KUC Blog: St. Leonard’s House
Date Submitted: 4/9/16
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” —Gandhi
I feel so blessed to have been brought up in the Kenilworth Union community— where we are surrounded by such fortunate individuals and resources, but at the same time, live the words of Gandhi and lose ourselves in the spirit of others. It’s a beautiful thing.
I am continually rewarded through my contributions to the Kenilworth Union Outreach Committee. I’ve served as a liaison between Kenilworth Union and St. Leonard’s Ministries for the past three years, and continue to find such value upholding the relationship.
St. Leonard’s provides comprehensive re-entry services for formerly incarcerated men and women who do not have the resources to begin rebuilding their lives. Residential programming, intensive care management, counseling, educational programs, and job development are key components of the agency.
It has been an eye-opening experience meeting some of these men and women over the years, truly touching my life and serving as an inspiration. The management at St. Leonard’s is ever-changing, which has been an unexpected dynamic, however at the same time, allowed me to interface with various different people, all of whom support the mission of St. Leonard’s. This year, I had the pleasure of meeting with Walter Boyd, the new Executive Director, who expressed the mission of SLM so beautifully. “It is a holy grail. A safe haven for men and women to become one and dream again.” He noted that SLM allows these individuals to get out of ‘survival mode,’ and grasp a life that has a future.
The relationship between Kenilworth Union and St. Leonard’s is mutually beneficial. Our Church members have graciously taken St. Leonard’s into their arms, searching for volunteer opportunities. In the past, we’ve taken some of the Youth Group members down to St. Leonard’s to serve the men dinner and explore the campus first-hand. We will be compiling a list of volunteer opportunities for the congregation to get involved in and will share a more detailed communication in the coming month. It’s so touching to see the relationship come full circle, speaking again to the beauty of our community here at Kenilworth Union.
To learn more, contact Molly Sawyer.