(Chelsea Update would like to thank Bob Milbrodt for the information in this story.)
Last Monday, Ele’s Place Director of Development Lindsay Clark, and Program Director Peggy Gazimberti joined the Chelsea Kiwanis Zoom meeting.
Ele’s Place is a healing place for grieving children, teens, young adults, and their families. Four branch locations support families throughout Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing, and beyond.
Each week, peer-to-peer bereavement support groups help hundreds learn to cope and begin to heal after the death of a parent, sibling, or someone else close to them. Before coming to Ele’s Place, grieving children feel alone and keep their feelings inside, not wanting to burden others. Often, their friends who have not had a similar experience, don’t seem to understand.
Ele’s Place was founded in 1991 by a group of mental health professionals, community volunteers, and grieving parents, Betsy and Woody Stover. Following the death of their daughter, Helen Louise Snow Stover, known as Ele, at 11 months old, the Stovers saw that their three children, ages 3-7, were grieving in different ways from each other, and from how adults grieve.
After much research, it was determined that peer support for children was the best way to learn to cope with their feelings of grief, sadness, anger, and loss.
All services rendered by Ele’s Place are free. Before Covid, 80-100 volunteers conducted the support groups. Since in-person sessions were curtailed, Ele’s Place has still been able to keep connections with kids and families.
Peggy related a recent occurrence during an online session. A youngster was asked what made him think of his loved one. He ran away from the computer, and out of the room. His mother called for him to return, but the volunteer assured her that he had something to share. Sure enough, the boy returned with a hammer, saying it reminded him of his grandfather, who used to build things with him.
Those of any faith, or no faith, are accepted and their grief experiences are heard. Some want to get closer to their faith, while others are angry, and want to take a step back.
Services provided are individualized. The average length of time in the program is 10-11 months. The range of service extends from 2 months to 2 years, but there is no limit. Seventy-five percent of funds for the service come from individuals. For more information, go to www.elesplace.org
The club’s 2nd Annual Gourmet Nut Sale is concluding, with only a limited supply remaining. Please see any Kiwanian, visit our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/kiwanisclubofchelsea or order with Chelsea Farmers Market at – www.openfoodnetwork.net
Also available on the Market site are emergency car seat id stickers at no charge, and boxes of the knackwurst (20) and hot dogs (60) we sell at our food concession trailer for $30/box.
Go to www.kiwanisofchelsea.org for more information.