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The Kindness of Strangers – by Erin Daunic, Director of Development


In an economy that is damaged, our young people need us more than ever. We have all, from corporate to nonprofit to small business, had to make sacrifices over the past 18-months. Hard sacrifices. We have had to make them here at STARS. However, none of us can afford to overlook the social emotional health of our young people. We must stand ready to support them, to encourage them, to be there when they ask for help.

It one thing to ask for help and it is another to rely upon the kindness of strangers.  Both take a certain amount of faith, humility and strength.  And, without asking for help and without relying upon the kindness of strangers, the work being done at STARS (Students Taking A Right Stand) would be compromised.  Each year, our services reach over 120,000 young people in Middle Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland Plateau.  Our services are anchored in schools to provide students the help and healing they need to be productive, strong and confident members of our community.   These young people have the strength required to ask for help; we have the honor to be the people they turn to.  

We have grateful hearts here at STARS this year.  Through the generosity of our donors and the kindness of strangers, we have been able to be a steady hand for our youth, especially those youth struggling with difficult life issues.  From the support of United Way, to private foundations, to individual donors, to the unwavering leadership of our Board of Directors, STARS remains constant. 

Today, we would like to thank those out there who support our youth whether by volunteerism, financial contributions, or just taking time to say hello.  The kindness of strangers goes a long way.   In our efforts to say thank you, we thought it best to share with you a letter one of our STARS Specialists received:  

“STARS has helped me say what I have been wanting to say to someone.  STARS helps me express my feelings and be myself.  I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not.  When I can talk to someone about my feelings it helps me through the day, not having to keep things in and be stressed all the time.  I like STARS.”  

From all of us here, thank you for your kindness.  For more information on STARS and how to get involved, please call 615-279-0058.