Sunday Reflections: Reconnecting with My Teens as Adults to Help Houston
Last week I had the honor and the privilege of reconnecting with some teens that I used to teach and I have never been so proud.
I’ve talked before about Mark Morrison, who helped organize a group called Little Lobbyists to help children with complex medical needs. This past week Little Lobbyists teamed up with The Parker Lee Project to help get truckloads of supplies to medically complex kids in the Houston area affected by Hurricane Harvey. So I spent some days last week receiving and sorting and packing medical supplies with another former teen who is now going to graduate school in the DFW area. It was amazing to reconnect with her, and while doing such important work.
The Parker Lee Project was started by a woman who lost her child with complex medical needs, Parker Lee. She is working to help make sure that kids get the supplies that they need. They take donations of both medical supplies, which are sent out to families in need, and money, which helps pay for the shipping costs. Everyone who comes to the warehouse to help with the supplies is a volunteer. Most of them have children with complex medical needs themselves so they are all too familiar with the challenges of what it is like to care for a child that needs feeding tubes, trachs, breathing equipment and more.
In fact, these parents really helped me better understand what it would be like to have to escape a critical situation, such as Hurricane Harvey, while caring for a child with complex medical needs. When my home flooded and I had to get my children to safety, all I had to worry about was my children. These families rely on a host of medical equipment to keep their children alive and safe, which would further complicate the rescue efforts.
As I mentioned, three of my former teens are now involved with both Little Lobbyists and The Parker Lee Project, and I am so proud. I am proud of the adults they have become and I would like to think that maybe, just maybe, I played a small part in helping them become the awesome, compassionate and thriving adults that they are.
Filed under: Sunday Reflections
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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