A Grandmother's Pride

Dear BASIC Fund

Sophie and her teacher

Sophie and her teacher

I wanted to convey our deep gratitude to your organization for making my granddaughter’s education at St. Basil School possible. Sophie is thriving there, and developing a great joy in learning everything from math to science, especially excelling in Language Arts. She is friendly, self-assured, generous, and will likely contribute meaningfully to our community--she does already!

Sophie came to live with me when she was less than a year old. My eldest daughter, Sophie’s mother, has struggled for many years with addiction and homelessness. When Sophie was born I would go to see them at the motel they were living in, and I’d see Sophie sitting out on the balcony with her feet hanging over the edge and her hands holding the bars. I wanted something better for my granddaughter, so I convinced my daughter to let me have legal guardianship. 

When Sophie was old enough I enrolled her into Head Start, and she loved it. She decided one day that she was going to write a book about the teachers there, she narrated and I wrote it all down, and then she drew all the pictures for it. The Head Start program published it in their newsletter with her picture, it was wonderful. I then decided I’d like to enroll her at St. Basil School where I had sent both my daughters many years earlier, it was home for our family. I found out about The BASIC Fund through St. Basil, I asked if there were any scholarships available because I knew making the tuition would be a challenge. I had to come out of retirement to make ends meet, so I now work a few shifts at Target, but it’s worth every penny and then some. 


The BASIC Fund is the difference between her going to St. Basil and not, and it’s significant. Sophie is now a 4th grader, she likes sports and is very active. She loves to read, there are books everywhere. Whenever she goes to the library they have a room there where they sell books for a quarter and fifty cents, and she’s always buying more books. She is meeting with the principal soon to talk about starting a book club for interested students in 3rd to 5th grades. The last few years her grade didn’t have a basketball coach, so she talked her uncle into coaching, and this year he’s going to also coach the baseball team. You have no idea how persuasive this girl can be!

I told Sophie I was sending a letter to you and she asked what the scholarship meant. I told her that you were investing in her to become a leader. She said to tell you that you had made a good bet on her. She’s already planning on college, but she’s not sure what she wants to do yet. She’s very good at math, and she likes computers a lot. She wants to go to coding camp this summer with one of her friends, so I need to check in to that. They’ve already built a website at school in class, and she’s always the one to help me with my smart phone.

The women in my family have a tendency to live a long time, so I’m hoping to be around for a while longer. We already have a plan in place with my younger daughter, Sophie’s auntie, and we don’t hesitate to talk about what might happen when I die. Sophie bought me a bracelet last year, I wear it all the time, she says ‘when you die then I’m going to have it, and then when I get old I’m going to give it to my daughter.’ I love that.

Thank you for your participation in her continued successes. Yes, I am a proud grandmother, but Sophie really is special.


Toni Hughes



Posted on August 26, 2016 .