Loss is all around us. Grief has become especially prominent over the past few months with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be missing your old routine or longing to see family members after plans were put on hold. We are all finding ways to manage the grief we are experiencing right now. The children and families of Valerie’s House know this process all too well. They have been working on learning the tools to cope with the grief of losing a parent or sibling long before our “new normal” became a reality.
Valerie’s House opened its doors in 2016 when CEO and Founder, Angela Melvin recognized the lack of child bereavement service in SWFL. Inspired by the loss of her mother as a child, Angela started her campaign with the sole vision that: No Child Will Grieve Alone.
Valerie’s House is a safe space for children, teens, young adults, and caregivers to openly explore their grief in a group setting. Through peer lead groups, the grieving families of SWFL connect through their personal experiences of loss. They learn together ways to manage their feelings so they can go on to lead fulling lives despite their loss.
Biweekly group nights take place in Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, and Naples. Groups have been meeting virtually since the start of the pandemic. With in-person groups resuming in August, Valerie’s House is working hard to provide a safe and secure setting for their families to meet. They are also gathering resources to provide additional support for grieving children.
The moment a child steps into Valerie’s House, they are asked to pick a comfort item to carry with them through their journey in the program. Items include stuffed animal, quilts, and journals. Families are also encouraged to select a grief book from the Valerie’s House library. It is important to take something tangible with them from the house as a memento to remind them
they are not alone and help them along their healing journey.
This is where you can help!
Valerie’s House is asking for support from the community in the form of donated grief-related books to provide to new children and families when they enroll. Books can be purchased through the Valerie’s House Amazon Wish list and sent directly to Valerie’s House Naples. This contact-less donation method is for your convenience and to ensure everyone’s safety.
These books are priceless to the Valerie’s House families, and they provide a sense of comfort when all hope seems to be lost. The recommended books on their list have guided children, teens, young adults, and caregivers through their grief journeys with tremendous results. This is such an essential part of what Valerie’s House has to offer. Through the generosity of the community, Valerie’s House has been able to remain fully operational during the pandemic to continue to ensure that “No Child Will Grieve Alone.”
To purchase a book on the Valerie’s House Wish List Book, please visit:
If you would like to learn more about ways you can donate to Valerie’s House, please visit: https://www.valerieshouseswfl.org/ or contact their Development and Communications Coordinator, Sarah Desrosiers at (941) 203-9046 or email@example.com