10/15/21 – Welcome to “The Hope Chest”! I’m thrilled to welcome you to the official launch of Tristate Trauma Network’s blog, “The Hope Chest”. I chose this name with quite a bit of intention, which I’d like to explain. At TTN, we’ve always promoted hope. It’s in our logo tagline: “Building hope through system transformation” and on the banner that runs across our website’s Home Page, touting “Hope….Heal….Thrive” with images chosen to evoke those notions. But why a hope “chest”? Why not “Hope” and some other word or phrase? The answer to this lies in my family history and a treasure I hold very dear: my great grandmother’s cedar hope chest pictured here, which I acquired after her daughter’s (my paternal grandmother’s) death 4 years ago. This hope chest is over 100 years old and looks like it was carved in the last decade. The wear on it is minimal and, in all honesty, primarily my fault in the moving of it and placement of it in a common area of our house. This valuable treasure was not going to be stored away, I told my family. And as I presented it to my 16 year-old daughter Madilyn, and told her it would be hers one day, her eyes lit up so very brightly, and I could see her heart melt with the emotional response it brought. I knew then that she knew how valuable this was too.
So for me, this particular hope chest, and the traditional idea of a hope chest, has good meaning and a positive connotation. It symbolizes hope for the future. Many years ago, when filling a hope chest was a common practice in some cultures, families kept prized possessions in them; things they’d bring into the future to help it be prosperous; things of meaning and value that were willing to be shared as part of a commitment to a long-term relationship. These are the types of things I wanted to be shared with you here. The traditional concept of a hope chest may be outdated now (and I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone with this historic, specific cultural reference and practice that may not carry the same meaning for others as it does for me). However, I firmly believe that the concept of hope, the treasuring and even “tucking away” of hope in a safe container to draw upon when needed, or the sharing things of meaning and value that may lead to “prosperity” in life for self and others, is not outdated. On the other hand, I did feel it necessary to explain the personal significance behind this choice, and how it really does connect to the work and overall aim of the Tristate Trauma Network, an agency I’ve been honored to lead for the past 6 years.
Our goal in this blog is to share stories of hope, healing, and transformation in this contained space, “The Hope Chest”. Content will be geared towards both an industry-related professional audience and a general community member audience. We will also be highlighting both the incredible professionals and agencies in the industry, and the community members, both inside and outside the industry, who are survivors of trauma and toxic stress. Our goal will be to motivate, educate, and encourage, and we hope our content will be engaging, inspiring, and thought-provoking. While our approximately weekly blog posts will include a range of topics, we plan to put special emphasis on:
- Survivor Stories
- Hero Highlights
- Issues That Matter
- Helpful Services and Resources
I sincerely hope that you will follow us along this journey, as we commit to adding stories, information and resources through “The Hope Chest”. We will eventually be reaching out to you, too, for suggestions and perhaps to submit a post related to one of our key areas. In the meantime, you can always reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to share suggestions for possible story ideas or posts.
May your day be sprinkled with hope,
Melissa Adamchik, Tristate Community Member and Executive Director of the Tristate Trauma Network