Giving Back Program-A Path to Healing
Our Giving Back Program was launched with grieving families in mind, and it offers a practical avenue for healing. When a child passes away, grief engulfs the entire family and it is often impossible to claim hope, or to muster the energy to work towards healing and wholeness. Families tell us that the time they spent with their ill child in the hospital prior to his/her death was some of the most meaningful of their lives, and they long for a way to acknowledge that time, the people who surrounded them, and the battle their child fought.
The Giving Back Program provides a tangible way to accomplish this, and to serve other families experiencing similar trials. Our hope is that it helps families heal and offers a needed lifeline, when the thought of creating one from scratch seems overwhelming and impossible. We come alongside families with the desire to give back, help them choose an avenue that honors the uniqueness of their child and meets a need of other children and of the hospital, then help them implement their vision and see it through to completion.
It is a joy for us to be involved in this incredible process and to watch the healing that it offers grieving families. True to our overall mission, each child is remembered in a way that is unique to them, and families guide us on their specific vision. Some families choose to give gifts to patients – often things that were special or helpful to their child. We have distributed everything from smocked dresses to crib mobiles and soft lovies in memory of children. Other families have asked their communities to donate to the Forrest Spence Fund in honor of their child, or have given their time volunteering with us. One family in particular launched the Kellen Dorse Fund that operates under our umbrella and with our support. They provide a monthly meal to patients and families in the CVICU at Le Bonheur and purchase non-medical supplies as needed, all in memory of Kellen.
We know that the grieving process is necessary, and cannot be side-stepped. It is a privilege to offer the Giving Back Program to families in addition to the emotional support and professional counseling we provide. The healing that comes from acknowledging the journey and giving back to others cannot be paralleled. Thank you for the support you provide that makes this possible for hurting families.