YOU Keep the Dream Alive!

  • January 4th, 2023
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

Celebrating 50 years of Helping Kids and Families!- A note from our Co-Founder: Velma Bridges

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary I cannot help but reflect on all that Pathway has accomplished because of support and guidance from you- our friends, our partners, our community. 

I’d like to take you on a journey of where it all began and where we hope Pathway will be in the next 50 years.

In 1969 Jim and I started dating.  He told me about his work as a foster care case worker at the county public foster care agency. He had a very large caseload and I remember him telling me that sometimes he felt like he was trying to put out a forest fire with a squirt gun.

Jim began to envision a community based program that would provide support and training to foster families, so that these families could live through problems, and staff, parents, and children could work together as a team.   

Then 50 years ago in 1973, the first 5 boys came to the first Pathway group home on Spring Ave. in Canton. This small, but significant beginning was the result of Jim’s dream which has become my dream too. Jim wrote the following:

 “I count myself as one of the most fortunate people in the world, because I have been able to see my dreams come true. That’s something that does not happen to most people.

This dream includes all of you- now and for the next 50 years. I envision a full circle caring community with the child and family at the center. Then the case managers and therapists who directly work with them as another surrounding circle. And another circle wrapping around to include those who offer support like staff, volunteers, and board members. Then finally our community, who continues to pour into our children and provide opportunities for success.

Everyone has an important role, teamwork at its best. When this happens, we have the best chance of changing a child’s experiences of negative self-image and rejection to them knowing they are deserving of love and care. Then that child will know how to love and care for others and positively contribute to our community.

I want to say that I am grateful for all of our staff, volunteers, board members, foster parents and you – our supporters. Your support helps us continue to offer hope and healing to 1,500 children and families that we currently serve.

Velma M. Bridges