“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all.” – Disney’s Mulan
As the Mercy’s Door Founder, Paula Malone, began her speech with this line during the 2019 End of the Year Banquet, there were smiles on many faces and tears in many eyes. The room was filled with judges, case workers, lawyers, church members, mentors, and family members who each cared deeply about the 27 young people who were being celebrated on this special day.
The theme of this year’s event was Shining the Light. The youth were reminded that the bit of light each of them carries has the ability to blind the darkness, to change their lives and the lives of those around them. They were encouraged to reach for dreams that seem impossible and to break the generational dysfunction that many of them had been exposed to.
Each year Mercy’s Door hosts a banquet to celebrate the youth at Mercy’s Door. Staff members meet to vote on achievement awards for the residents who have shown special skills or character traits throughout the year. This year, the staff had several awards to present to the 27 children currently living at MD. Each house parent was also asked to present superlative awards to all of the children in their homes.
This celebration is a very unique and special ceremony that the youth look forward to each year. It’s a time to remind each child how important and special they are, and to honor them publicly before judges, lawyers, DFCS case workers, Mercy’s Door staff, and community supporters. The youth are also allowed to invite their family members, so their families can take part in celebrating all of their achievements over the past year.