A reflection from our Executive Director, Debbie Meyer and Board Chair, Karrie Kitch:
Dear Erin’s House Friends,
As we reflect on the various Erin’s House accomplishments over this past year, a major feat is that “we made it” through a global pandemic thanks to the outpouring of your love, generosity, and support.
While the road to recovery is long and likely unpredictable, it has been inspiring to witness communities – large and small – band together to help one another begin to heal. Assisting bereaved children, teens, and families find connection and healing is the core of what we do.
The pandemic did not stop heartbreak and grief as loved ones were dying. Funerals held virtually or with only ten people in attendance made it even more difficult for those grieving. The need for grief support has undeniably grown.
But we also recognize this past year was a time where families and children showed remarkable resiliency, as did Erin’s House. We were able to adapt our organization and grief-support services in ways that have never been done before.
Our staff worked from home and board meetings were held virtually.
We transitioned our peer-support groups to a virtual platform until it was safe to return in-person at our facility.
Classroom Companions in-school programs were held virtually and in-person at 12 schools.
We even added new programs to our services:
On-site counseling with a mental health counselor for enrolled families.
New Family Program to help those starting Erin’s House become accustomed to peer-support before joining the on-going grief groups.
Pen Pals in which our volunteers sent over 600 letters to our kids — our volunteers are simply AMAZING!
The gratitude we have for all that make Erin’s House a success is bountiful. We’d be remiss if we didn’t give a big “hoorah” to the incredible parents and caregivers of our kiddos. YOU overcame 2020 – perhaps not unscathed, but stronger.
As of June 2021, families and volunteers are now back onsite for in-person programs. Our facility was made to have paint on the sidewalks, children laughing in the halls, and lots of glitter on the floor. Erin’s House could not have done it without you! We had over 500 new donors in 2020 which is astonishing. Thank you for investing in the lives of the children, teens, and families that we serve.
Our vision that no child should be alone in grief can only be achieved by working together. All of us at Erin’s House are forever humbled by the trust of our families and grateful for the philanthropic support of our greater community as the need for grief support this year is more essential than ever before – THANK YOU.
With grateful hearts,
Board Chair, Lake City Bank