My name is Kieren Joshua Kytonen.

From the day I met Michelle King and her family, they treated me as if I was one of their own. My home life was surrounded by drug addicts, alcoholics, and neglect but thanks to Michelle, I learned what it was like to be part of a loving, caring, functioning family. Her and her husband provided me with a place to stay whenever I needed, they invited me to family dinners, and always made sure I had the tools and necessities I was lacking in order to succeed and prosper.

Michelle, her amazing husband Ed, her son Tryston, and many other struggling children she cared for made me feel like I finally had a family that cared about me and my well-being. I witnessed this amazing family take people into their household not because they had to, not to gain anything, but simply because they loved helping people and wanted to help us realize we could do anything we wanted regardless of the hand life had dealt us. To this day I reminisce about sitting around the dinner table laughing, talking, and simply enjoying each other’s company, it was with them that I had my first dinner where people conversed and ate together, it was something so simple yet it still is one of my best memories.

This household and the energy you felt when you walked in had a way of bringing the most diverse people together, people who would have never even thought of speaking to one another because of how different we were but this family just had a way of unifying the children there and I still remain friends with some of them to this day. As children who had almost nothing, the King family provided us all with essential elements and experiences that every child needs to have. They brought us together and we spent countless nights having sleepovers, watching movies, and playing board games. This house had so much positivity and comfort that everyone met up there every single day just so we could be around each other and become the family we thought was simply a fantasy, and the King family welcomed us every day with open arms to what we considered our safe haven.

If it wasn’t for the King household, I have no idea where my life would be but it would not be anywhere good. Through my experience with them I gained a family, a home, love, and encouragement. They are truly some of the most gracious and caring people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. If it was not for them, I would have spent my life wondering what it was like to be a child.

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