… we are the only organization offering these opportunities. Which is the urgency I, and all of our staff feel every day when we come into the Learning Center… knowing that children with visual impairments are still waiting for their opportunity, makes all of us at NBCF work that much harder and that much faster. And sometimes that urgency makes us lose sight of all of the milestones we’ve already accomplished and we forget to acknowledge all of our friends and family “who have loved NBCF into being”.
So I’d like to take this opportunity to give a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everybody who “loved Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation into being”.
To Our Staff – Thank you for leading by example. Thank you for the early mornings and the late nights. And for always keeping a sense of humor… even on the toughest days.
To Our Donors – Whether you sponsored a reading program or paid to keep the lights on and the building warm – everything we do is possible because of YOU!
To Our Volunteers – Thank you for giving of your time and talent to provide opportunities for our kids to learn, love, and laugh.
To Our Parents – Thank you for entrusting us with your most prized possession… your child!
To Our Kids – Thank you for being you! Your enthusiasm and energy is infectious… Thank you for making NBCF’s Learning Center a home.