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“That Is Why I Show Up”

April 4, 2019  |  Comments Off on “That Is Why I Show Up”

One hour each week is all it takes to make a difference in a child’s life.

That one-hour-a-week has become a lifeline for one of our lunch buddies and longtime staff member Chris Prysock. For about a year, Chris has been a lunch buddy to one of our kids, Casey*. Although Chris works on an Alexander campus every day, understands the NMT model and the importance of relational healing, he didn’t realize how important his one-hour visits were until he experienced a loss of his own.

“It really hit home to me that when I needed support because I had family, friends and my fellow staff to wrap their arms around me and carry me through this tragedy. Casey only has me.”

Chris with Lunch Buddy

Chris experienced the unexpected loss of his brother about two months ago. During that time he was out of work for three weeks attending to family affairs but he had the support of his family, friends, and colleagues to get him through this difficult transition. During that time, he reflected on his own childhood and his current experience as a reminder of how his childhood and life was completely different than Casey’s.

Casey came to Alexander with a history of physical abuse, domestic violence, and neglect. He is one of six children to a single mother with no male role model in his life. Chris, on the other hand, grew up with a strong support system, both parents as role models, and a safe household. Chris realized that his hour lunch each week was his chance to be his Casey’s model. It was his chance to change his life and give him the support he needed to heal from his past traumas.

For Chris, he shows up not for his hour lunch break or the chance to shoot hoops but to be a part of Casey’s Alexander family.

“That hour we spend together is everything he has. That is why my time and what others do at Alexander is so important. Our staff, our wonderful volunteers, and our donors, they all give kids like Casey the love and value that they deserve. That’s why I show up every week.”

Become a lunch or dinner buddy by contacting Ashley Nieves at anieves@aynkids.org.


Written by Lynn Crutchfield.

* At Alexander Youth Network we respect our clients and their families. In order to maintain their anonymity, Alexander has changed the names of individuals and some identifying details such as physical properties, place of treatment and location.

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