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Van Leer instilled message of working together

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If I could, I would, but I can’t because I do not live in Minnesota. Therefore, I am doing what I can. My name is Tiffany and I am writing to share with the voters of South Washington County School District 833 some insight on why they should vote for Sharon Van Leer. 

I have known Sharon Van Leer and the Van Leer family my entire life; I am 31 years old. My mother first met Sharon Van Leer when they worked together in the 1980s. My mother was a single mother and when I was born, Sharon Van Leer and her family were there to help my mother and me. They were our extended family and helped us tremendously — but not just us.

The Van Leers helped many foster children over the years. They welcomed children into their family and provided emergency, respite and longer-term care.

Over the years, I lived with the Van Leers, when I was very young and then later I returned for a year when I was in high school. The Van Leer home was a haven to children of different ethnic, religious and moral backgrounds. We were loved and felt safe. We learned the importance of academics, how to re-adjust ourselves so that everyone was respectful to each other and the importance of building relationships. More importantly, Sharon Van Leer continually stressed to us that being unified and working together as a family was how we could succeed — individually, as well as a family. 

I continue to be guided by the important values that I learned and they have served me well. It takes a very special person to help children in need. As I said, I would vote for her but I can’t — but you can. Please vote for Sharon Van Leer.

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