New Hope is just what grieving kids need

New Hope is just what grieving kids need

New Hope is just what grieving kids need

March 14, 2010  |  By Scott Maxwell, TAKING NAMES

I’m sitting cross-legged on my little mat.

Twelve of us – seven children and five adults – form a circle, tossing a brightly colored beach ball back and forth.

It looks like play time. Only there is nothing playful about what brought us together.

The children have lost their mommies and daddies. To disease, suicide, even murder.

Art and Healing

DSCN1144Looking at Dagmar’s painting, you’d never know the pain she has felt since the sudden death of her husband in March 2009. She knew her 4-year-old son, Joseph, would need help dealing with the death of his dad, but she wasn’t sure how she was going to deal with her own pain. The support she found for both of them at New Hope for Kids Center for Grieving Children has helped them find ways to build strength and begin enjoying life again.

Dagmar has begun taking on new projects around the house, such as gardening and working on a deck in their back yard. She has also found enjoyment in taking long walks. But perhaps her greatest refuge of all is the time she spends painting. She said it allows her to express her feelings in colors and shapes, and viewing the painting she brought to our Center for Grieving Children, you can see her talent.

2010-01-13 15.07.36aThis painting, one of several she has created recently, is full of brightness, movement and hope. In fact, you can see footprints walking toward a full heart featured prominently in this piece of art. Those footprints are her son’s, and the full and restored heart is just ahead on the path they’re walking together. With the help of New Hope for Kids and their commitment to be happy again, we know they’ll get there.

“So you think you can dance, Sydney?”

SydneyWest Wing Limousine drove up to Sydney’s home November 21. She was about to receive the surprise of her life. For months, New Hope for Kids had tried to make Sydney’s wish come true to meet the cast and be in the audience of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Thanks to volunteer Michele Chamberland, Mary Murphy and her assistant, this dream was about to unfold. The limo swept Sydney and her family off to OIA where they caught their flight to Hollywood, California!

Sydney is 14 years old and is an avid fad of the dance show. She has Down syndrome and has been through many trials due to vascular problems including a stroke when she was only 7 years old. Her resiliency is admirable and her enthusiasm is catching. So much so that after the show, Mary Murphy accompanied Sydney and her family out to dinner. Mary took time to get to know Sydney and introduce her to the entire cast. You can see the pure delight in Sydney’s eyes as she posed for a picture with Mary.