Come to our office any day. The first thing you will see as you enter is a white frame hanging on the front wall. It’s not a replica of a masterpiece. Nor is it a photo of a smiling child in our program. (Though we have those too!) It’s a copy of the vision our founder, Msgr. John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, left to us. It’s his dream for the children he wanted to help in Italy and around the world.
That frame is strategically placed so that every morning when we enter our office, we are reminded of where we come from and what we need to achieve. We begin every day with Monsignor’s dream for a better world.
Every October we celebrate our visionary founder in a special way. Today, I would like to share with you his vision, which inspires us to bring his successful approach to at-risk children all over the world.
Welcome to our office …
“It was during my illness that I dreamed of a future Boys’ Town, of a community where an ancient adage, Maxima debetur pueri reverential, would be meditated and applied, a community where the innate rights and duties and the God-given mission of each child in society would be respected and fostered.
A fraternal community where suspicious youngsters would learn the difficult art of living together in liberty, in mutual tolerance, in peace and brotherly love.
A joyous place where the antisocial boy would find understanding for his difficulties, encouragement in his efforts to advance, confidence and trust as a bulwark against the temptation to despair.
A place where the bitter child would learn through the patient dedication of his elders that there is warmth in the world and goodness and self-sacrifice.
A place where each day could be a period of growth, encouraging the children to develop the gifts with nature had endowed them.
A place which would have as its ultimate goal to help each boy and girl find their true place in society as responsible citizen.”
Thank you for helping us continue the mission of Msgr. John Patrick Carroll-Abbing.
P.S. If you live in New York City or nearby, click here to join us in celebrating our founder next Thursday on October 18, 6PM at the Isle of Capri at 1028 3rd Ave.
Below is a passage you may have heard before.
There is a time for everything. . . .
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot. . . .
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance. . . .
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
If I look back at the time we spent together this past year, I find many parallels in these words.
P.S. Should you have some extra time, our Summer Newsletter is now also available online here.
P.P.S. There is a time for everything, and the time has come for us to retire the title of "Note from Our President." You will now be receiving your monthly updates from me personally. I look forward to sharing many more stories of how your support is changing the lives of our young citizens!
You must know the old adage, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Well, during this time of the year, Romans usually relax and go on vacation to get away from the hot and humid eternal city. You can tell that only a few people are in town by the empty streets.
Our board member, Robert Iommazzo, had less than three days available in his very busy work schedule, and decided to use them to come to Rome. But not to do as the Romans do in summer time…
Traveling to developing countries for A Chance In Life is always challenging and eventful. But my latest trip to Rome in June, proved to be just as intense. Here are some highlights:
My classes continue to amaze me by teaching me the different ways society is set up to favor certain populations over others, and teaching me what I can do to help. I’m interested in the sociological structure, historical context, and culture surrounding the health and advancement of children, which is why A Chance in Life appeals so much to me!
I first heard about A Chance in Life last autumn, and have been enthralled with the unique and selfless mission ever since. I am most excited about seeing the daily workings of a non-profit organization, and working with the dedicated and amazing staff at A Chance in Life to think of new ways to help the children. I am also excited to learn more about individual children from the towns, and have a more personal connection to the plight of millions across the globe. The investment that this organization makes towards the betterment of children is inspiring, and I can’t wait to become a part of it!
What is señora Carmen doing on top of those rocks in San Juan de Lurigancho in Perú? She is simply leaving her home to go to the market to buy food for her family. Her house, a shack made of scrap materials, was put together overnight on a hilly area near Lima.
Like señora Carmen, thousands of poor and desperate families leave the mountains to relocate closer to the city where they hope to find work. Brother Steve of the Congregation of Christian Brothers has been working with volunteers to build better and safer homes for these families for almost a decade. Here in Perú, this phenomenon of migration and in most cases illegal occupation of land is called “human invasion.”
Last week, A Chance In Life made history. In collaboration with the Italian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, we hosted an international panel discussion at the headquarters of the United Nations on April 27th.
Our directors from Italy and Ethiopia were present and shared with donors, journalists and dignitaries the evolution of A Chance In Life. With your help, our “Towns” expanded beyond the borders of Italy to support boys and girls throughout the world.
Greetings from Rome, where I am visiting Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy in Rome and Boys' & Girls' Republic in Civitavecchia.
I have great news to share.
I see progress in both Towns and happiness among the children. At the Republic, a new building for eight girls was just inaugurated and the new citizens will arrive by this summer. There is great excitement for this event, as their arrival will bring the population of this Town to more than forty children.
This is for you … who must go to the river every day to fill up a tank of water for your family and carry it on your shoulders for miles.
This is for you … who start your long journey to school before the sun rises, sometimes barefoot, for two hours every day walking through fields, always fearing that someone could abduct you.
This is for you … who were abandoned by your parents, but found the strength to forgive them and create your own hopeful future.
This is for you … who risked everything on a boat hoping to find a better life in Italy, and instead were forced by criminals to steal and sell your body.
Magic is the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand or trick props. I have learned one or two tricks so that when I visit the children in our programs in Italy, India or Ethiopia I can communicate with them despite the language barrier. One of my favorite routines is the mysterious disappearance of a red tissue.