TO: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
FROM: ROBYN BERNDT
DATE: FEBRUARY 2, 2001
RE: BLEDSOE FOUNDATION
I have known Mac and Barbara Bledsoe for over eight years. It was a sad day for me and for the whole community when they moved to Montana, but even thought they do not reside here any longer, they are still enriching lives on a regular basis because of the legacy they left us through the Bledsoe Foundation. Parenting With Dignity, their parenting video program, is used in schools, churches, detention centers and even in private homes. It is one of the most valuable resources in my library here at Yakima County Juvenile Court.
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe are two of the most loving, giving people I have ever known. I first met Mac through a friend at Memorial Hospital who told me about some parenting classes that he was teaching for their Passport to Parenting Program. Mac offered to teach his parenting classes to court involved families. The classes were a major success. Not only did parents of juvenile offenders become involved, but almost all of our staff enrolled in the classes as well.
Barbara volunteered her services to our Community Accountability Boards, a first time offender program. She had a flair for working with young people. She had an empathetic, caring approach to working with the juvenile offenders, tempered with a firm, convincing, and common sense style which made her a favorite among volunteers and offenders alike. We all miss her presence in the program tremendously.
Mac not only offered parenting classes to Juvenile Court, but he volunteered his services teaching Seizing Opportunities, a class tailored to help young people see the best in themselves, begin to plan for their own future, start taking responsibility for their own destinies. Many of the teens who participated in this class asked to take it again. Mac has a way of connecting with people that makes them feel special and valued. He gives people, young and old alike, a sense of hope and confidence that they can improve their lives. I hope one day they will have tome to produce a video series for Seizing Opportunities so we can offer the class once again to juvenile offenders in our system.
I was sad to see Mac and Barbara leave our community, but they are still ever-present in our neighborhoods through their Parenting with Dignity video series and the many speaking engagements they come back to provide. Our community owes a great deal of gratitude for the good work the Bledsoes have done and continue to do for our parents and young people.