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Building Friendships Through Philanthropy

The Elizabeth Hospice -- $25,000
Children's Bereavement Program

Program Description:

The Children’s Bereavement Program provides grief support to vulnerable children ages 3-17 in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County. It is the region’s only resource offering a comprehensive program specializing in children’s grief. They offer children a welcoming and safe space to receive grief support, learn healthy ways to cope, express themselves and honor their loved ones while connecting with others who have experienced similar emotions. Services include on-campus student grief support groups and bereavement training for school professionals, peer-based support groups, and Camp Spero, a children’s weekend grief camp offered in the summer. Services are provided free of charge to ensure access and to remove the financial barrier that often exists when seeking this type of support.

Results:

This was the first year since the Covid-19 pandemic that all their children’s services were provided in person. Despite some unforeseen personnel departures, The Elizabeth Hospice was able to adjust its program schedule with only a slight decrease in the number of people served. Camp Spero supported 96 campers in July 2022 at two weekend grief camps.

The Elizabeth Hospice has Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with 19 school districts throughout San Diego County. Due to these MOUs, the Elizabeth Hospice also facilitated 19 on-campus groups through their School-Based Grief Support Services, helping 181 students.  In addition, while hosting two half-day Child Bereavement Training Workshops, they worked with and trained 118 teachers and other professionals. In addition, 81 students and 67 parents/guardians were helped through their Peer-Based Support Groups, which are held at their Bereavement Centers in Escondido and Mission Valley. Of the $25,000 granted by the RSFWF, approximately $10,000 was used for staff salaries, another $10,000 went towards Camp Spero costs, and the remainder was used for general operating expenses.

Future Plans:

They plan to bring on two Medical Social Worker interns for the 2023-24 academic year to co-facilitate peer groups and school groups in North San Diego. This will become an annual position as will the recruitment of undergraduate interns to assist with community outreach at both Bereavement Sites.