10/26/2015

Gratitude Letter to Dan

When you give, you shall receive. When you lose something, give something back to see it multiple.

I have always believed this to be true but thought heart ache and pain sometimes struggle believing it. Today, amidst the tears streaming down my face, am reminded just how true this is.

My blog shall be simple and to the point.  I am not in much of a position to write more.

Many know that after my step-son, my husband Jim’s only son, Dan 
Bronold died we set up a memorial scholarship in his name, The Daniel 
Bronold Memorial Scholarship Fund. This money was donated to an organization to help offset costs needed for young men to attend Midcourse Correction Challenge Camp in Brighton, Michigan. So many your teens are turned away each year because they can’t afford the fees.  The fee is set at a minimal amount to cover simply the costs as this organization is a nonprofit. Many of  the employees were past graduates of the program who have gone on with their lives, gotten degrees and returned later on in life to work there.

This is a no nonsense camp full of a weekend of tough love, team building, and goal setting.  For many troubled teens, this is the last stop to try to get them on the right path. Most are on a collision course with self-destruction and many don’t care or know how to turn it around.  Sometimes the parents don’t either and need the help also.

The program is Christian based, which is something we liked and knew Dan would approve of also.  We wanted to pick something we felt Dan would be proud of and enjoy having his name associated with and this seemed perfect.  This fund would give some guys a chance before it was too late that might not  be able to attend otherwise.    And since the years of Dan’s death, the Executive Director, Richard Woods, lets us know each year the donors, amounts and the number of folks that benefit from the funding.  We are privileged to hear some of the stories without giving enough information to breach anyone’s privacy.  He also shares Dan’s story as an example of why it is best to turn your life around before it is too late.

Today, we were blessed beyond belief. A single mother asked for our name and wanted to write us directly.  I don’t feel comfortable sharing her letter as it was intimate.  It was forwarded to use through the Executive Director as he  is not giving out our contact information to anyone either but the essence of the letter was to thank us.  She wanted to let us know that without our money her son wouldn’t have attended camp. With his attendance, his life has completely changed.  Their relationship has turned in ways she never thought possible.  She feels like God has touched him in a very special place and turned the light on in her son.  They have reached a new level of understanding, her joy and gratefulness is so heartful in the letter.  She wants us to know that her and her son will never forget Dan and the Fund and us.  Her letter shows us that Dan is touching lives in a way that we can both indeed can be proud of.

There have been times, over the months and years, we have been disappointed that we can’t raise more money that we are many times, and the only one donating to the Memorial we set up. But we remind ourselves, if all we do is save one teen, if it was just one Dan that would be enough!  If one parent is spared the pain, if one person is not dying as Dan did, that is enough so our donation, several times a year will suffice.  We want to be sure we are doing what we can also to spare a parent from the pain of being on the receiving end of a phone call, from wondering if they did all they could and of not having any holidays left to celebrate with their child ever again. 

This letter confirmed our conviction that the Memorial Fund was the way to ensure we are making a difference in people’s lives, in children’s and in parents. Dan’s name is helping kids turn their lives around and get a new lease on life.  It was and is the just and right thing to do. As long as there is a memorial fund in his name, Dan Bronold’s legacy lives on!  And as the mother said in the close of her letter, her and her son will forever be grateful to Dan, dead or alive to them, he is always alive!

God bless you Dan always in heaven for what your spirit is doing!   Love always!  

If you would like to learn more about Midcourse Correction Challenge Camp, visit http://www.midcoursecorrection.org/

To donate to the fund, Send donations to:
Midcourse Correction Challenge Camp
Attn:  Dan Bronold Memorial Fund
833 E Grand River Ave
Howell, MI 48843