Josh’s Reflection – Five Years Later
McNary High School Graduate

June 1, 2016

To Ann S. Kelly:

You may not remember me, but I attended McNary Highschool and performed a “Night of Hope” performance to help raise funds for the Hands Project. I am currently at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho, doing a project for psychology. We try to reach out to organizations to extend gratitude for what they stand for if they do good things. I initially could not think of any organizations that I’m passionate about to write a letter to that would hold meaning. So, instead, I thought about causes I would support if I could, and my first thoughts were toward my strong distaste for abuse anywhere, which reminded me of this “Hands Project,” I helped promote in high school five years ago! Furthermore, I was happily reminded of the joy in performing on behalf of such a cause when I turned to the “Testimonials” section on your website and found a picture of my year’s choir on the page. I wanted to write you because I fully support your mission statement and feel much more confirmed in my gratitude toward you for founding such a cause that I had the pleasure of being a part of. When I’m done with schooling and eventually obtain my career, I would very much like to donate and consistently contribute toward funding this project. Thank you for the difference you make in so many lives! I hope you continue in bringing hope to so many. I hope that I may as well one day. 


Josh Holt 

A message from Ann S.  Kelly, Founder/Executive Director – Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project®

“Josh, your letter was the most heartwarming, inspiring, uplifting surprise! I am deeply touched that you would take the time to write and tell me how much being a part of the elective “Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project®” class meant to you at McNary High School.
I will never forget that “Night of Hope” fundraiser your class did to send “Hands” materials for schools in South Africa to begin a partnership with our worldwide movement.  I sat in the audience unprepared for the lump in my throat and the tears that filled my eyes during every performance the entire evening!  I could hardly breathe.  I know I was not the only one that was profoundly impacted.
I am extremely grateful for the courage and talent that filled that stage that amazing evening.  Your performances, your voices were united with a single purpose…to educate and inspire our families and community about how each and every one of us can make a difference in ending verbal, physical and emotional abuse, violence and, suicide by aspiring to live by this simple yet powerful 14 word Pledge.”