from Helen Lakeru, founder and Executive Director at Many Lights
With a mission to heal the pain of abuse and neglect in children, the journey of Many Lights began in December 2006. I had a dream to develop an intergenerational community where children who experienced foster care could begin to heal and thrive under the nurturing care of their adoptive families, kinship families, and volunteer grandparent elders.
I find myself drawn to a new and peaceful path where I am able to spend more quality time with family and friends who are so precious to me. After many years of working, I have decided to retire. I recently submitted my resignation and am stepping down as President of Many Lights Foundation.
It has been my honor and great joy to serve alongside many talented and dedicated board members, volunteers, staff, colleagues, and supporters over the years. I am grateful for each and every person who walked with me along the way. Together we have served children, youth, and elders in programs that encouraged connection and community and provided educational experiences. We have advocated for better supports for children and families in foster, kinship, and adoptive family situations. And we have made a difference in the lives of others.
The intergenerational community model is the right 21st-century solution for many of the unique challenges faced by our children, families, and seniors and I have hope this dream will still be realized.
Since the greatest part of my work with Many Lights was devoted to the development of this community, I want to offer a brief update. We identified a site for the Hope Lights neighborhood in Tacoma and worked tirelessly to find a funding path to realize its development. Last year, Many Lights started working with Bridge Meadows, a nonprofit in Portland, Oregon that has successfully developed and operates two intergenerational communities. I am pleased to say that under their watchful eye, diligent efforts continue to seek a funding solution for an intergenerational community in our area.
All children deserve stable loving homes and an opportunity to thrive. I will continue to support efforts that improve the lives of our children and families in our communities.
In the coming weeks, I will be working with our board to determine a transition plan for Many Lights and we will send you an update with any news.
Thank you all for your support.