Winter Park resident Pam Saffran and her three children know how hard it is to move forward after traumatic loss. They also know the critical role community support plays in keeping dreams alive.
The Saffrans have partnered with local nonprofit New Hope for Kids to award $2,000 college scholarships to four local students who experienced the death of a parent and demonstrated perseverance in the face of that adversity.
At the 22nd Annual National Symposium on Children’s Grief, the National Alliance for Grieving Children announced recipients for its national awards presented annually.
The NAGC Founder’s Award was presented to Diane Goldsmith, New Hope for Kids, Florida. The Founder’s Award is given annually to one individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of children’s grief support as a volunteer. Diane has been an exceptional volunteer at New Hope for Kids since 1999, one year after her 16 year old daughter Rebecca was killed by a drunk driver. In the midst of her own grief, Diane witnessed the grief experienced by her daughter’s friends as they would come to Rebecca’s room and cry. She recognized that they too needed support in their grief. When asked on the volunteer application why she would like to work with bereaved children, Diane wrote: “I understand the healing process and respect each individual’s right to grieve in their own way. I know the need to have someone listen and am anxious to help others in their grief.” Even now, after 18 years of volunteering, Diane’s selfless compassion has not wavered.
Vicki Jay, NAGC CEO, Diane Goldsmith and Peter Willig, NAGC President
PHOTO credit goes to NAGC. (National Alliance for Grieving Children)
Lights, carols, parties. Do those words make you feel overwhelmed? If you’re grieving during the holidays, the answer might be yes. May we offer a few suggestions? Parents and caregivers, be gentle with yourselves. Rest enough, pace yourselves, set limits. You’ll be better able to help your kids when they feel sad. Give yourselves, and your kids, permission to grieve, and to take a break from it when needed. Spend time with people who accept your family’s emotions as they are. Celebrate your traditions, or start new ones. Above all, remember that it’s up to you and your family, not anyone else, how you decide to observe the holidays.
Read more about grief during the holidays by following the links below.
As we prepare for hurricane IRMA, it’s important to provide helpful outlets for children to cope with their feelings.
Here are a few ways to help children deal with emotions before and during the storm.
Before the storm, have children gather their favorite stuffed animal, blanket and pillow, and perhaps a few special books. These things will help calm them if the storm gets scary. You can also empower children by involving them in other preparations that are appropriate for their age.
Encourage them to talk to you or to their other family members about their thoughts. Acknowledge fear, but express calm. They will follow your emotions very closely.
Have paper, crayons, markers, and colored pencils handy to create and share feelings or serve as distractions.
Create family time together with board games, cards, charades, and flashlights.
We are heartbroken over the recent tragic events in Orlando, and send our most sincere condolences to families and friends of those who died at Pulse, and to the family, friends and fans of Christina Grimmie. The loss of life of this past weekend is overwhelming and hard to comprehend. As we process the senseless violence and contemplate our safety, let’s all remember how Orlando rallied to shine its light into the darkness. Countless friends and neighbors came out to donate blood, to bring bottled water and food to law enforcement and first responders, to show love and support with a handmade poster… that’s what we’re made of as a community, and New Hope for Kids is proud to be part of it. If you find yourself wondering how to talk to your kids about these tragedies, please read this very helpful information from The Dougy Center, the National Center for Grieving Children and Families.
Click here to access a link to the radio broadcast featuring our Executive Director, Dave Joswick, who shared the mission of New Hope for Kids with WMFE listeners. Be sure to share it with your friends and families!