Hilltop Cares Helps Horace Mann Community

December 24, 2014

In this season of giving back, I’m proud to lead the Hilltop Cares Foundation in helping survivors of abuse obtain therapy. Here is a recently published article in the Horace Mann Record about the work we’re doing.

Hilltop Cares Foundation brings school community together

Over 70 alumni, administrators, parents, and students gathered at Hilltop Cares Foundation’s kick-off event earlier this month to discuss ways to promote communal healing in light of the revelations of sexual abuse at the school.

Hilltop Cares strives to “provide support for alumni who suffered abuse at the school years ago, to support their therapy, as well as to bring about some healing to the whole Horace Mann community,” Chair Marjorie Kaufman ’78, P’18,’19 said.

The event, which took place at the home of Vice Chair Joe Rose ‘77, provided a way for participants and Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly to “get together in a constructive and mutually supportive way,” Rose said, which included discussing Hilltop Cares’ mission and ways to get involved with the organization.

Attendees especially appreciated the support of Kelly and Director of Institutional Research and Enrollment Management Lisa Moreira P’19, P’21, as it created a “strongly felt but understated sense of community,” Rose said. 

The fact that Hilltop Cares is now able to directly raise tax-deductible contributions “creates a moment to take an affirmative first step,” Rose said.

All donations the foundation receives go towards confidentially funding psychological therapy for victims of the sexual abuse that occurred at the school who may not be able to afford the support otherwise.

Hilltop Cares can serve as an especially useful outlet to alumni and survivors due to the fact that it exists independently from the school, Kaufman said.

“There are significant negative sentiments held by some alumni in the wake of the revelations of sexual abuse at the school. As an independent entity we don’t get involved with that at all, and we are here to directly help people that were hurt.”

Being involved in Hilltop Cares offers many benefits that are especially relevant at this time of the year, when giving back is important, Kaufman said. 

“The HM community is almost like an extended family to many people,” she said. “When members of your family need help, it’s good to be there and to stand by them and say ,‘I’m here to help you.’”

The organization is about strengthening, affirming, and helping, Rose said.

“Giving all the members of the Horace Mann community a way to do that in a way that’s not within a legal context or in an adversarial context but in a caring, mutually beneficial way – that’s the goal,” he said.

The organization is currently planning a benefit that will take place on campus in May.

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