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R. Friday

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Houghton Lake, MI USA


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CHILDRENS BEREAVEMENT NETWORK
August 5, 2009

I have been a volunteer for Children's Bereavement Network for 4 years now and for the past 2 years have served on the Board. It is hard to describe the change in the children from the Friday they arrive at camp, to the way they are when they leave on Sunday. While they are there, the discover that it is OK to have fun again, they are not the only one who has lost someone and that whatever they are feeling- it is OK. There are tears and smiles over the course of the weekend but I am sure that it has been an experience that nobody will forget. The Memorial Service is a moving experience that all campers, teens, adult volunteers and family members of campers participate in. At our camp last year we had the fortune of seeing a double rainbow during the time that rain seemed to have "ruined" part of our outdoor time. All stood and watched together for about 30 minutes. It was one of the unbelievable things that happens at camp. There is also a reunion with campers and their families, teens and adult volunteers in the fall where the campers receive a puppy or bear from their loved one's clothing. We share a meal together and also follow-up with families about how camp effected the camper. All in all, it is a wonderful experience.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reaching out to children who are hurting when they may have not had the feeling that they could share with anyone else.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to get more volunteers who are willing to help all year- not just come to camp.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing how quickly the teens and campers bond with each other. It is also wonderful to know that the goal of the Board and volunteers at camp is to help children who may not have the opportunity otherwise.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, caring and top-notch! From the volunteer teen buddies, to the social workers, hospice workers, nurse and other volunteers- they are truly there because they care about the campers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach many more children and could have more than one camp per year. They could concentrate more on the program and less on the fundraising!

Ways to make it better...

The weather had cooperated!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Lack of funds to "get the word out" about the good things that they do.

One thing I'd also say is that...

We would like to have the funding and volunteer staff to have follow-up grief groups that campers could attend after camp is over.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I helped with the crafts at camp and also was a co-leader in a group. I also wrote grants to help get the funding to have camp.