Foreword Reviews

Everybody's Got a Seed to Sow

The Brookwood Story

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Everybody’s Got a Seed to Sow imparts worthwhile, faith-centered lessons through its uplifting tale.

Sometimes faith, whether in God, humanity, or ourselves, needs a booster shot. Enter Everybody’s Got a Seed to Sow. Yvonne T. Streit shares her account of the evolution of The Brookwood Community for the functionally disabled. It’s a work of inspirational, faith-centered storytelling perfectly designed to revive the world-weary.

Part memoir, part institutional biography, the book moves from Streit’s childhood through to the present day, following her path to and alongside The Brookwood Community. Beginning with a dream of creating a place for her functionally disabled daughter, Streit’s fifty-year journey took her from developing an improvised home-school program to founding the thriving Brookwood Community for functionally disabled adults.

It is easy to forget that care for the functionally disabled was not always compassionate. This book illustrates often-forgotten facts as its vision comes to life. Constantly seeking new knowledge, remembering her interdependence, and finding new solutions to navigate obstacles, Streit continuously models practices that all would-be world-changers would do well to cultivate.

Through lessons learned, anecdotal histories, and plenty of photographs, Streit offers a peek into the monumental work done at The Brookwood Community. By the closing pages, the fact that purchasing the book has helped support this community and its citizens becomes an enormous source of gratitude.

Streit has a gift for illuminating the noblest self in all those around her. Throughout Brookwood’s evolution, all sorts of kind souls, benefactors, and godsends have crossed her path. Even those who create bumps in the road are met with understanding (or perhaps not mentioned at all). One might suppose that this has less to do with a lack of oppositional figures along the journey, and is more about Streit’s way of looking at the world. There is something deeply inspiring about her outlook, as well as her ever-present, faith-centered humility about her work. While for the less naturally magnanimous among us the tone may feel disingenuous, it’s also a testament to the true power of an “attitude of gratitude.” No depth of cynicism can argue away the magnitude of the work that Streit’s outlook made possible, and her story provides a needed reminder of valuable habits for moving positively through the world.

The book toes the line between heartwarming and saccharine. The first few pages, in which Streit shares lessons from her upbringing, lean towards the latter. Still, the style is inviting and accessible, and the project’s depth becomes apparent quickly, tempering the text’s sweetness with its richness. From seeds to blossoms, the evolution of The Brookwood Community is an uplifting reminder of what perseverance, faith, and humility can create.

Best suited to soft moods, Everybody’s Got a Seed to Sow imparts worthwhile, faith-centered lessons through its uplifting tale.

Reviewed by Jessie Horness

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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