Moving Forward Together

Thousands of women have called upon the inspiration and hope of “small hours” or “little wonders” that for them, created a moment in time when they felt heard, and most importantly, that they mattered. These moments in time have everything to do with pulling us up, out and forward at perhaps the most critical “twists and turns of fate”. The earliest recollection of a little wonder for me was my music teacher in 1st grade. After our class performed a song, I have no idea what song, Mrs. Mary started to get teary-eyed, hugged herself like she was shivering and said, “That was unbelievable. Did you feel that? I got goosebumps. I am so proud of you.” I of course was convinced that she was speaking directly to me and I think of that moment many times over. The power of the words never spoken enough – “I am so proud of you”. Another powerful little wonder was in 7th grade, when the police arrived at my house in the middle of the night, many of such nights.  But this time, I remember the officer coming into my room to make sure I was OK. I remember him taking the time to tell me how grownups can sometimes be so scary. Then he asked me if the book on my table was my social studies book. He then wrote his name and phone number inside the cover of my book. He said if I ever get too scared I should call him. He didn’t care when. I remember thinking, are you kidding me, I will get killed if I call you – and I never did. Even when things got really crazy and out of control. But I stored that small hour away and recall it even today, when I need it. Then when I was a sophomore in high school, my friend’s parents, who knew about the abuse that was going on in my house, said to me, “if you ever need to get out, you can always come and stay with us. You are such a great kid, we think of you as one of our own kids, and you always have a home here.” I again never took them up on their offer and was still invested in keeping up the façade that everything was OK. But again, because of that unconditional caring, that moment was truly a little wonder in my life.

I have heard hundreds of these recollections from the women that come into our program. Through all the horrible abuse, neglect and victimization – these small hours, these little wonders are the unconditional moments in time that still remain, and can be called upon for strength, hope and to remember what it feels like to matter.

Stepping Stones is not just where we work and what we do; it’s an experience that every day defines who we are. We will not forget that the most important thing we do for the homeless, abused or neglected women and children that come to us for help – we give as many unconditional, non-judgmental and HONEST moments in time, to provide those little wonders, those small hours, that they will in their most critical moments, call upon to pull themselves up, out and forward.

-Robin C. Burke
CEO, Stepping Stones Agencies

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These little wonders, these twists & turns of fate
Time falls away, but these small hours
These small hours still remain”
Rob Thomas – Matchbox Twenty