Natasha Walth knows firsthand how relevant Silver Lining Mentoring’s mission is, as she grew up in a family that took in foster children. Natasha is Chair of Silver Lining Mentoring’s Board of Ambassadors and ran the 2015 Boston Marathon for Silver Lining Mentoring. Here she shares why she’s running the 2016 Boston Marathon for Silver Lining Mentoring.
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I remember when my family first took in youth in foster care. I was in sixth grade and three young boys came to stay with my family. I didn’t quite understand why they were moving into our house and why they couldn’t live at their own house. As the years went on, my family was joined by many youth in foster care. They would range from infants to early teens.
I never knew how to relate or fully grasp what they were going through until Laura came to stay with us when I was 14. Laura was only with my family for the typical few months before she was moving to stay with another family. As I was helping Laura pack up her things, I saw her writing on the closet wall. I was surprised to see the wall covered by names of almost every person who had come to stay with my family through foster care. I was shocked and overcome by emotion as I began to remember each individual whose name had been written.
I realized in that moment that these individuals had a connection they shared with one another that I would never understand. But, I also knew that, henceforth, I would do everything I could to be there for the youth who came live with my family through foster care.
These individuals moved from home to home, passed through multiple schools in the same year and didn’t have a constant person in their lives. Their time with my family was a moment in time, we were just another place where they wrote their name on a wall.
Silver Lining Mentoring gives youth in foster care the missing piece that my family couldn’t by connecting youth in foster children with someone who is always there for them, no matter how many times or how many miles they move. For all of those names on the closet wall, I can only imagine how impactful having Silver Lining Mentoring would have been. It is for that reason, that I am running my second marathon for Silver Lining Mentoring.