Valley grief camp gets donations to help kids who have lost a pa - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Valley grief camp gets donations to help kids who have lost a parent

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A grief camp for children got a boost from two different organizations on Thursday in hopes of helping kids dealing with the loss of a parent. 

Good Grief, a camp developed for children ages 8-15, who have lost a parent, is free for all kids and run by volunteers and counselors. 

The camp offers a chance for the kids to come together and bond with each other. Organizers say the camp integrates therapeutic activities with the fun and adventures of camp. It provides the youth a chance to be a kid while learning that grief is normal and they are not alone in their feelings or experiences. 

Jane Peachy, the Director of Good Grief at Camp Frederick, says the program was developed after she saw how helpful programs like this could be for kids. 

"I just fell in love with the kids and what I saw happen with them, how they evolved through the camp, how they bonded with each other. And so, I began to realize the camp I wasn't so sure did any good, was something that these kids really needed," said Peachy. 

"Kids would share stories with me about how they felt so different from all the kids around them, and when they got to camp there was somebody else that got how they felt," continued Peachy. "They realized that they had to grow up. When you lose a parent life is never the same. So for them, it's like, wow I get to be a kid and there's someone else that understands what it's like to walk this walk."

Good Grief, which works out of Rogers, has been around for six years, and in that time has seen more than 250 kids get help. 

It's the camps dream that they never have to turn away a child who wants to attend. But organizers say that is all dependant on how much money they can raise, and counselor availability. 

Thursday's donation is looking to help that. 

ONE Health Ohio and the Butterflies & Hope Memorial Foundation each donated $1,000 to Good Grief and Camp Frederick. 

"The donations of $1000 from each entity will pay for a total of 5 teen camperships. Included in a campership is 6 days room and board, craft supplies and in the case of teens one day of white water rafting. This pays for the necessary camp staff, the meals, and overnights of camp volunteers, all snacks, and should the youth need any physical supplies (such as a sleeping bag). We also will provide transport to some of the youth and their families who would otherwise not be able to get to and from the camp," Peachy explained. 

Ronald Dwinnells, MD, founder of Butterflies & Hope and CEO of ONE Health Ohio, said it's important for society to support their children especially during difficult times of their lives. 

"Losing a loved one is traumatic for anyone but is amplified in children because they do not have adequate coping skills as adults do. Supporting the Good Grief Camp to help children who have lost their loved ones will go a long way to help heal their emotional pain and help them move forward. ONE Health Ohio is in the healing business while Butterflies and Hope want to spread love, caring and kindness through advocacy, education, research and directly helping children," said Dwinnells. 

That's why Dwinnells, whose specialty has been pediatric care, also offered for ONE Health Ohio to offer free counseling service to kids who attend the camp for as long as it remains in operation. 

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