I volunteer at Mary's Place and I have the opportunity to get to know and work with kids who are grieving the loss of their loved ones. I have been volunteering for about 2 years and this experience has inspired me to want to continue to help those who are grieving. Bereavement centers are not common in the sense that people do not know they are an option. A place like Mary's Place is one of kind because it allows kids to express themselves pertaining to their loss in a variety of ways such as games, journals, and arts and crafts. More places like Mary's Place need to be created because Mary's Place truly helps people.
I learned about Mary's Place about a year ago and knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it. I wish there had been a place like this for me and my daughter 15 years ago when my husband died unexpectantly. We felt so ALONE! Mary's Place allows families to know that they are not alone. It is a wonderful, loving, safe environment for everyone to heal.
Big changes had occurred in my life during the past year; primarilly, the last chick had flown the nest and my primary role for the past 36 years was now complete and I had to reinvent myself. I knew that I wanted to volunteer, but was not sure where, so I consulted a good friend who has always been active with many organizations. She ran through her list of suggestions, and when she came to Mary's Place, I knew that was the right fit for me. I had raised 6 children, so I felt confident that this would be something I could do. Attending the training program was awesome: very enlightening on many levels, and I met some great new friends. I couldn't wait to get started. I was immediately impressed with the program and orginazational skills of the staff. They are professional and are completely focused on the families' welfare. There is a lot of support for the facilataors, so if a situation arises that you are not completely comfortable with, there is professional advice immediately available. Nothing can prepare you totally for the first time a child looks you in the eye and tells you,"My daddy died", but with the love, guidance and trainning Mary's Place offers, we are prepared to deal effectively and intelligently. The families are so greatful and responsive; they truly rely on and need the support Mary's Place offers to them. The children look forward to the projects, games and other venues that allow them to express and cope with their grief. Mary's Place is nothing short of amazing.
I came to Mary's Place several years ago because as a parent and teacher I understood the importance of providing support for grieving children. I wanted to be a part of an organization which does such important work. Mary's Place provides this service with sensitivity and a commitment to the integrity of its mission. Volunteers are trained, guided and supported by the staff to insure that the children and their families receive the best possible care.
Each Sunday that we meet includes volunteer meetings, work with the children and a chance to catch up with their families. Grief is a life long journey and as volunteers we are privileged to accompany these children along the way.
I first came to Mary's Place after my father died of a heart attack in 2005. I started by coming to the teen group. The volunteers there new what I was going through and made me feel comfortable. I was able to express my grief and be able to move forward in my life.
About two years ago, I started volunteering with children ages three to seven. The children who come to Mary's Place are relieved when they see that they are not the only ones their age that are going through grief. We organize activities for the children to express their feelings about the death of their loved one.
The children love Mary's Place and the volunteers so much that sometimes the parents/guardians have trouble getting them to leave. It is a wonderful place. Where ever you are in the grieving process, the people at Mary's Place are willing to support you.
My first encounter with Mary’s Place was several years ago when I was a school nurse. I found Mary’s Place to be an invaluable resource for my students, their families, the school staff and myself. I knew at that time that I wanted to someday become more involved with the center. I started volunteering at Mary’s Place about 2 1/2 years ago as a volunteer group facilitator. My experience has been very rewarding and life changing. I have witnessed the power that sharing with others who understand can have for a grieving family. Mary’s Place is a warm and welcoming place where children can be themselves and express their grief. All who come through the doors are supported and comforted as they navigate their grief and adjust to their loss. It truly is a place of hope and healing. I feel privileged to be a part of Mary’s Place.
In January I decided that It was a good time for me to start volunteering somewhere...but where? I knew that I wanted to work with children...but how? Then it occured to me...Mary's Place!! In the past I had donated my services and attended the Spring Galla but, I knew very little about what Mary's Place was all about. After some intense training and only a few sessions with the "big kids" group I am proud to say that I am now a volunteer facilitator at Mary's Place and am starting to understand how important this kind of support is to the grieving children and their families. It is a "safe" place for kids to express their ideas and feelings about death and grief. It is also a place to share memories and to understand that they are not alone. So Far this experience, for me, has been excactly what I was looking for...so glad I opened that door!!