Your donation this holiday season can help build hope and heal hearts, but don't just take our word for it.
We invited a few volunteer facilitators to share what your gift has the power to do ...
Recruit, Train, & Educate Volunteer Facilitators
It costs approximately $25 for the training materials for one volunteer facilitator.
There are currently over 125 volunteer facilitators with that number continuing to climb as our participants increase. Your gift has the potential to equip a volunteer facilitator with essential skills for walking alongside our children and teens during their grief journeys.
"The time that I have spent as a volunteer facilitator at Erin’s House has truly been unique. More specifically, the quality training and continuing education that have been provided by the staff at Erin’s House have had one of the largest impacts on my experience. The staff has gone above and beyond with providing stellar preparation for all the volunteers. Prior to my time at Erin’s House, I had barely any experience working with children, which made me extremely nervous. They provided exceptional training that helped prepare myself to facilitate the peer-support groups and made me feel comfortable with the idea of working with children.
The continuing education has also been a key aspect of my time at Erin’s House. Through continuing education, I am able to collaborate with other facilitators from different nights and expand my arsenal of activities.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at Erin’s House and I am even more grateful for having the Erin’s House staff help train volunteers like myself."
Volunteer facilitator since 2019
Take Classroom Companions Program to Local Schools
It costs approximately $50 for fuel for one week of Classroom Companions program.
Erin's House is currently serving 12 schools in 4 counties with hopes of reaching more schools. Your gift has the potential to provide transportation for staff and volunteers to take our Classroom Companions program to schools in our community allowing students to receive the support they might otherwise not receive and supplying educators tools for helping grieving children.
"As a school administrator, it gives me great peace of mind and a deep sense of gratitude that we have a resource like Erin's House in our community for schools to lean on when the unimaginable happens. Whether the loss is anticipated or unexpected, the death of an adult or child who is part of a close school community brings with it emotional reverberations that are felt deeply.
Educators don't learn about grief and its impact on children and families in teacher training programs. Erin's House is there to fill in that gap of vital information and to help schools understand how to best support a grieving child when sometimes a student's outward behavior can be really confusing and concerning.
When I facilitate in the teen group, there's a common refrain of hating school and feeling displaced and disengaged. Grief can feel so isolating, but when educators are informed and kids get the right kind of support, there's great potential for reestablished connection and belonging which are the foundation for a positive school experience. Schools are often ill-equipped to navigate this alone, though, and partnering with Erin's House is the key!"
Past family & volunteer facilitator since 2018
Provide Lifetime Memories at Camp
It costs approximately $100 for supplies for "Healing Heart" activities at camp for one weekend.
Erin's House offers 3 camps throughout the year: Teen Retreat, Camp Good Grief, and Family Camp. Your gift has the potential to give campers the materials and creative space to process their feelings and to grow as individuals, as friends, and as families.
"Erin’s House has always remained a place I could call home. It’s a home that I will always love and return to no matter how old I become. This is why I volunteered as a Junior Facilitator at Camp Good Grief every year since I was a freshman.
There’s something magical about the camps and the staff that help make them so memorable. From the energetic dance parties to the ridiculously competitive water balloon fights, every moment is sprinkled with a pinch of happiness. When I look at these kids and families, they’re laughing with so much elation that they forget about the worries they had before they came to camp. They’re celebrating and learning so much more about life than they’ve ever known. Camp isn’t just centered around death; it’s about living and growing which is why I believe they are such a hit.
It’s amazing how fast their shy and awkward grimaces turn into contagious smiles and uncontrollable giggles, how quickly they developed close friendships in the matter of only 24 hours, and how there’s a complete transformation of genuinely speaking about the death of their loved one. Every time I go to camp, these kids amaze me and leave me astounded by their incredible growth. Their growth is what I look forward to every time because it is what matters the most."
Past participant & Volunteer facilitator since 2016
Enhance Teen Program with Friendship-Building Experiences
It costs approximately $500 to develop and enhance the peer-support program specifically for our teen participants.
We dream of providing them with new experiences to bond as peers. Your gift has the potential to build friendships and cherished memories through dances, movie nights, cooking class, & other fun group activities.
"My daughter died unexpectedly in 1995, just a month shy of her 4th birthday. I came to Erin’s House with my husband and two sons, who were 8 and 10 at the time. Having gone through this traumatic loss with my own children, I knew once I became a facilitator that I wanted to work with the teens.
This has been a challenge and also one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. When we meet with our teens, our goal is to not only try to work with them to share and open up as they go through the grieving process, but to also get them to keep coming back! Teens have more of a choice on whether or not they want to attend Erin’s House than younger children. The key is finding activities that will appeal to such a tricky age.
At Erin’s House, our teens have a safe place where they can share their feelings with other teens who better understand what they are going through. The support they get from each other is amazing to witness. Teenagers today are under a lot of pressure and stress just in their everyday life but add a traumatic loss on top of that and it can be very overwhelming for them. For Erin’s House to be able to provide peer-support groups for grieving teenagers is one of the best gifts that we, as a community, can give them.
Past family & volunteer facilitator since 2017
Help Heal a Heart with One Year of Peer-Support
It costs approximately $1,000 to provide peer-support services for one child or teen for an entire year.
Erin's House currently serves over 850 individuals every month. Your gift has the potential to give a young heart the opportunity it needs to begin healing and learn coping skills that will last a lifetime.
"Peer support is the life bread of Erin’s House. Anyone who walks through the doors instantly feels a part of something greater. No one at Erin’s House is alone, as everyone has a common bond – the death of a loved one.
There are certainly individuals who may never speak during program, but I can tell they are working on their grief journey by listening and by feeling with their hearts what others are feeling. When I witness a breakthrough with a child - like the instance of a young boy who took two years to finally open-up with his peers and share his story and the name of the loved one who died - it warms my heart. These moments are life-changing and healing… not just for those kids who are in the program, but also for those of us who are facilitating.
When you donate to the mission of Erin’s House, you help heal hearts, strengthen bonds, and create stronger children and families. Please join me and my family in helping heal hearts and build hope for future generations!"