Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Center for Grieving Children

1,065 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Counseling, Health, Health Care, Mental Health, Youth Development

Mission: The Center for Grieving Children provides a safe space, loving peer support, outreach, and education to grieving children, teens, families, and the community.

Programs: The Center for Grieving Children offers hope and supports the resilience of children, teens, and families through a peer support family model. Its no-cost services are led by dedicated and highly trained staff and volunteers on-site at the Center's two facilities and online (currently virtual due to COVID-19), thanks to the generous support of our community.

In 2021, the Center has:
• Served 621 children, teens, and adults as they helped one another through peer support.
• Provided telephone and email support to 788 individuals.
• Served 1,430 individuals through outreach and education.
• Received nearly 18,300 volunteer hours from more than 250 individuals donating their time to help children and families in need.

The Center for Grieving Children offers five different programs and services to provide resources and address different types of grief for children, their families, and adults working with grieving children. They include:

• Bereavement: Support & resources when someone close dies.
Expressing feelings in a safe place is part of the healing process after a death. At the Center, children, teens, young adults, and adults benefit from a supportive environment where they can be with others who have experienced similar losses. We provide peer support groups for children ages 3-18 and their parents and caregivers; young adults ages 19-30; and bereaved parents and young widowers/partners.

• Tender Living Care: Helping families cope with serious illness.
From the point of diagnosis, a life-impacting illness affects everyone in the family. The Center provides Peer Support Groups for children ages 3-18, with separate groups for the adult with the illness and the adult caregiver, and young adults age 19-30.

• Intercultural: Creating healing communities for our youth.
Since 1997, the Center’s Intercultural Peer Support Program has collaborated with Portland Public Schools and others to serve children, teens, and their families who have resettled locally from countries experiencing war, persecution, and natural disaster. Children’s Peer Support Groups are held at the Center, area schools, or other organizations.

• Phone Support: One-on-one support for those in need.
Have a question? Just call us! We’re here during regular business hours to answer your questions and offer you support. Our highly trained staff and volunteers take thousands of calls each year from people wondering “How should I tell my child about a death in the family?” or “How do I help my students after the death of their classmates?” or “How do my children and I join one of your groups?” If you have a question or concern, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

• Community Webinars: Learning more about grief and loss.
To help support our families and the community during Covid-19, we began hosting webinars with fellow experts on a variety of topics related to grief and loss, and will continue offering such resources to our community.

• Outreach and Training: Education and response for schools and community.
When the school and community is impacted by the death or serious illness of a student or staff member, The Center for Grieving Children is available for school visits, phone support, or on-site visits. The Center staff can offer support and resources to staff, talk with and answer questions from students, and help provide the resources needed to help the school and its community grieve in a healthy way.

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The safe space The Center provides is so important. The Center helped me navigate a traumatic loss when I was a child. Because of them, I never felt alone or scared and was able to express and feel my emotions freely with volunteers and professionals to help me.

Lynn Butler F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Center for Grieving children has had a lasting impact on our family. My husband died of brain cancer at age 39..leaving a one and three year old. The safe space for 3 year olds and up in sharing the story, love,loss, tears, are all part of the magic of the center. The loving volunteers who create space to have feelings and be yourself ..not to fix, not to do the work for the children..but to allow the children to heal through their own experience is a gift you
don't realize is vital to emotional health. Later I volunteered on the board, as a fundraiser and when ready as a grief facilitator because I want families to always have the center there when they need that safe place where love matters.. cannot say enough after 22 years of watching the CGC grow and expand , spreading the healing even further during covid..

Donor

Rating: 5

I’m so glad to know that this community has such a wonderful organization that offers hope and supports the resilience of children, teens, and families through a peer support family model, at no cost to them, for as long as they need. I am grateful to be a part of the Center’s family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I know first hand what a loss can do to a family so I decided to volunteer with CGC. I have been so impressed with the level of compassion and expertise exhibited by everyone I’ve been in contact with. I did online trading during COVID and have helped with mailings during fund raising. Portland is so lucky to have this organization available to grieving families.

Alyse O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Almost 5 years ago, I lost my younger brother in a car accident. I knew I needed support so I reached out to The Center. I was placed in a group with my young adult peers and it gave me a place to relate to others about my loss. From day one, they were so inviting and made me feel like I had a safe space to express my feelings. The people at The Center are so much more than kind and understanding. They truly created a space that felt like a second home. It was a relief to be in a place where everyone understood what I was going through and where I could be others that were dealing with similar losses. I attended groups for a little over a year before phasing out but the time I spend at The Center was invaluable. They helped my through some really tough issues when I felt like I didn't have anyone else to talk to. I will always be appreciative of the services that The Center offers. There is nothing out there quite like it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few years ago I only knew the center from listening to my local radio station which does a fundraiser for them each year. The radio host of the fundraiser does an amazing job of inviting clients (both parents and children) onto the airwaves to tell their story and how the Center has helped them. In my personal life, I know of a family whose children attended the Center after a family member died. Their story told me a lot about the kind of people who work at the Center and the impact the Center has on those it serves. As a result of hearing about this impact, I chose to volunteer my time.

This decision has been one of the best decisions of my life. I know my time and effort goes to a group of hardworking, caring and compassionate people who are truly making a difference in our community.

AshleyBigda

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor and volunteer with the Center for Grieving Children, I continue to be incredibly impressed with the level of care and compassion that the Center provides to grieving families and to the greater Portland community. The Center plays such a vital role in the healing process, and offers a wonderfully safe, supportive, and accepting space for all who seek their services. It's truly an honor to support their mission and work, and I'm grateful to be a part of the Center's community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a social work intern for the center this year, I can speak of the training that I had to complete before facilitating groups.

The training was well organized and the materials were extremely helpful in teaching the art of facilitating groups surrounding bereavement and grief.

I have seen the peer support model in action and I am honored to be apart of this amazing place.

To be honest, I have wanted the chance to be apart of the center for quiet some time and I feel grateful for having this opportunity. The opportunity to serve the participants at the center and being allowed to share a small piece of their journey.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at the Center for Grieving Children for the last two years. My contribution is working in the office, helping with mailings, data entry. My favorite experience was covering the front desk. I learned first hand the number of people looking for grief support and the kind and compassionate response those in need receive from the staff and volunteers. It is a joy and a pleasure working with this wonderful group.

Anne Coyne Foster

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at the Center for Grieving Children for the past 3years.
This non-profit is above & beyond all.
Their caring, empathy, resourcing and intuition is there for every family and individual that needs help during extremely difficult times
I am humbled by their dedication for all!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with the Center for Grieving Children for almost two years now and it has mostly been throughout the pandemic. Despite the pandemic, the Center has still managed to touch the lives and support those individuals and families who need them. The Center is a remarkable place for those who are struggling with loss or illness. The support they provide is incredible and I could not be more proud to be a part of this team.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a wonderful place for children, adults and families to get support when facing difficult times in their lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization! The staff is full of wonderful people and they are very dedicated to helping children process and learn how to deal with grief. The best thing about it is that they are committed to keeping their services free with no time limit - everybody grieves differently and at their own pace, and they honor that. It's an organization that affects our community in such a positive way. I'm very proud to be connected to this organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Center is a special place where children, teens and adults find comfort in having a common bond, a safe place to share and express emotions that there are often no "big" enough words for. Through art, song, poetry, books, photos, games... discovering that there are so many different ways that they can "speak" and work through their grief. It is amazing and humbling to see how participants, even in the midst of their own pain, will so often offer words, gestures of support, tips on coping and encouragement to lift up another group member who may be struggling.
As I said, a truly, special place.

1 Deb Katz O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Center for Grieving Children provides the much needed support for families suffering a tragic loss. Our dear friend lost her husband, father to their 14 year old daughter, and the Center was there for both of them, providing them with an empathetic support group comprised of people in similar situations. The Center is a phenomenal place that does extremely worthwhile work and is a critical resource that supports the greater Portland, Maine community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the Center because I know how valuable it is to have someone to talk to in your grieving process, particularly someone who has experienced loss themselves. I feel by doing my menial little task each month it frees the staff up to do the important work of helping those who are experiencing grief from a loss.

Terri S.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children and I attended The Center for Grieving Children after my husband was killed in an auto accident when they were very young. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher referred us to the center and it became a lifeline for our family. The support groups helped my children learn that they were not alone and I felt supported in my new role as a young widow.

The center helped us make it through each week and work toward establishing our new normal. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without it. I had never heard of the center before our family tragedy. By supporting their community outreach and support programs many families can benefit from their services when the world suddenly changes within your family.

Someday I hope to be trained as a facilitator so that I can give back to the place that was such an important part of my life.

Cassidy S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with the Center for Grieving Children and I love everything about what the Center does. They are able to provide non-judgmental support for anyone who is in the grieving process and they are able to do that at no cost for the families. That is amazing and I am so grateful to be a part of something this important.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience has been as a volunteer during special events. Based upon what I know regarding The Center For Grieving Children, critical and essential grieving services are provided to any and all impacted family members at no charge and for as long as needed.

The Center provides guidance and a safe environment to those in need at the most critical times of their lives.

Gerard Morin
Biddeford, Maine

Peg P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A great organization - provides a truly valuable service to the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love to be able to help this organization. These children and families benefit beyond words.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for the center who helps with mailings, the library, etc. I was drawn to the Center for the work and services they provide. We lost my sister-in-law, an amazing young woman, due to a senseless act of murder. I experienced the damage to the entire family any loss can bring. If it wasn't for a similar organization, Parents of Murdered Children, in another part of the country, I don't know if my mother-in-law would have survived the loss.

The Center's work is not only wonderful, but it is essential.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I went to working part-time several years ago I was looking for a way to give back.
Friends told me about efforts to provide a grieving program for children in York County.
Joining their efforts has made a major impact in my life. The training provides one the ability to work well with the children and everyone else in your life. Working with the other staff introduces you to wonderful others with a joint love and concern for children. Being with the children is a reward in itself. CGC is a happy place with love and caring at its core. You couldn't find a better place to volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The CFGC is my top pick for a nonprofit in Portland, Maine. The work they do is so important. I volunteer doing administrative things but also attended an intercultural event last May and can say firsthand that I was blown away by the kind, loving, well-rounded, and informed approach taken by the facilitators with the children. I can also say that every employee I have had contact with at the Center exudes dedication, kindness, and love of the work that they do. 5 stars!

River H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a University student, and I have volunteered at The Center for Grieving Children multiple times, and I must say that it has always been such a wonderful time! From the warm and welcoming staff, to the most comfortable atmosphere, I love helping out such a wonderful organization. Thank you for all you do!

Eva K.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at the Center for Grieving Children. Volunteering for the center as been one of the most rewarding experiences. The staff and other volunteers of the center are wonderful, warm and welcoming. The Center is truly dedicated to serving the needs of the greater Portland community. As an adult who tragically lost my sister when she was 21 and I was 16, it has been wonderful to see that community youth have a safe place to go to grieve. I can not wait to see where my roll with the Center take me and I am blessed to have been welcomed into the Center with a warm embrace.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered at many places, and this Center has my heart completely. The staff is wonderful, the training is extensive and so rewarding, the experiences are life-changing. Singlehandedly, the most important thing I’ve yet to do in my life.