Friday, June 19, 2009
Many of our children will spend Father’s Day with their dads, but not all kids will have this opportunity. In fact, I was astonished to learn that 1 in 20 children will experience the death of one or both parents by the age of 15! And, by age 10, 1 in 7 children will experience the death of a loved one.
Mark Hundley’s daughter is one of these statistics. When she was just seven years old, her mother was killed in an automobile accident. At that time, there were few resources available to help her through her grief, especially for children. Mark, a psychotherapist, was fortunate to be able to find the help that he and his daughter needed through his contacts, but he hated the thought that many other children in his daughter’s position would not get the help they needed. Thus, he co-founded the Journey of Hope Grief Support Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing group grief support to children, adolescents, and their parents or adult caregivers. The mission of the Journey of Hope Grief Support Center is to provide support at no cost for children, teens, young adults and their families as they learn to mourn the death or impending death of their loved one in a safe, caring and nurturing environment. The Journey of Hope Grief Support Center is located in Plano, Texas, but is part of a larger network of similar programs around the country.
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Mark Hundley online, and he is very sincere and dedicated to helping children and other family members cope with grief. (He even sent me a complimentary copy of his audiobook, “Awaken to Good Mourning,” to help a friend of mine who had experienced the loss of her son.) Now, Mark has started a campaign called One in a Million to help raise money for grief support. He knows that times are tough, so he’s asking for donations of just one dollar! He figures that if a million people donated only a dollar, they could raise enough money to make a real difference in the lives of children who have lost parents or loved ones.
You can see more of Mark’s message by watching this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH3wrXMAJDo. Please seriously consider a one-dollar donation to the Journey of Hope Grief Support Center. A dollar is but the cost of a soda to us but could go a very long way toward helping a child get through the devastating loss of a parent. Go to www.johgriefsupport.org to help.
children, death, grief, grieving, Journey of Hope Grief Support Center, Mark Hundley, mourning, support