Healing Place News
Spring 2013

Dear Friend, 

One of the questions I am frequently asked is "how long does grief last?" The answer is, "it lasts as long as it lasts."--which means it lasts until it is resolved effectively. That can be a few months or many years or never. For those who do not resolve grief, some pitfalls may be to withdraw emotionally from others, seperate from meaningful activities, or experience a constant sense of emptiness. 
To resolve grief, it can be helpful to receive information about common grief reactions and effective ways to cope. The Healing Place offers this to children, teens, and their families. They learn they are not alone, that grief affects them emotionally, physically, and socially. As participants receive understanding, acceptance, encouragement, comfort, and support, many are able to live, love, trust, and enjoy life again!
A quote I like is, "when lives are made better, the community is made better." Thank you for being a part of the body of people who are an important part of improving the lives for the bereaved in our community.
Kay Parker, Director, Licensed Professional Counselor 
day camp
Healing Hearts Camp 2013
The Healing Hearts Camp is scheduled for Saturday April 27, 2013, from 12pm until 4pm. The Healing Hearts Camp is for children ages 4-19 who have experienced the death of a loved one. At camp, each camper will have an opportunity to meet and make friends with other children who have also suffered the loss of a loved one. Each camper will have an adult Buddy for the day. These volunteer Buddies participate in arts and crafts, games, pet therapy, music, outdoor recreation, and more with the child. 

Each camper will receive a Healing Hearts bag filled with items to assist the camper on their grief journey, such as a journal, markers, stuffed animal, Kleenex, and games. Each camper will also receive a camp t-shirt. 

There will be a memorial service for the children and parents/guardians at the end of the day. For more information, please visit our website.

Please call The Healing Place at 256-383-7133 or email Karen if you would like to participate or become a volunteer Buddy (you must be 18 years of age or older to volunteer.) We look forward to seeing you! 


The Healing Place, Then and Now
Twelve years ago Kay Parker and several nurses saw a documentary on 20/20 about the Dougy Center, the premier center for grieving children in the United States. She quickly set out to meet with the people who provided grief support in our area-schools, churches, hospitals, funeral homes, and hospices to ask the question, "What is happening to our grieving children?" She found that many grieving children were, "falling through the cracks." Kay and the nurses concluded, "With God's help, there will be a place like this in our community."

When The Healing Place began, we served 18 children in 3 schools. Now, twelve years later, we serve more than 350 children in over 40 schools including the Muscle Shoals School District, the  Lauderdale County School District, the Colbert County School District, the Franklin County School District, the Florence City Schools, the Tuscumbia City Schools, the Russellville City Schools, the Sheffield City Schools, and several private schools. 

But, there is still more to do, and you can help. Each day we receive phone calls from caregivers and schools with grieving children who are in need of a safe, supportive, environment to grieve the loss of a loved one. 
Please see the panel on the right to see how you can get involved at The Healing Place.  Or, visit our webpage to get involved


The Healing Place in the News 
A recent article in The Times Daily, entitled, On the Front Lines of Loss---A Study Shows that Teachers Lack Training to Deal with Grieving Children generated interest in the community.  The article stated that in a recently released survey the American Federation of Teachers found that 60 percent of the organization's union members nationwide reported having at least one student in their class in the past year that had experienced the death of a close family member or friend and that teachers are generally given little training in how to deal with this sensitive issue.

 The Healing Place understands that while teachers generally are not trained to deal with grief, many intuitively know what to do and do it.  A ninth grade student recalled that she had a teacher who was very comforting to her-just a kind word like "I care about you" or a hug could make a big difference in her day.    


Children and teens are suffering the death of loved ones and are expected to perform as usual and in most cases this is just not possible.  It is a fact that death impacts students at school-- the most common ways are  decline in grades, increase in absenteeism, and acting out at school.  Teachers and school counselors often work together to assist students to stay focused and behave appropriately in the midst of this very difficult time of adjustment.


The Healing Place is available to assist teachers and counselors with bereaved students by offering to conduct grief support groups at schools. These groups give students the tools and support they need to adjust to their very significant loss. Trainings can be scheduled for school personnel upon request. The Healing Place also has a Crisis Intervention Team available to go to the schools. You can also visit our website to learn more about how we can help your school.   


The Healing Place Charity Championship
The 11th Annual Healing Place Charity Championship will be played Monday, June 3
at Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club in Killen, Alabama. The Pairings Party for golfers, sponsors, and their guests will be held on Sunday, June 2 at Turtle Point as well and will feature a live auction. 
Depending on your sponsorship level, your group will be paired with either a PGA TOUR player or a PGA Club Professional in a traditional "Pro Am" style format. Please visit www.healingplacecc.golfreg.com for further details and to register for this year's event. If you are unable to register online, please contact the tournament office at hpccin@gmail.com  or 404-592-6122.


Introducing Emily Wingfield 
We are proud to welcome Emily Wingfield to the staff of The Healing Place. Emily is our new Director of Resource Development. In this role, she will expand our fundraising efforts with foundations, corporations and individuals to ensure The Healing Place has the financial resources to serve the community for many years to come.  Ms. Wingfield started her career as a Teach for America corps member in Baton Rouge, LA. After her teaching tenure, she received a master's degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the Andrew Young School of Policy at Georgia State University. She has worked for nonprofit organizations in direct service and leadership positions for the last 14 years. Most recently, Emily was the Executive Director of Breakthrough Saint Paul, an educational equity nonprofit in St. Paul, Minnesota.  To reach Emily, just send her an email at ewingfield@healingplaceal.org


In This Issue
Healing Hearts Camp 2013
The Healing Place, Then and Now
Healing Place in the News
The Healing Place Charity Championship
Introducing Emily Wingfield
Thank You!
Get Involved at The Healing Place
You can give your time. Become a volunteer at The Healing Place. You must be 18 years of age and training will be provided on how to listen and play with grieving children. You can commit as your schedule permits. You can come once a week, twice a month, once every other month, or even be on our call list to call as needed.
We are also in need of volunteers for the Healing Hearts Camp on April 27. Please email Karen Grisham, call 256-383-7133, or visit our website to sign up to become a volunteer.


You can give your talent.

Are you an accountant, attorney, or other professional that would like to provide pro-bono services to The Healing Place? Maybe you have another talent that you feel could beneficial to our children or organization. Please, email Emily Wingfield, and let us know your idea. We are always open to suggestions!


You can give your treasure.

Each gift to the Healing Place makes a difference in the life of a grieving child. Every gift made in 2013 will be matched up to $10,000! Together we can ensure that every grieving child in our community has a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment to grieve the loss of a loved one. 


Check Out Our New Website! 
Check out our new website at www.thehealingplaceinfo.org and while you are there, click on the Facebook icon on the top right of the page to "Like Us" on Facebook. On our website, you can find information from helping a child grieve, to upcoming events, to how to become involved at The Healing Place. 
A Heartfelt Thank You! 
A heartfelt thank you to the Joel Anderson Family Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Anderson for providing the generous matching gift to The Healing Place. Because of their support, every donation made to The Healing Place in 2013 will be matched. 

We would also like to give a huge thank you to the ladies of Project Linus in Huntsville for making the beautiful quilts and blankets for our children. Each child that participates at The Healing Place receives one of these handmade blankets to help them on their journey through grief. The blankets provide feelings of safety and comfort to our grieving children. 
A Healing Gift
In order to provide the Healing Hearts Camp to every child that wants to participate, we need your support. Please consider sponsoring a child for the day. For only $20 you can provide a child with support, friendships, and healing in a day of fun and remembrance.

Remember.....All gifts made will be matched!

To securely donate online, visit  Our Online Giving Page

You can also sponsor a child by mailing a check to:
The Healing Place, 2409 Wildwood Street, Muscle Shoals, AL 35661. 

Thank you for your generosity!