The Potential of a Newborn Child
By Teri Lawver
“There are miracles and glory in every child.
Our glory lies in empowering them to flourish their glory”
In early fall 2022, my husband and I became “empty nesters” after dropping our youngest child at college. When I tell people this, the most common reaction I get is something like, “Oh…I’m so sorry. You must be so sad!” This reaction is curious to me. Of course, there is some sadness in missing our son around the house every day. (I am counting the days until our next visit!) But this small sadness is well overshadowed by immense feelings of joy and gratitude—joy in seeing our children’s excitement as they pursue their dreams and gratitude that they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
At Episcopal Relief & Development, we believe every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential. Research shows that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life have a disproportionate impact on a child’s capacity to grow, learn and thrive over her or his entire life. This insight drives one of our key programmatic priorities: partnering with local organizations to help families and communities nurture healthy children.
Moments That Matter®, a program partnership of Episcopal Relief & Development, addresses the needs of young children while equipping their caregivers and communities to support their healthy development. Partners work together with a dynamic network of local leaders and trained volunteers focusing on young children’s development.
A complementary program in Savings with Education has mobilized over 100,000 people into savings groups globally, including almost 20,000 caregivers of young children also participating in Moments That Matter®. These families earn income and work towards financial stability as part of their participation, a vital support to parents of young children. Collectively the Savings with Education program revolves millions of dollars to improve the lives of children, families and communities.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, let’s hold close in our hearts those children born into the most challenging circumstances and every person around the world working tirelessly to provide a path for these children to pursue their dreams.
I want to share a special note of gratitude for the Episcopal Relief & Development staff and partners and everyone who supported our ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE campaign. Since the campaign was launched in September 2019, more than 18,000 individuals and 230 churches have donated to it and engaged in Acts of Love of their own. Together our potential for impact is as boundless as a newborn child’s potential.
With warm wishes for a Christmas Season filled with love and peace,
|Teri Lawver serves as Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board Chair. She is also an executive leader in the healthcare industry.