In this season, light is all around us; gleaming holiday lights in the neighborhood, the glow of the menorah and twinkle of the Christmas tree, Kwanzaa, Diwali in late fall, the glitz of the new year and even the crowns of candles of St.Lucia Day.  No matter your beliefs or how or if you choose to celebrate, the images of the holidays present a commonality in the form of a beautiful metaphor: Bringing and celebrating light in times of darkness. 
 
Perhaps this resonates so deeply with us at Friends of Karen because at our core this is what we strive to do, to be for the families we serve: a bright spot in the darkest of times. 
 
The Sibling Support Specialists at Friends of Karen asked the children we work with the question “What has brought you light in times of darkness?” 
 
The answers ranged from quite literal and practical: “I can just turn on a light bulb” to simple pleasures : “Ice cream, slushies, spiderman and watching funny videos.” 
 
They were reflective of coping skills: “Listening to music ,playing sports,  coloring, creating art.” 
 
One family shared that they were collecting gifts for the hospital where their ill child was treated, explaining that “ giving back will help us feel joy in a time of sadness.” 
 
Most of all, the children spoke of the love of family and friends: “Hugs, laughter, family around the table at the holidays. Sharing strength and support, trying to make each other happy. Being with family helps get me through the darkest of times.” 
 
What a perfect reminder of the season and of what our mission has always been.  Friends of Karen sends the warmest of wishes for a holiday filled with family and illuminated with love.
 
Pictured: The ornaments were created with inspirational quotes for each member of their family who brought light to their life.  The glitter project was created by making a candle for all the special people in her life.