Host Family Spotlight
Healing the Children New Jersey has been successful in treating hundreds of children in New Jersey through our International Inbound Program. We are fortunate to have surgeons and hospitals who continue to believe in the work we do in this program and welcome the opportunity to partner with HTCNJ to make a huge difference in the life of a child in need. But it is our Host Families - who open their hearts and their homes to these children - that are the backbone of the program. Without them, we could not continue. We would like to highlight one very special family!
Jackie & Nick Alectoridis have a large extended family of their own. Like most people, they also have very busy lives. Nick has two jobs. Jackie runs a Montessori School. But they always have room and time for one more child. Together, with the support of their children, relatives and friends, they have hosted 9 children over a span of 20 years.
The children they host not only receive top notch medical care, but what they receive from this family is equally important. The children are welcomed and accepted into their family from the minute they first meet at the airport. They love and care for the children as if they are one of their own and are made to feel comfortable and secure during a time when they are sick, scared and missing their families.
Their compassion, sympathy and love for the children they host is remarkable and admirable. They are always willing to do what it takes to make sure that the child is well cared for - no matter how long it takes. They have not always had an easy time with some of the children. There have been difficult personalities, long adjustment periods, medical complications and some very emotional times; but they are all handled with grace, understanding and compassion.
If you ask Jackie why she volunteers as a host family, she will tell you:
Being a host family is something that is part of us. Every child that has stayed with us has become a part of our family. When I think about how each child's life is changed because of the work that Healing the Children does, I think about our own children and what that would mean to us... and what it does mean to us because of how much we love each of these children. One child at a time... every one is worth it and hopefully we change the lives of many children and impact the world for the best.
We are so grateful for all the families that volunteer for HTC. With changes in the economy, the deliverance of healthcare and the changes in family dynamics, we as an organization know that we need to adjust to these changes to keep the Inbound Program viable. We are ready and willing to meet these in order to continue to help children receive the medical care they need and deserve. And knowing these families and having them as part of our "team" encourages and inspires HTCNJ to move forward.
This story and others of how we change the lives of children in need are highlighted in our 2015 Annual Report. Find out more about what we do to make a real difference in the lives of children, their families, and their communities.