When Tre first came to our Starkey Station Minnick School, he was unable to contain his aggression, routinely disrupted class and could not go out into the community. It was tough for our staff, but they worked with Tre to help him adapt to the school schedule and settle into his weekly job at the Franklin County Humane Society washing windows. Tre still did not interact with his teachers or peers.

But then one day this fall something magical happened.

This big, burly young man, who had never expressed affection toward anybody, was washing windows in the cat room. He put down his rag and spray bottle and picked up a tiny kitten. Our staff held its collective breath as they observed Tre begin to smile and snuggle with the kitten, experiencing for the first time the giving and receiving affection. Because you believe in us and support our work, a young man was able to experience a breakthrough that has opened his heart and mind. From all accounts, he is a changed person and continues to make slow, but sure, progress in the classroom and on the job.