I am writing this to you in hopes that you may do an article or print this concern. I was born and raised in Harlan County. I left after graduation, but still have many relatives there. I cannot voice this any other way so I thought I would write to you.
This is in regards to justice in the state of Kentucky, in particular Harlan County. My brother was assaulted 22 months ago in Loyall, where he has lived for over 20 some years. There has been postponement after postponement and nothing yet. Why is there no justice for the innocent?
Back in the 30s, I heard my parents talking about crime in Harlan. After all these years I’m wondering what the people in Harlan think about the death penalty. Is it just? Is it humane? Does it reduce crime? Does it cost less than rehabilitation? Do they want executions to resume now that the law allows it?
As a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Michael Oher joined his teammates in experiencing the ultimate football victory on Super Sunday as they claimed the Lombardi trophy and celebrated beneath a shower of confetti and camera flashes inside the Super Dome in New Orleans.
One of the most endearing photographs from that moment came when Oher found Leigh Ann Tuohy, lifted her off the ground and the two shared an embrace that held much more meaning than the outcome of a single game. Instead, it was a shared joy between a mother and her son as they marked a life saved.
You’re probably familiar with the story. Oher was a homeless teenager, the son of a drug-addicted mother and with no ties to his father. The Tuohys took him in, gave him food, clothing and shelter, but most importantly they gave him a family. He was a foster child, then an adopted son and instead of becoming another statistic, he became an inspiration as he blossomed into a professional athlete.
His story hit the big screen in the Oscar-winning movie, The Blind Side, a film that gave Oher and his adopted family a national platform on which share the importance of foster care and adoption.
How many Michael Ohers are there walking the streets today? In Kentucky alone there are approximately 7,000 kids in out-of-home care who need a family to provide the kind of love, support and stability that made Oher’s dreams possible. You could be the difference in the life of one of these children.
Since 1869, Sunrise Children’s Services has served children in crisis. We are always looking for new foster families to help with the children in our care. We can’t promise you a child who will one day be fitted for a Super Bowl ring, but we can promise you a chance to be the champion in their life by simply giving them the love they so desperately need.
Leigh Ann Touhy told reporters after the game that families don’t always have to match. “You don’t have to look like someone to love them,” she said. “There are wonderful kids all over the country who need a forever family.”
If your family has room for one more, contact us for more information about becoming a foster parent. Call 1-855-33i-care, or visit us at www.sunrise.org.
Dr. William Smithwick
Sunrise Children’s Services