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Embrace the Spirit of the Holiday Season and Be Joyful

    By Father Steven E. Boes, President and National Executive Director, Boys Town

Corona Virus COVID-19, Family, Father Boes, Saving Children, Today's Family

As Christmastime draws near, my thoughts go back to a young man who came to Boys Town during his senior year of high school. Ben was his name, and he was none too happy to be here. 

He had been the hometown stud. The guy with the fancy sports car, the pretty girlfriend and the adulation of his peers. Ben enjoyed all the trappings of teen popularity, until he didn't. They vanished in a haze of drugs and booze. 

Ben truly believed he had lost everything coming to Boys Town. In a raw moment of introspection, he admitted to feeling so lost that even God “felt gone."   

So many of us, especially now, can relate to Ben. Our lives changed in ways we didn't expect nor want this year. Our sense of normalcy and well-being were repeatedly tested by a virus that upended our best-laid plans, denied us many of our cherished celebrations, threatened our livelihoods, forced us to change our behaviors and, most tragic for some, took the lives of loved ones. In the midst of all that, racial justice protests and a polarizing election only amplified the alienation, grief, distrust and loss.      

The girls and boys we care for are no strangers to such feelings. Many, like Ben, feel cheated. They stew in self-pity, unable to see life's blessings because they choose to look only at what's wrong, what's missing or what's broken.

For these hurting children, may they experience the promise of this Holy Season – love, hope and redemption.  

At Boys Town, we work every day to bring that promise to them. Through teaching and example, we help our kids embrace courage over fear, respect over shame, generosity over selfishness and love over hate. When Ben lost the status symbols he prized so much, he couldn't see the far greater gift he now possessed – his sobriety.        

In times of disappointment and confusion, we all can be blinded to life's goodness.       

In the past 12 months, countless acts of generosity and kindness have been extended to our kids and families. Supporters and strangers donated food, wrote notes of encouragement, created care packages and sent special gifts. These blessings warmed our hearts, renewed our faith and confirmed a profound truth – the Christmas spirit can be found even in the harshest and darkest of moments. 

This holiday season, I ask that you pray for all the kids, like Ben, who have found hope and redemption at Boys Town, all the boys and girls we are helping right now and all the children who still need our care, our friendship and our love. 

If you'd like to join us in our mission, please consider making a financial gift to Boys Town.

It's one of the best gifts you'll ever give! ​


To all who will be gathering for Christmas and to all who will be gathering to light a menorah, build a Yule altar, prepare a Kwanzaa feast or commemorate this special time of year in other ways, may your celebration be blessed with much laughter, peace and good cheer.

From our Home to yours, may you have much happiness and good health in the New Year!  ​

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