Dennis Wiley Executive Director NOV/DEC 2018 | 16 Thanksgiving Comes to Onarga Academy Director’s Report Care and Concern is one of our Cornerstone Values. To work at Onarga Academy each day, our staff have to exhibit care and concern. However, taking care of our staff is just as important as taking care of our youth. Working in the mental health field can be exhausting in its own way, and compassion fatigue can hit even the most veteran staff. A small way we show our Care and Concern and support our staffs’ wellness is through our Staff Wellness Week, an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. Care and Concern is also evident externally in the community. From individuals to local organizations, so many people reach out to make sure our youth have the best experience they can at Onarga Academy, especially during the holidays. Our youth exhibit Care and Concern in their own ways each day. The freshman class at Grand Prairie School is organizing a food drive, and the Youth Council has been working alongside staff to improve activities around campus. Thank you for supporting our mission throughout 2018. As we wrap up our year and look forward to 2019, we are extending our Care and Concern to all of you. Happy Holidays! The holidays are often a tough time for the kids in our care; depending on their family circumstances, feelings of rejection, pain, and trauma may resurface. Thankfully, there are so many people in our youths’ lives — staff, peers, community members, and wonderful volunteers — who show that they care about them. A week before Thanksgiving, the Onarga United Methodist Church and Life Church of Gilman were hard at work, once again, to treat our young men to a special meal. The annual Thanksgiving dinner has been taking place for almost 20 years now, and each year, the volunteers welcome our young men with open arms. Thank you to the volunteers who baked each pie, mashed each potato, and carved each turkey. Your kindness and generosity make an impact on many lives! For nearly 20 years, volunteers from local churches have cooked and hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for Onarga Academy youth. Volunteers from the Onarga United Methodist Church and Life Church of Gilman treated the young men to a special Thanksgiving meal.
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