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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Love Letter

Dear friends,

Unbridled strength; vast power; sheer might:  a parent’s love for a child is unlike any force I have ever witnessed.

I see the magnitude of this love nearly daily here at Book Harvest (including in the photo above, of our board chair Tabitha Blackwell and her brilliant daughter Safia). Last week, a mom brought in her two young daughters to select books; as the girls excitedly made their selec

tions, the mom shared with me that what she wants most in the world is to give them everything they need to pursue their dreams. Recently, a mom told me that she reads bedtime stories to her toddler son every night, no matter how tired she is, because she wants to feed his young brain. In June, at 

our Book Babies graduation, a dad shared with me that he thinks his five-year-old son is really smart; the dad was glowing, his voice trembling with pride and awe.

Today, Valentine’s Day, is a day that is often equated with romantic love. But I know better: all the romance in the world doesn’t hold a candle to the sheer muscle and the fierce determination that parents bring to the work and the joy and the privilege of raising children.

I believe that this love is the most amazing force propelling a child forward in the journey of growing up.

This love IS the secret weapon that has been there all along — and that we who run nonprofits and design policies have been overlooking for far, far too long.

When our policies and programs include parents, when we welcome their voices and expertise, when we actively seek them out with respect and genuine enthusiasm, amazing partnerships are formed, and incredible things are possible – and perhaps, one day, our work will catch up to what parents have known all along: there is innate brilliance in every child, waiting to be unleashed.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Be sure to hug a parent today — and thank them for the hard work they do every day, born of love.


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