Sometimes, you just want to hear someone say, “I get it. I’m right there with you.” Longing for that understanding and comfort is real in many situations, but especially when you are dealing with the loss of a loved one. Since 2013, Good Grief of NW Ohio has helped bridge the isolation that many may feel after suffering the loss of a significant loved one by providing peer support.
Making the journey on their own
Operating solely on donations and corporate contributions, Good Grief of NW Ohio concentrates on providing peer support for children ages five through 24 years old; and also their caregivers. According to Managing Director Dorothy Mockensturm they do not offer counseling or therapy; rather groups are formed by age and give children a chance to be with others who are sharing in similar feelings and experiences. The idea is to create a space to help the children make the journey on their own; in their own time, in their own way, according to Ms. Mockensturm. There is much comfort in knowing you are not alone.
The programs run every other Tuesday. “Our services are always free of charge,” said Ms. Mockensturm. A typical evening begins with a community dinner at 6p.m., followed by peer group sessions for either an activity or simply a time to share with one another. The evening wraps up about 8p.m.
Monthly open houses provide a peek into Good Grief of NW Ohio
According to Ms. Mockensturm, the idea is to provide the children and young adults with a safe place for them to be. However, when children have already gone through so much, stepping out of their comfort zone can seem scary. Good Grief offers monthly open houses that provide families an opportunity to see what it is all about in a non-threatening atmosphere.
One Wednesday a month anyone may stop in to talk with volunteers, hear more about the program, and expose the kids to the various activities available to them such as art projects and other activities. The next two open houses are scheduled for Wednesday September 14, 2016 from 4p.m.-5p.m. and on October 12, 2016 from 12p.m.-1p.m. Arrangements can be made for other times as well.
Much of Good Grief of NW Ohio operates with the help of volunteers. Support group facilitators need to be at least 20 years old, and program assistants must be at least 16 years old and enjoy working with children; as they are there to help facilitate crafts, play time, etc. In order for the services to remain free of charge for those families who have already been through so much, donations are always needed; be it monetary donations, providing a Tuesday evening meal, or even gift cards to help them provide the Tuesday meals, crafts, and much more.
Help support this organization during the Wings of Hope Fundraiser
6-7:30pm| Wednesday | September 21 | $75
Carranor Hunt Club | 502 E. 2nd St., Perrysburg
Good Grief of NW Ohio | 7015 Spring Meadows Dr. W.
419-360-4939 | goodgriefnwo.org
Karen Zickes is the mom of three active children and freelance writer who
resides in Holland, OH
She can be reached in c/o firstname.lastname@example.org