A sanctuary can exist in various forms. For some of us, it’s a safe, comfortable structure we call home. For others, it’s the passion that drives us to create and love. Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Services (Vera Lloyd) remains resolute in their efforts to provide both for those they serve in Arkansas. Dedicated to sharing Christ’s healing love with children, youth, and families in crisis, this organization strives to be recognized as the model for transforming and empowering the young lives of those they serve.
Many of these kids have not always had a sanctuary. Of any kind. A resident at the home in Monticello, Laci came to Vera Lloyd at the age of 15 from a place of darkness and uncertainty. Born to deficient parents, she was soon removed from her birth parents and placed with an adoptive family. Sadly, this turn of events only brought increased abuse and suffering for Laci. Home was not a sanctuary. In fact, it was the exact opposite. For Laci, home had become a dangerous place full of fear and dread.
After years of suffering, Laci was finally removed from this situation and placed in care at Vera Lloyd. While she was finally safe, this was just the beginning of her long road to healing and true sanctuary. Gradually, Laci began to thrive in the unconditional love and acceptance she found at her new home. As her relationships and trust of others continued to grow, Laci not only began to excel academically, but she also found her other true sanctuary—art. Guitar and piano lessons, along with her painting, gave new meaning to her life and allowed her to not only express her emotions, but increased her confidence and trust in others. This is when she truly began to heal.
According to Bonnie Hicks, Activity Director at Vera Lloyd, “Guitar and piano lessons gave Laci more confidence in all areas of her life. It also helped her build trust in the people around her. She has taken lots of risks that have paid off…earning a scholarship, finding a job, and a landing a part in a community play. Music has helped grow her relationships and grow in who she is.”
Laci now attends college in Monticello, Arkansas and enjoys both academic and music scholarships. Her life was forever changed by the care and love provided by the nurturing staff at Vera Lloyd. Together, TPF and Vera Lloyd work to ensure that they continue to change the lives of other kids just like Laci. According to Kathy French, Vera Lloyd’s Director of Development, “Texas Presbyterian Foundation stewards the resources of incredible donors who allow these kind of success stories every day. Together, we can not only address problems, we can beat them!”