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Our mission at Erin’s House is to support youth in their grief as they develop their innate abilities to handle life’s curves while also encouraging them to embrace the meaningful milestones.

Your year-end gift has the potential to provide kids with tools that serve as a compass helping them navigate their grief journey.

When we experience a death of someone significant in our lives, it is natural to want our grief to have a clear end destination. We wish for a map with detailed instructions pointing us in the right direction, but grief is a lasting journey full of twists and turns, obstacles and detours.

For children and teens who are grieving, Erin’s House is oftentimes one of the first stops on their route. Here they find a nurturing space where they can cultivate relationships and have companionship along the way. Our highly trained volunteers and staff equip these brave kids with coping skills to confidently pursue safe and healthy paths.

As with any road trip, there are bound to be bumps and U-turns. But there can also be unexpected memories made and uncontrollable laughter and moments that leave you in awe.

Volunteer Facilitator

Mo

What joy have you found within your own grief journey that you hope the kids in your group will find in theirs?

Since I started volunteering at Erin's House, I've been able to think about all the good memories I've had with my special people. It can be difficult to think about positive memories when dealing with pain and grief but finding that joy in my journey was something I had never experienced prior to coming to Erin's House, and I hope the kids in my group can find this same joy.

What tool or skill do you feel is especially important for kids who are learning to navigate their grief journey?

Time—Not everyone is ready to share what they are feeling right away. It can take a handful of sessions before they are ready to share something about their feelings and/or their special person(s). Be patient.

Can you reflect on a time when you have witnessed joy at Erin’s House?

Every time I set foot inside the volcano room, I see joy. These kids are able to enjoy themselves and let out a ton of energy and be a kid for the 10 minutes we are in there.

Brady, Evelyn & Lillian

Erin's House Participants

What has been something that has brought you joy during your grief journey?

Brady - Getting to have family meals together.

Lillian - Playing games with my family!


How has Erin’s House helped you discover joy while grieving? Or helped you be happy when you might have been feeling sad?

Brady - Learning to love one another!

Evelyn - Meeting friends that are like me.


Is there a special memory of your person or activity you do in memory of your person that brings you joy?

Evelyn - Playing soccer in the backyard with Daddy.

Lillian, Evelyn, Brady.JPEG

Volunteer Facilitator & Erin's House Participant

Esmeralda & Jasmin

What joy have you found within your own grief journey that you hope the kids in your group will find in theirs?

Esmeralda: I hope the kids in my group can take away from Erin’s House and learn throughout their grief journey is that they are not alone. Grief is not discussed in our society. Erin’s House helps us express and experience our grief and allows us to be heard. If we can all learn to express and discuss grief, it makes the journey a little bit easier.

What tool or skill do you feel is especially important for kids who are learning to navigate their grief journey?

Esmeralda: Listening—Remembering the small details is important in building rapport with the kids we work with. Allowing them to express themselves and share how the grief has affected them is very important. Some kids fear discussing grief with family members, but Erin’s House helps them have those open, honest conversations with kids their age. When you feel heard, it makes your feelings valid. 

Can you reflect on a time when you have witnessed joy at Erin’s House?

Esmeralda: One time in the Quiet Room, the group wanted to use the question sticks. Everyone was talking about their loved ones asking each other questions and making sure they were all okay answering. We left the room, but they kept asking questions and you could see them realizing that they weren’t alone in their grief. They were laughing, connecting, and openly discussing everything. You don’t expect to feel joy while exploring grief, but it’s small things that make a huge impact and bring us joy.

What has been something that has brought you joy during your grief journey?

Jasmin: Erin’s House has helped me feel joy during my journey because I’m able to open up about my feelings and I’ve made new friends.

How has Erin’s House helped you discover joy while grieving? Or helped you be happy when you might have been feeling sad?

Jasmin: Erin’s House helped me feel happy by being able to do all these different activities and sometimes take out my energy.

Is there a special memory of your person or activity you do in memory of your person that brings you joy?

Jasmin: One memory of my uncle I have is when he would take care of me and a memory of my aunt is when she would FaceTime me just to say “Happy Birthday”.

Erin's House Participants

Zane, Zahvia & Zeke

What has been something that has brought you joy during your grief journey?

Zane: I started attending church camps the summer after Dad died. I really like meeting all the new people and doing activities with them. I was a junior counselor for 6 weeks last summer and enjoyed helping others.

Zahvia: Meeting friends at my church youth group that are now my best friends have made me happy. We met Dawn and Henry at Family Camp and they're like our family now.

Zeke: My dog, Sierra, makes me feel better when I'm sad and makes me happy.


How has Erin’s House helped you discover joy while grieving? Or helped you be happy when you might have been feeling sad?

Zane: People can look at you differently when they know that you've lost a loved one. I like being accepted at Erin's House and not having to explain my emotions of missing my dad or grief. Erin’s House is a place where I can come to and be with other kids who don't think I'm weird or different and treat me like I'm normal.

Zahvia: I like the Quiet Room at Erin’s House. It's a dark room with bean bags, stars on the ceiling, and colored bubbles on the wall. The room is calming and makes me happy. When we are in there, we talk about life stuff and it helps me.

Zeke: I've met a good friend named Mason at Erin’s House. He is funny and makes me laugh! I like him because we are normal in how we feel things.


Is there a special memory of your person or activity you do in memory of your person that brings you joy?

Zane: We bought a Costco cake for my oldest sister's graduation party. We left it in the van because it had to stay cool overnight. My sister left the van window cracked open. The next day when my mom went to get something out of the van, she found a raccoon had gotten inside and ate part of the cake! Mom was going to throw it away and Dad said NO!! He took the cake inside and cut off what the raccoon had eaten. He started eating what was left. Mom said, "You can't eat that!" Dad said, "You can't waste perfectly good Costco cake!" We all grabbed a fork and dug in.

Zahvia: I LOVED putting makeup and nail polish on my dad and doing his hair! He let me make him look like a cat or a creepy person with red/blue/green/purple on his eyes with sparkly lip gloss. I also liked painting his toes.

Zeke: My Dad loved the song 'Sweet Caroline'. He would yell "Sweet Caroline, BUM BUM BUM" while throwing his hands in the air and stomping his feet to the music. He always sang it to my mom and we laughed.

Zahria, Zane, Zeke.JPEG
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Together, we can empower grieving children and teens to actively seek and discover
JOY IN THEIR JOURNEY.


Will you consider making a life-changing impact by contributing towards the mission of Erin's House?

Thank you for Building Hope & Healing Hearts!