Even though 2020 gets a bad rap (and for a good reason), the year wasn’t all bad. Sometimes looking on the bright side can help us put everything in perspective, and it’s always refreshing to focus on the good rather than the bad.
One of the good things that came out of last year for our organization was the Charlie’s Heart Foundation Grant Program. This is something we’d been hoping to organize ever since we started Charlie’s Heart Foundation, so to finally accomplish that goal was huge for us.
We received so many incredible applications for our first year of the grant, and it was difficult to narrow it all down to the nine organizations that were ultimately chosen. You can read more about the application and our selection process in this blog post.
We are so proud of the organizations we have chosen to support, though, like Friends of Aine’s Good Grief program. Friends of Aine is a bereavement organization based in Manchester, New Hampshire. Their mission of helping families, particularly grieving teens and children, through bereavement really aligned with our own mission and the reason why we do what we do.
The Good Grief program is the core of what Friends of Aine does. The program specifically focuses on grieving children and meets them where they are developmentally by tailoring programs to different age groups. These free services have been available to the surrounding community since 1988.
Children are grouped by age and then work with trained volunteers to connect with their emotions while learning they are not alone in their sadness. Younger children work through their emotions and thoughts through writing, art, puppet play, and other child-focused programs. Teens and young adults alternate between on-site activities such as collage, writing, or yoga and off-site adventures such as hiking, rock-climbing, or exploring grief in a film.
Friends of Aine is using the funds they received from the Charlie’s Heart Foundation Grant Program to expand their Good Grief programming to help even more kids in the Manchester area. They’re also training more volunteers to ensure every child, teen and parent are getting the best support possible.
When someone you love dies, it can be such a lonely, difficult process to work through, and it can feel like no one else understands. Providing people with a safe place to process their feelings and find support among professionals as well as others in bereavement is an incredible mission, and we’re proud to support Friends of Aine in it. You can learn more about their organization and donate to them directly on their website.