The Big Urban Woods

A really kind email came our way a few days ago from Tom Russ at the Big Urban Woods. Our students have volunteered there in the past to help clean up the woods and walking paths. We loved his message so much that we wanted to share it with you. Here are some of our favorite bits:

It is clear The Lift believes each youth is important, strong, and capable. It is equally clear that your students appreciate your faith in them.


Routinely I'm amazed at the strength, skill, and compassion of your people. It is little wonder your youth do well.

Apart from being honored by the encouraging words, the email also served as a reminder that everything we do is about building relationships—between our students, our staff, our volunteers, and every member of the east side community we come into contact with. We all work together to strengthen the neighborhood, and these relationships, more than just a nice byproduct, are both the foundation and the reward themselves.

We’re grateful to Tom and his work at the Big Urban Woods. If you’re in the area, please check it out! It’s cared for by dedicated members of the community, and in addition to great walking paths, it serves as an educational center for schools and neighborhood kids.