I have lived in 18 different cities, across 10 states, in three different countries, and I can tell you that the people of Santa Clarita won a special place in my heart. When my wife, Katie, was killed by a drunk driver on Oct. 6, 2017, the people of this valley rushed to the rescue as I struggled to find my way forward with six young children, including preemie twins born at just over 1 pound each who were still in the hospital.
Some of you gave my kids rides to school. Others invited my kids over to your homes while I was at work. Citizens of this wonderful valley cried with me, visited my little girls in the hospital, took my son to therapy, made stuffed bears out of Katie’s shirts, or brought my family dinner while I tried to pull my life back together.
Months later, when the outpouring of support had ebbed and my preemie twins were finally able to come home, I was concerned that, without a mother, they would not feel all the love they needed. I asked Anna Rast, a wonderful woman with strong community connections who I knew from church, if she could help me find someone to hold these baby girls each day. Anna reached out to Teresa Todd, who agreed to coordinate a group of cuddlers to come and love these little girls.
Over the next year, more than 82 volunteers came to my home daily to cuddle Hannah and Sarah. Despite her busy schedule, Teresa herself was one of the most frequent volunteers. She not only cuddled, she learned their medical situation so she could monitor their oxygen, assist with giving various medicines, feed them (which was tricky since Hannah ate through a tube in her stomach), and, of course, change their tiny little diapers.
Sarah and Hannah, now 5, have grown up happy, warm, and incredibly friendly. Indeed, they assume anyone they meet is a friend. Why? Because that was their experience time and time again with these cuddlers. Every new face became a fast friend.
I had never met Teresa before, but she quickly became part of my family. While most volunteers returned to their regular lives after a few months, Teresa and several cuddlers remain in close contact still today. This group that Teresa assembled was special, largely because Teresa is special. She has a rare combination of caring, connectedness and capability that enable her to make a dramatic impact on the community, which brings me to why I am sharing all of this.
My purpose in writing is to explain why I strongly endorse Teresa Todd for William S. Hart Union High School District – Trustee Area 3. I will not bore you with a lengthy list of Teresa’s impressive accomplishments and credentials. I assure you that she has them and you can learn more at Todd4Hart.com if you wish. Rather I wish you to know the even more impressive personal side of Teresa, which I have seen. I have seen Teresa’s love for strangers, I have seen her tireless efforts on the behalf of others from all walks of life and her desire to ensure that everyone has a chance to thrive. And to that end, I have seen her dig deeply to understand complicated situations and then collaborate effectively to come up with great solutions. In all the places I’ve lived and all the organizations I’ve known, I’ve never met anyone more perfectly suited for school board leadership than Teresa Todd.
If you want the best for your children, if you want an advocate who will make a real impact for good, then consider Teresa Todd for the school board. She is a remarkable community leader, who truly leads by example. I encourage you to entrust your children to her care as I entrusted mine. If you do, I assure you that, like me, you will be glad you did.
Missouri City, Texas