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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Center for Grieving Children

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: The Center for Grieving Children, founded in 1988, was the third such program of its kind, offering peer support groups for children, teens, and adults who were grieving the death or coping with the life-threatening illness of a family member or friend. We honor and encourage the safe expression of grief and loss. We provide a loving community to foster the discovery and development of each child's own resiliency and emotional well-being.

Programs: Peer support: weekly sesssions provide safe and supportive environment in which young people who have suffered the death of someone close can share their experiences and feelings with others with similar experiences. Teens and adults participate each week. Facilitated,age-appropriate peer support groups serve those experiencing the serious illness or death of a loved one; bereavement peer support in portland and sanford for children, teens, and their families. Additional groups in portland for young adults, bereaved parents, and bereaved spouses and partners. Served over 300 adults and children, 1/3 in sanford, cumberland and york county, over 1,000 phone callers received support and referrals, more than 470 young people and 1,500 adults received education, training, and crisis support. Peer support: weekly sesssions provide safe and supportive environment in which young people who have suffered the death of someone close can share their experiences and feelings with others with similar experiences. Teens and adults participate each week. Facilitated,age-appropriate peer support groups serve those experiencing the serious illness or death of a loved one; bereavement peer support in portland and sanford for children, teens, and their families. Additional groups in portland for young adults, bereaved parents, and bereaved spouses and partners. Served over 300 adults and children, 1/3 in sanford, cumberland and york county, over 1,000 phone callers received support and referrals, more than 470 young people and 1,500 adults received education, training, and crisis support.

outreach and education: trained volunteers take their training, knowledge and experience out to local schools and others within the community. Served 1,650 children and teens, 1/3 in sanford, and 77 in state homes.

multicultural peer support: peer support activities are targeted to the growing number of cultural backgrounds represented in the greater portland community, and includes facilitation of exercises in the creative arts. Works in partnership with local schools serving students resettled in maine from countries that have experienced war, violent conflict, and natural disaster. Served 60 children and teens.

tender living care: peer support, from the point of diagnosis, for families who have children/teens and are living with the serious illness of a family member. Served 68 adults and children, 1/3 in sanford.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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

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

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.