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For the Love of a Sibling:
Protecting a Support System

It was two in the morning. While quietly working in the Willows 3 dorm, a member of the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento (CRH) night staff heard a loud cry from the bedroom of the newest admit.

She quickly rose and found 11-year-old Marika*, the oldest of a tight-knit Hungarian sibling set, wide awake and overwhelmed with concern for her younger brother and sister.

Before entering the doors of CRH, Marika had been their main caregiver—their love and support, the person who was there for them when mom and dad were nowhere to be found.

The bond of these siblings was strong—and this was the first time they had been faced with separation. 

The language barrier made comforting Marika difficult so CRH supervisor and native Hungarian, Leila*, was called. In hopes to calm Marika, she quietly began to sing a familiar Hungarian lullaby, just as her own mother had when she was a child.

Soon, Marika quieted and laid her head in Leila’s lap. She was then able to tell Marika more about how her siblings were—safely tucked away in the dorm for the littles. Marika was comforted by the assurance that she could see them first thing in the morning. 

Finally, Leila smoothed her hair and led her back to bed where she slept peacefully the rest of the night.

This true story inspired the idea of a special dorm just for siblings on the CRH campus—formally named the Goldstein Sibling Dorm, in honor of CRH’s lead social worker who retired after 39 years of service.

Opening in October of 2017, it is unique in the state and has so far served over 200 siblings—keeping them together, minimizing the trauma they are already experiencing, and supporting and enforcing the special bonds that these siblings share.

As it has for 75 years, CRH is paving the way with innovative ways to support, assist, and empower children in their most vulnerable times.

Would you consider making a financial gift today to support the Goldstein Sibling Dorm and all of CRH’s invaluable programs and services? We absolutely could not do what we do without you.

Most sincerely,

David Ballard, LCSW
Chief Executive Officer

*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality

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