“Good-bye kits” are for the kids we’ve been working with as they leave the shelter. These tiny 2″x2″x3″ boxes contain a temporary tattoo and a sticker, both with Eli’s laughing face, a “Hands and Words Are Not For Hurting” sticker, a clicker, and a tiny but powerful flashlight inscribed “S.T.A.R. Trainer – See, Tag And Reward”.

Our "good-bye" kit

This is our current answer to two needs:

ONE: Children in shelters live in a frighteningly chaotic time of too many abrupt changes with no closure. Our teams will never know when a visit with a child is the last, and we don’t want to become just another perceived abandonment. Goodbye kits give the shelter personnel the option of giving departing children a gift “from Eli”.

TWO:  It is common in behavior modification protocols to create an “anchor” object to re-ground the learner when the coach can’t be there. In our case, we’re using tiny flashlights engraved with “S.T.A.R. Trainer – See, Tag, And Reward”. Perhaps this choice is also an unspoken modern-day echo of Galadriel’s parting gift to Frodo: “May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”