CommUNITY Champion: Central Florida charity works to heal hearts of grieving children

CommUNITY Champion: Central Florida charity works to heal hearts of grieving children

Helping children cope with the loss of a loved one is the mission of a Central Florida charity.

“When you’re going through this, it’s like a bad dream,” Sara Kyle said, reflecting on the time when her husband Paul died after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Sara and her young daughters — one just 2 months old — felt a great loss. During her pregnancy and Paul’s treatments, the uncertainties were enormous, but a family photo with their new baby was a bright spot.

Finding a path through grief isn’t a journey Sara and her daughters had to take alone when they found New Hope for Kids. This special place in Maitland helps kids like Sara’s girls deal with the loss of a loved one. It’s a place where music, art, and playtime aren’t just fun— they’re therapies that help children process their feelings

Sara’s younger daughter, Grace, slowly overcame her shyness by being around peers who knew her pain. Her oldest daughter, Sara Michelle, found a community where she connected.

“At New Hope for Kids, for once, I’m finally understood and able to just play,” Sara Michelle said.

About 400 local families each year find crucial support thanks to dedicated volunteers and generous community donations. Even after 10 years, the Kyle family is still connected to the non-profit. Sara Michelle benefits from a scholarship, and both sisters look forward to volunteering in the future.

Dave Joswick, the visionary behind New Hope for Kids, believes in the mission wholeheartedly.

“We’re doing God’s work,” he says with conviction. As he steps back from the day-to-day, his pride in the legacy they’ve built shines through — a legacy of purpose in helping.

Sara Kyle can’t imagine life without the support her family received.

“New Hope for Kids became our family,” she says gratefully.


Article originally posted on WESH 2 at New Hope for Kids is a WESH 2 CommUNITY Champion for an ongoing dedication to healing the hearts of grieving children in Central Florida.